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GET REAL

SYNOPSIS:
A 16/17 year old high school boy, Steven Carter (Ben Silverstone), comfortable about his homosexuality but too afraid for those around him to reveal it, falls for John Dixon (Brad Gorton) the school captain, an athletic and girl-swooning hero. While Steven’s neighbour, the fat and funny Linda (Charlotte Brittain) supports and encourages him – all the while hoping for her own romance – life, the world and school itself, (including Steven’s parents), is not unfolding as it should.

"Captivating performances and a well-honed, economical script that understands the power of images makes this potentially mawkish sexuality coming of age film both entertaining and insightful. Great casting propels the film’s motif, but the characterisations of the supports give it the depth it needs to break through the categorisation as a gay film. This it ain’t. At least not in the narrow sense. Women and anyone mature enough to have a curiosity about human nature will equally respond to the material, and there is far more fun to be had than in many an attempt to portray the struggling for sexual identity – when it’s not straight (forward). Absent is the earnestness, replaced by an upbeat mood that carries the film’s unashamed sense of fun with its topic. Not that it’s dismissive; in some respects it cuts deep. The conjunction of drama and humour, though, is admirable."
Andrew L. Urban

"Fresh, funny, poignant and very moving, Get Real takes us on a journey of self discovery through a young boy's homosexuality. Beautifully structured with an insightful and intuitive script, the film's catalyst comes in the plump shape and form of Linda, the good-natured next-door neighbour (Charlotte Brittain is a delight), who not only befriends the central character, but becomes his soul mate. This engaging relationshiop, is not only blatantly honest and intriguing, but entertaining and very amusing. Sexuality is not the only key issue in the film, but equally important is one's response (and that of others) to it. This is a film that all parents should see. We see how teenagers are not willing to tell their parents important or personal things about their life. The term 'the generation gap' really hinges on perceptions - being immovable barriers to the intimacies of emotional development. Ben Silverstone gives a heartfelt and mature performance as Steven, while Brad Gordon is wonderful as the school heart-throb. The film explores sexual discrimination, parental angst, a mother's intuition and the torment of a young man unsure of his sexuality. A trifle long, but capturing a real sense of humanity and fun, Get Real has an appeal that is broader than a gay audience. There is something for everyone here; Get Real will charm you by its honesty, its pertinence and complexity."
Louise Keller

"For so many years the gay community looked vainly for characters on the silver screen to identify with, even aspire to – just like their heterosexual counterparts always had. Finally a few appeared, but they were always either bad guys / pathetic creatures in mainstream films or characters whose identities were based wholly on their outsider status in independent films that few but gay folk ever saw. Next the floodgates appeared to open, particularly on television, with gay characters seemingly everywhere without sexuality being the centre of their existence. So now when a film such as this gentle English coming-out drama appears, the danger is that we adopt a ‘been there, seen that’ attitude without taking into consideration that it is still the reality for every gay teenager who discovers that he or she is different and has to somehow get through it. The film is by no means perfect – it has more than its share of cliched characters and is sometimes quite wordy, a hangover from its original form as a stage play – but it is mostly endearing and does have a heart. This is largely due to the excellent performances of Ben Silverstone and Brad Gorton as the two lead characters. Both have an honesty and a freshness, which carries the film through its potentially clunky moments. Their relationship is very real in both its awkwardness and tenderness. It’s difficult to understand how director Simon Shore could have elicited such tremendous performances from these two, while lazily relying on stereotypes for virtually every other character, from the fat best girlfriend to the angry father and the uptight principal. Still, Get Real is well worth a look both for its entertainment value and to remind us that being young and gay is never going to be easy."
Lee Gough

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 3
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

GET REAL (M15+)
(UK)

CAST: Ben Silverstone, Brad Gorton, Charlotte Brittain, Stacy Hart, Kate McEnery, Patrick Nielsen, Tim Harris, James D. White, Louise J. Taylor

PRODUCERS: Stephen Taylor

DIRECTOR: Simon Shore

SCRIPT: Patrick Wilde

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Alan Almond

EDITOR: Barrie Vince

MUSIC: John Lunn

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bernd Lepel

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: New Vision

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 24 (Syd, Melb, Adel; Brisb Mar 24)

VIDEO RELEASE: June 21, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: 21st Century Home Entertainment







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