G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend)
"G.B.F" plays with the concept of a GBF (a Gay Best Friend). Described by a fashion magazine as the newest trend and invaluable accessory for fashion forward, self-obsessed, popular, straight girls, the GBF is a must have for this season.
"G.B.F." the movie is a modern twist on the coming-of-age high school movie genre. It features the typical conventions, idioms and stereotypes such as bitchy girl cliques, teenage party shenanigans, drunken confessions, clueless parents, make-over montages and, of course, the perfect Prom. The special ingredient? Gays!
Tanner (Michael J. Willett), an identified comic book nerd (who never cracks one open), just wants to graduate without drama. His proto-fabulous best friend, Brent (Paul Iacono) wants to come out in a made-for-TV moment to great applause and even greater straight girl swooning. In a phone accident gone awry, Tanner steals the scene and the hearts of four ladies looking for new gay arm candy. In a mélange of color, design and catchy slang, Tanner learns about himself, what it means to be a public spokesperson for the LGBTQI community, and friendship.
Unlike "Easy A" or "Mean Girls," this family-friendly (rated R for "sexual references" but nothing graphic occurs on screen) high school comedy isn’t intended to push the status quo beyond featuring gay characters. Tanner doesn’t fight for his rights as a gay student until he’s told he can’t bring an "untraditional" date to Prom. The school GSA is represented but only to, first, out Tanner, and then, host an alternative Prom. Fortunately, like the aforementioned movies as well as classics like "Pretty in Pink," "She’s All That" and others, there are plenty of laughs and tender moments. In addition, there’s a literal shrine to Lindsay Lohan.
What this mainstream-type flick lacks in plot originality it makes up with PG-13 homoerotic tension, laughs, pop hits and drool-inspiring fashion. It’s cute, funny and pleases the eyes even if it doesn’t please the brain. It might not be a classic now, but it will be soon.
"G.B.F." includes appearances by Natasha Lyonne as a quirky teacher; Megan Mullally as an exuberantly clueless, pro-gay Mom, Rebecca Gayheart and an almost unrecognizable Horatio Sanz. Evanna Lynch (you may remember her from the "Harry Potter" franchise as Luna Lovegood) is super swell as militant Mormon baddie, McKenzie Price.
As a lady who enjoys other ladies so very much, I’m a teensy bit offended that lesbians aren’t given a platform in this movie. The lovely and talented Molly Tarlov (Sophie) plays a devoutly feminist, "is she/isn’t she?" character, but it’s not enough. In a world where a boy can meet a boy, fall in lust and have it be accepted by generally everybody, it doesn’t make sense that a female character can’t at least shoot the lead a knowing look or give an informed head nod. Yes, this movie is about the boys, but it has a large female cast. Surely one of them, out of so very many pretty and poised gals, prefers other gals to the guys.
Directed by Darren Stein
Screenplay by George Northy
Premiered at 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and was recently shown at Outfest. "G.B.F." is produced by Richard Bever and Stephen Israel.