›› Yeah Kowalski!
a short film by Evan Roberts.
2013 | 10 mins | US.
starring: Cameron Wofford / Gabe Kowalski, Conor Donnelly / Shane, Kaitlyn Knippers / Veronica, Annamarie Kasper / Penny Foster, Chris Doubek / Phil Kowalski and with Consuelo Allen as Ms. Fitz.
Official Synopsis: "Gabe Kowalski is a late bloomer and all-around misfit whose dad still cuts his hair. When Gabe's anonymous question about his still smooth armpits is selected to be read aloud in sex education class, Gabe goes to great lengths to impress his classmate crush, Shane."
There's a series of lush comical touches to be found in this deliciously sweet tale from co-writer and director Evan Roberts. Not that that should arrive as a surprise, given Roberts is the man behind the short 33 Teeth; namely that of an equally sweet tale of adolescent yearnings. For that's what we have here, dressed up in the guise of the teen crush scenario, as pre-pubescent Kowalski finds himself infatuated with cute gay boy Shane, not that this hasn't gone unnoticed by his best friend Veronica, culminating in a hairy solution to love at Penny Foster's birthday party.
A hairy solution to love, in Yeah Kowalski!
Yet spliced between the shorts' many wacky asides, including a brilliant "if you've got it, flaunt it" montage that's guaranteed to bring a big smile to your face thanks to Cameron Wofford's spirited performance as the teen who wishes to rush nature, lies a scene that somewhat poignantly reminds me of Sal Mineo's character Plato in the James Dean classic Rebel Without a Cause. For early on, we see inside Kowalski's high school locker and here it's all but obvious from its content, cue the rainbow flag and male pin-up, that Kowalski knows and moreover has no problem with the path his sexuality has taken him. Indeed, it's not even a question that he poses at sex education class, being more concerned with his AWOL armpit hair. In short, homosexuality is not an issue here; nor should it be.
Rightfully screened in all of its glory at the prestigious IRIS Prize Film Festival of 2012, crammed as-it-is full of the fun factor of youth, this solid production value work is a sheer delight to watch, as we follow Kowalski's attempts to impress the object of his affection, with armpit hair that and as if by magic, or should that be with the aid of dissolvable glue, appears just in time for the party. Delectably uplifting, beautifully out and proud, this is ten minutes of pure joy.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - from the waist up.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.