a vivid depiction of getting real with your sexuality
Adapted by Patrick Wilde from his play 'What's Wrong with Angry?', this refreshingly honest and frankly down-to-earth depiction of coming out within the English education system of today tells the story of Steven Carter; a likeable sixteen-year-old and your typical fun-loving teenager. Only the fun that this boy is partial to is of the
cottaging kind, ever eager to sample the facilities on offer at his local park, game as he is for some 'hands on' after hours tuition.
And therein lies the problem, given top academic and 'officially straight' Head Boy John Dixon, star of the school athletic team and a man expected by his parents to go on to major University acclaim, is equally present that day. Surprised by their cubicle encounter, the two nevertheless strike up a relationship away from the park, one that goes beyond mere friendship. Only in his desire to finally be his homosexual self to one and all, the question beckons whether Steven is prepared to sacrifice the love of a man who is anything but willing to live life as an out individual?
Far removed from the urban fairytale scenario of the Jonathan Harvey classic Beautiful Thing, this work notably depicts how the act of coming out for one, can have massive implications by way of association, for another. To that end, Ben Silverstone as Steven Carter and Brad Gorton as John Dixon play their parts purposely
raw-edged style, being indicative of a non-stereotypical portrayal of boys who like boys. And yet it is Charlotte Brittain as Steven's best friend Linda who effortlessly steals the show, having as the big girl with a big heart to match, some of the best lines in the film.
Comical one moment, only to be dramatic the next, this marks a work that for many should be compulsory viewing in all high schools, given it balances the issues of coming out to yourself, let alone to friends and family against the threat and sadly the bitter reality for all too many, of classroom taunts and homophobic bullying. Only in doing so, it takes time out to address the plight of those in the sporting arena who, whether due to career prospects, sponsorship deals or sheer personal ambition, find it difficult, if near impossible, to be openly gay. But then and as this feature vividly demonstrates, is it ever that easy to get real with your sexuality?
screened as part of the 13th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 1999
starring: Ben Silverstone, Brad Gorton, Charlotte Brittain, Stacy A Hart, Kate McEnery, Patrick Nielsen,
Tim Harris, James D White, Jacquetta May, David Lumsden and James Perkins as Young Steve
and Nicholas Hunter as Young Mark