G.B.F (2013)

9:06 PM

G.B.F stands for 'gay best friend'. It's the latest effort from Darren Stein, most well-known (and I use that term loosely) for his 1999 film Jawbreaker. Just like JawbreakerG.B.F accesses the scummy underworld of vapid popularity-hungry girls, only this time they're trying to nab the hottest new accessory; a gay best friend. Because oh-em-gee, a bonafide GBF is just about as hot as discussing Season 2 of The OC over MSN messenger! Sorry...how outdated was that reference? Probably just about as outdated as every single reference in G.B.F. I'm not going to beat around the bush on this one. If you're in the mood for student-film vibes and characters who speak with all the glorious trepidation of a Lizzie McGuire episode, you should definitely check out G.B.F. If you want to hold onto your integrity, maybe give this one a miss. 

The plot revolves around Tanner and Brent, two best friends trapped in the celluloid closet, and the three queen bees of their high school; the artsy Caprice, the annoyingly virtuous 'Shley, and Fawcett (I'm sure you can guess her distinguishing quality). Brent plans to come out and subsequently hit the popularity jackpot where Tanner is happy to fly under the radar. But when Tanner is accidentally 'outed', he's immediately closed in on by Caprice, 'Shley, and Fawcett. It takes a few makeover montages for the ditz squad to mould Tanner to their stereotypical expectations of a GBF, but in a Cady vs. the Plastics manner, he eventually starts to warm to his new role. Meanwhile, Tanner is at odds with Brent, who still craves the gay spotlight. 

"Fugs, "so five minutes ago", and "incredsies". This is a tiny sample of the Zoey 101 level of dialogue G.B.F is plagued with. Example: "You can count me out...or in I guess". Throw in school-sanctioned Gossip Girl-esque tabloids and the hilariously pointless O-M-G Club, and you've reached Disney channel nirvana. And In one particularly uninspiring moment, all the High Schoolers dreamily sway at prom to Spandau Ballet's "True", which only confirms my suspicion that this movie is always either 8 years or 30 years behind with its references. One redeemable quality however, is the talents of Michael J. Willet, playing the lead role of Tanner. I'll never look forward to another Darren Stein film, but I have hope for Willet, who manages to establish his talent in this showcase of stupidity. The fantastic Megan Mullally also makes G.B.F watchable, but just barely. The rest of the supporting cast ranges from the nothing special to the unadulterated cringey; the ultimate case in point being JoJo in a starring role. Yes, THAT JoJo. The popular-in-2004 singer who hasn't been relevant since Aquamarine (2006), a movie which I inexcusably watched  upwards of three times at the innocent age of 13. 

But you know what the real tragedy here is? Under all its fake layers of tech-talk and amaze-balls abbrevs, a really great message is being beaten to death. The fetishization of young gay men as accessories is a regrettable trend I've noticed even among my own friends. Unfortunately, Stein is more concerned with coming off as a trendy, an effort which clearly fails miserably. Such horrible execution. If you wanted to meet the younger generation on their level, don't assume they're thick. 

If you're still thinking about watching G.B.F, at least consider any one of these other queer-centric films first. At the very least, they can be a handy après-shitty-film palate cleanser.

Weekend (2011)
Concussion (2013)
Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2013)
Les amours imaginaires (2011)
Paris is Burning (1990)
But I'm a Cheerleader (1998)

fuck...watch an episode of Glee even. It'll be better than G.B.F, and that's saying a lot. 

My rating: 3.5 cats out of 10

G.B.F (2013)
Dir. Darren Stein
Starring Michael J. Willet, Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Xosha Roquemore, Evanna Lynch, Joanna 'JoJo' Levesque, Megan Mullally
92 mins | USA

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