Get Real (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Simon Shore|
|Produced by||Stephen Taylor
|Screenplay by||Patrick Wilde|
|Based on||What's Wrong with Angry?
by Patrick Wilde
|Music by||John Lunn|
|Edited by||Barrie Vince|
|Distributed by||Alliance Atlantis (UK)
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Get Real is a 1998 British drama film directed by Simon Shore, based on the play What's Wrong with Angry? by screenwriter Patrick Wilde. The plot is about gay teenager Steven Carter's coming out to the world. The film was shot in and around Basingstoke, England.
When homosexuality was still an absolute taboo in England, sensitive rural town model student Steven Carter hides his gay feelings, except with his neighbour, a girl named Linda. Suddenly his desperate search for partners in male public lavatories leads to a blind date with golden boy John Dixon, bound for an Oxbridge career. Steven finds the courage to approach John by volunteering for the school paper as sports photographer. A wonderful affair follows, but John is terrified of losing his social status. As the boys' love blossoms, so grows despair about secrecy or outing consequences.
Steven Carter (Ben Silverstone) is a sixteen-year-old middle-class schoolboy: intelligent and good-looking, but unathletic and introverted. Bullied at school, misunderstood at home, his only confidant is his neighbor and best friend, Linda (Charlotte Brittain). Keeping his sexuality hidden from everyone else, he cruises in public toilets. He is surprised to find the school jock, John Dixon (Brad Gorton) also cruising, but John denies that he is gay.
At a school dance, Steven gains a friend after he comforts Jessica (Stacy Hart), after an argument with a boyfriend, who is also his bully, Kevin (Tim Harris). When he returns home, John follows him and confides about his own sexuality. They decide to start a relationship.
Word around the school spreads about someone being gay in the school, and John fears that Steven has been telling people. In order to maintain his status in the school, John beats up Steven in front of his friends. Steven announces in front of assembly that he is gay, and looks to John for support, but he does not. In the end, John apologizes for beating him up and says he loves him, but as he is too afraid to come out, Steven breaks up with him, wishing him happiness.
- Ben Silverstone as Steven Carter
- Brad Gorton as John Dixon
- Charlotte Brittain as Linda
- Jacquetta May as Steven's Mother
- David Lumsden as Steven's Father
- Richard Hawley as English Teacher
- Martin Milman as Headmaster
- Stacy Hart as Jessica
- Kate McEnery as Wendy
- Patrick Nielsen as Mark
- Tim Harris as Kevin
- James D. White as Dave
- James Perkins as Young Steve
- Nicholas Hunter as Young Mark
- Steven Mason as Cruising Man
- Morgan Jones as Linda's Brother
- Ian Brimble as John's Father
- Judy Buxton as John's Mother
- David Elliot as Glen
- Charlotte Hanson as Glen's Wife
- Louise J. Taylor as Christina Lindmann
- Steven Elder as Bob the Driving Instructor
- Leonie Thomas as Aunt at Wedding
- David Paul West as Bridegroom
- Andy Rashleigh as Policeman
The film was well received by many critics, and subsequently nominated for eight awards, and won six, including the British Independent Film Award 1998.
In the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Paula Nechak praised the film for allowing the characters to be themselves rather than change to fit in, and praises the treatment of the 'jock' character John as being just as bound by the school popularity game as Steven.
Roger Ebert commented "Certainly this film has deeper values than the mainstream teenage comedies that retail aggressive materialism, soft-core sex and shallow ideas about "popularity." Steven Holden from The New York Times wrote "The movie captures the excruciating paranoia of a situation in which there’s nowhere the lovers can be alone except in each other’s homes on the rare occasions their parents are out."
In the Daily Record, Siobhan Synnot criticised the film as being like a "preachy episode of Grange Hill with cardboard cut-out characters" and also criticised the John character for being unbelievable, describing him as "simply a bland fantasy hunk. It's hard to see how this dim bulb is bright enough for Oxford, because all the smart lines go to his smart-alec boyfriend."
- Nechak, Paula (11 June 1999). "Non-judgmental 'Get Real' gracefully allows its diverse characters to 'be'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Alexander Ryll (2014). "Essential Gay Themed Films To Watch, Get Real". Gay Essential. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Synnot, Siobhan (14 May 1999). "Gay stereotypes should stay firmly in the closet". Daily Record. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
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