a film by Rikki Beadle-Blair
2010 | 108 mins | UK
›› FIT
a vibrant mix of sexual home truths and street dance.
FIT by Rikki Beadle-Blair Every once in a while, along comes a film that in saying it like it is, gives encouragement and inspiration to others to proudly be their homosexual self. Well thankfully, this is one such occasion.

Then again, this heartfelt message of sexual acceptance should be of no surprise given this groundbreaking feature was made with the support of Stonewall. It tells, in effect, the story of six teenagers, each of whom has fallen foul of the school system thanks to their misbehaviour and who are forced to seek educational redemption by participating in a dance and drama class with a difference. That difference being Loris; the new teaching jock on the block who is as open with his homosexuality, as he is on hand to support his pupils, a mixed group of troubled teens who have far more in common with each other, than what they may care to realise.

And no need to guess that the common factor here is one of sexuality; albeit sexuality with a twist in its tale. Take Lee for example. Your stereotypical butch dyke. Only sheís straight and the best friend of Karmel, namely a girl into make-up, clothes and all thatís pretty, including girls. Hey, who says lesbians arenít supposed to be girly. And then thereís Isaac, who along with his best friend Ryan is homophobic to the core, having made the life of school geek Tegs a bloody misery. Only whoís actually gay or straight here? Tegs' best friend Jordan has an idea, but then this budding footballer has other things on his mind, as he sets his sights on a career in the so-called beautiful game.

FIT by Rikki Beadle-Blair In short, this is a film in which writer, director and donít you just love him Rikki, think Metrosexuality, Beadle-Blair as Loris has set out to showcase the sparkling sexual diversity "that humanity has to offer." It is a work that brilliantly plays on its performing arts scenario to allow for accusations of being gay to flourish, that of a series of cutting comments, that make for direct replies in return. And here cue such questions as am I gay?, what if my friend is gay?, together with such major issues as religion and homosexuality, sport and homophobia, let alone the differing parental attitudes to gay blood in the family.

That the talented young cast play their roles with added poignancy, should arrive as no surprise, given of a number of them had already performed in front of 20,000 plus people during the three winters that the original stage play / workshop toured the UK; at theatres, youth clubs and critically at schools. Yet that does not diminish their remarkably realistic turns here, even if Jay Brown of Hong Khaouís Summer credit had the unenviable task of portraying the homophobic bully of the piece; albeit one that is shown the error of his ways, courtesy of seven episodic chapters that detail the life stories and thereby the very sexuality of the principal characters.

Notably reworked for its cinematic outing, along the way taking in many of the players previously seen in Beadle-Blair's spirited KickOff, this enlightening work equally contains a series of direct-to-camera monologues, that by way of a support group, emotionally cut straight to the hearts and minds of the gay and lesbian teens of today. The result is a vibrant mix of sexual home truths and street dance that is as entertaining, as it is informative. That an exhilarating feature such as this, aimed at addressing homophobic bullying in British schools should be required viewing as part of the National Curriculum, kind of goes without saying. Simply wicked.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - for addressing homophobic bullying ... 5 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue: 29.November.2010 / UK.
screened as part of the 24th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 2010.
Stonewall presents, in association with The Shorthouse Organisation, a Team Angelica film.
starring: Rikki Beadle-Blair, Jay Brown, Sasha Frost, Ludvig Bonin, Lydia Toumazou, Duncan MacInnes,
Stephen Hoo, Katie Borland, Jason Maza, Alexis Gregory, Jack Shalloo, Ryan Quartley,
Jennifer Daley, Tom Ross-Williams, Dani Bright and Kyle Treslove.
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #317
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