Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Michael J. Willett, Paul Iacono, Xosha Roquemore, Andrea Bowen and Sasha Pieterse

Rated: R for sexual references.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: January 17, 2014 Released by: Vertical Entertainment

A new colorful (not really so anachronistic) comedy from the maker of Jawbreaker borrows from the adept Mean Girls with a homosexual, even homophobic slant to it if you go by its rating.

G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend) stars Michael J. Willett and Paul Iacono and does well with trends in an observational, acerbic way as helmer Darren Stein comfortably situates the material into a cartoonish, sitcom styling reminiscent of a chorally quiet Glee set at North Gateway High School. It doesn't have the panache of an Easy A even as it collects itself when it comes to understanding one's support system and not getting down on yourself.

The themes touched on here include gaining self-assurance and repression from delving beneath surface terms  as Tanner (Willett) is outed (first time at the secondary school) by chum Brent (Iacono). It works into the desiring of the eponymous clement figure by brassy clique top liners like Caprice (Xosha Roquemore), Shley Osgoode (Andrea Bowen), and Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse).

From a slick, if sensible script by George Northy, the proceedings which reach an absurdity at the obligatory climactic prom still works well off of how Willett evinces Tanner's concerns about conformity which won't go over well with the friends he has. Again bearing the similarity to what Lindsay Lohan went through opposite the likes of Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Tina Fey on the screen nearly a decade ago.

A certain individuality extends from nearly all the characters to help provide narrative flow filled, of course, with its silly spurts. Adding to the conflict which has its share of amusement is Megan Mullally as Brent's ardent mother as well as 'JoJo' Levesque as a competitive free-spirit for the "warlords."

The rarely heavy-handed, enervating tale has a concluding speech that stands out from intolerance (even with religious underpinnings that call to mind a spry satire like Saved!) and feelings from the distaff side in a manner that more thoughtful than expected for this kind of fare. With faces recognizable from the time of Stein's less successful foray like Rebecca Gayheart and Natasha Lyonne, G.B.F. merrily marches through stereotypes and alienation, even acceptance by not being afraid to be itself.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
G.B.F.        C+                     C+ 

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