Thursday, June 4, 2015

G.B.F. (2013)

Number Rolled: 54
Movie Name/Year: G.B.F. (2013)
Genre: Indie
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: R (This rating is not supported by Trust-the-Dice)
Production Companies: School Pictures, Parting Shots Media, Logolite Entertainment, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, Steakhaus Productions
Executive Producer: Michael Anderson, Theodore Gildred III, Tom Gorai, Jennifer Levine, Patrick Loftus-Hills, Michelle Pollino, Christopher Sepulveda, David Skinner, Matthew Spain
Director: Darren Stein
Writer: George Northy
Actors: Michael J. Willett, Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Xosha Roquemore, Molly Tarlov, Evanna Lynch, Joanna Levesque, Derek Milo, Mia Rose Frampton, Megan Mullally, Natasha Lyonne, Jonathan Silverman, Rebecca Gayheart, Horatio Sanz, Brock Harris, Anthony Garland, Jessie Ennis, Kevin M. Horton, Richard Strauss, Ann Russo, Dan Godlin, Tatiana Mclane

Selina's Point of View:
Tanner and Brent are best friends. Of the many things they share is the fact that they are both gay and in the closet. Brent has a plan to come out, though. He wants to make a big statement that tells the world who he is and gets him a definite seat with the “in” crowd. Unfortunately for him, Tanner gets outted first.

I added G.B.F. to the blog’s Netflix list because it was suggested by a friend of mine. The last time I hung out with my friend, Mark, he referenced the movie at least four times. I trust Mark’s taste, so it seemed to be the best idea to give this film a shot.

Considering who recommended it to me, I should have realized it would be kind of goofy (not in a bad way). The acting was a touch over-the-top, but high school in general tends to have over-the-top personalities.

After about ten minutes, I became skeptical. It almost veered off into a rough territory, but it reined itself in and turned into a decent movie with a respectable message.

I have one glaring issue and it has nothing to do with anyone involved with the film.

The MPAA straight-up shat on G.B.F.

There is NO reason for this movie to be rated R. The language was well within PG-13 limits, there was no nudity and the minor references to sex were all implied. In fact, the only reason I can see that the MPAA would rate G.B.F. an R is because the main character, and subject, was homosexual. That reasoning is complete bullshit.

I believe this film is a great one for teens that have, or plan to, come out. It acknowledges the difficulties they face in an uplifting way without being preachy and remaining entertaining.

The director, Darren Stein (Jawbreaker, Sparkler, Aviel), posted on Facebook his take on the rating after the film’s release in 2013:

“I always thought of G.B.F. as a PG-13 movie, but we were given an R ‘For Sexual References’ while not having a single F-bomb, hint of nudity or violence in the film. Perhaps the ratings box should more accurately read ‘For Homosexual References’ or ‘Too Many Scenes of Gay Teens Kissing.’ I look forward to a world where queer teens can express their humor and desire in a sweet, fun teen film that doesn't get tagged with a cautionary R.”

Of course, with that R rating, the MPAA robbed this film of its target audience and robbed the target audience of any good they may have gotten from it.

It’s a really subtle kind of homophobia. Fuck the MPAA.

Cat's Point of View:
I hadn’t heard of this movie prior to its selection. Lack of preconceived opinions regarding the plot and cast didn’t prevent a prediction of the general story arc fairly early on, however.

The film seemed to promise to be some sort of amalgam between Can’t Buy Me Love (1987) or Love Don’t Cost a Thing (2003) and Mean Girls (2004). I was pleasantly surprised, however, that it didn’t go all the way to the ‘mean.’

The film was full of cliches and cloying modern teen-speak, though I didn’t feel that it was too over-the-top. It felt like just the right amount of flamboyance to give a veneer of fun over the stronger messages that underpinned the story.

It’s a shame that the MPAA rating of R for this movie will have made it much harder for its target audience to view it.

The messages of substance over superficial, acceptance, and label-shedding were presented in a way that teens today could easily identify with. I had jumped right into watching the movie; so imagine my surprise when I found out the rating! I have seen far more nudity, sexual situations, innuendo, and profanity in countless PG-13 movies.

Titanic (1997) had a nearly fully nude Kate Winslet (Finding Neverland, Contagion, Divergent), a sex scene, and domestic violence in it, for Pete’s sake. It still managed to retain a PG-13 rating. For a movie released so recently, this is rather shocking. The MPAA certainly shoved their heads in the sand over that one.

While the stars of the film were excellent in their roles, I got a real giggle from some of the supporting cast. Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black, American Pie, Blade:Trinity) and Megan Mullally (30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Bee Movie) both had me simultaneously laughing, groaning, and cringing a little.

Overall, I really liked this movie. I hope that, in spite of its ludicrous rating and limited release, it surpasses expectations and has a long, healthy shelf-life.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 57%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3.6/5
Selina's Trust-the-Dice Score – 4/5

Netflix's Prediction for Cat – 3.7/5
Cat's Trust-the-Dice Score – 3.5/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

P.S. There are bloopers during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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