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Get Real (1998) directed by Simon Shore

A tenderly romantic coming-of-age story as two boys in a British school fall in love.

Director: Simon Shore

Writers: Patrick Wilde (play), Patrick Wilde (screenplay)

Release Date: August 1998 (Edinburgh Film Festival, UK)
12 September 1998 (Toronto International Film Festival, Canada)
April 1999 (Turin International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Italy)
20 May 1999 (Boston Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, USA)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport

Storyline: Get Real begins with a couple of hedgehogs having sex, and deals with a topic just as prickly: gay love in adolescence. Steve (Ben Silverstone) is a student at a British school where everyone wears classy uniforms, knows he's gay, and is pretty comfortable being so. John (Brad Gorton), a top athlete and all-around admired guy, is just getting an inkling and isn't sure how he feels about it. This, cleverly, is how the movie manages to explore coming-out issues and be over them at the same time. In fact, the whole movie is pretty clever--witty dialogue, deft direction, nimble pacing, and clean editing--in exploring the seriousness of adolescent life without taking it too seriously. The key is in Silverstone's performance; he's a completely convincing mixture of hesitation and recklessness, all the conflicts of high school in one sweet-faced package. As the movie follows Steve and John's relationship--their evasions at school, getting picked up by the police in a park, goofing around in a heated swimming pool, grappling with coming out to the world at large--it lays out a bit of contrast with Steve's best friend Linda (Charlotte Brittain), who's as unapologetically fat as Steve is gay, and who's having an affair with her driving instructor. Excellent performances all around, funny, sexy, charming--if only straight teen comedies were half this good. Get Real even demonstrates the proper etiquette when soliciting sex in public restrooms; what more can you ask for? --Bret Fetzer

Awards: 1999 British Independent Film Award Nomination as Best Achievement in Production, British Independent Film Awards
2000 Chlotrudis Award Nomination as Best Actor to Ben Silverstone, Chlotrudis Awards
1998 Audience Award to Simon Shore, Golden Hitchcock Award to Simon Shore, Dinard British Film Festival
1998 Audience Award to Simon Shore, Edinburgh International Film Festival
1999 Emden Film Award to Simon Shore, Emden International Film Festival
1999 Golden Trailer Nomination as Best Trailer - No Budget (Hammer Films), Golden Trailer Awards
1999 Audience Award to Simon Shore, Jury Prize Best European Film to Simon ShoreOurense Independent Film Festival

@Amazon: Get Real (1999)

Cast (in credits order)
Ben Silverstone ... Steven Carter
Brad Gorton ... John Dixon
Charlotte Brittain ... Linda
Stacy Hart ... Jessica (as Stacy A. Hart)
Kate McEnery ... Wendy
Patrick Nielsen ... Mark
Tim Harris ... Kevin
James D. White ... Dave
James Perkins ... Young Steve
Nicholas Hunter ... Young Mark
Jacquetta May ... Steven's Mother
David Lumsden ... Steven's Father
David Elliot ... Glen
Morgan Jones ... Linda's Brother
Richard Hawley ... English Teacher
Steven Mason ... Cruising Man
Charlotte Hanson ... Glen's Wife
Alina Hazeldine ... Crying Baby
Louise J. Taylor ... Christina Lindmann
Steven Elder ... Bob the Driving Instructor
Leonie Thomas ... Aunt at Wedding
David Paul West ... Bridegroom
Andy Rashleigh ... Policeman
Ian Brimble ... John's Father
Judy Buxton ... John's Mother
Dorothy Clark ... Woman Driving Instructor
Amy Redler ... Julie
Martin Milman ... Headmaster
Andy Tungate ... Roger McGregor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Barnes ... Bearded wedding guest (uncredited)
Jack Hughes ... Boy in toilet (uncredited)

Steven & John


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2011 11:19 am (UTC)
This was a very good gay teen story, romantic and not too dramatic. Giving the year, 1998, and the setting, UK, I'm not surprise the movie is not entirely "happily ever after", UK movies tend to be a little more realistic and not really light, but in any case Steven and John share their romantic high school romance and maybe for Steven it will be a nice love story he will sweetly remember when he will be older. On the contrary of many gay teen characters of other movies, at 16 years old Steven is sexually active and even if he is not able to find a boyfriend (living in a little town and being gay is not easy), he cruises the public park and the near woods: not really safe, but for sure a place where he can at least unload a bit of energy. Here he finds John, all-jock-beautiful-bod-wet-dream student at his same high school. Even if John seems older and more mature than Steven, he is instead still in that phase when he doesn't know how to address his sexual urges for his same sex. Steven will help John and at the same time he will realize his high school romance, but it's pretty clear that this cannot be a long-term relationship, at least not until John will be able to admit that what he is feeling for Steven is not a phase. I need to give credit to John though, even if he has not the courage to go public and admit it with everyone else, he has the courage to admit his love for Steven, and that I think is a good thing for Steven, what he will probably remember with fondness in the future.
Mar. 13th, 2011 11:28 am (UTC)
well, i see that you have watched it- we must have posted at the same time! :)
i'm looking forward to seeing this now!
Mar. 13th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
Yes Regina, I saw it, and yes, it has not an "entirely" happily ever after, but it's good the same, Steven will have time to find his right HEA.
Mar. 13th, 2011 11:39 am (UTC)
indeed- it looked quite realistic when i watched the video- i've saved this to my mem's.
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
I own this movie...I picked it up somewhere along the way but I haven't actually watched it.

I'll have to move it up my queue...the British do this type of movie particularly well.
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:22 pm (UTC)
it was unexpectedly romantic, the UK flavor gives realism to the whole, but the romance is not forgotten
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC)
A tenderly romantic... Comedy... Not really. I would say it is a very good movie, but wrongly described. Not that much tenderness or fun. At times it can be pretty upsetting and unnerving to watch. So, if you are looking for something light-hearted just to have a good time, this is not exactly the movie you need. Some bitter aftertaste guaranteed.
Mar. 13th, 2011 12:45 pm (UTC)
Mmm, I'm not sure to completely agree with you, sure, it's not light and funny, but I think it's more romantic than many other gay coming of age movies I have seen. For example, in comparison to Edge of Seventeen, here the gay teenager Steven at least has his high school romance, true, not happily ever after, and with some trouble, but at least he HAS it.
Mar. 13th, 2011 01:12 pm (UTC)
Well, may be we just watched it from slightly different perspectives and I was too much focused on negative things... Like had a bad day or something. :) I'll try to watch it once again.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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