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Movie review: ‘G.B.F.’ is a funny and heartwarming satire on high school life

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Grade: B+

G.B.F.” begins with an overload of language that is considered trendy to the modern high school student. People in their mid to late 20s and up might think otherwise. Within its first 10 minutes, the film almost feels like it’s trying to be hip for its own good. But once things settle down, Darren Stein’s new high school comedy, which opens in select theaters on Jan. 17, is a rather sweet and very funny satire about high school life and popularity.

The acronym “G.B.F.” stands for “Gay Best Friend.” With just a few days before prom, the three clique queens at North Gateway High are battling each other to see who can become the most popular. There’s ‘Shley (Andrea Bowen), the super conservative Mormon – even though she doesn’t really act like one; Caprice (Xosha Roquemore), the drama queen; and Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse), the hot blonde.

When it’s discovered that a gay best friend is the thing every woman should have, the three ladies try to find out which man at their school is gay, since none have yet to come out. And when Tanner (Michael J. Willet) is ousted, the ladies immediately pounce on him and try to make him their personal G.B.F. But this also has Tanner spending time away from his best friend, Brent (Paul Iacono).

“G.B.F.” doesn’t try to make its main focus be about these three women and their wanting to be the number one at the school. It actually focuses more on Tanner, who has difficulty revealing to his school and his parents that he is gay, and who also has trouble trying to rekindle his friendship with Brent. And when he tries to find the right time to inform his classmates about his sexuality, the truth unexpectedly slips out in a rather embarrassing way.

George Northy’s screenplay takes jabs at certain issues surrounding the gay community. There’s the evangelical leader who wants to keep the prom “traditional”; the bullies who look to pick on the person who’s different from everyone else; and the sudden rise to popularity once you reveal your true self. And Northy handles it with sheer honesty and clever wit.

Willet and Iacono have amazing chemistry together, and the rest of the cast give top-notch performances. There are also a few hilarious scenes that spoof films like “Carrie” and “Dick Tracy.” Some of the best moments of the film come from the veteran actors like Megan Mullally. She plays Brent’s mom, who embarrasses him by watching a bunch of gay/lesbian-themed movies. The result is a riot.


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