Edge of Seventeen

Reviewed By Thom
Posted 12/14/99 09:59:35

"Reclaim the gay version of your adolesence"
5 stars (Awesome)

Eric (Chris Stafford) leaps out of the closet with panache. During the summer break before 12th grade, Chris works at a local amusement park and finds out that rollercoasters aren't the only thrill ride. Embarassingly accurate new wave rebellion color this gay coming of age tale.

It makes perfect sense to have a story about rebelling against social expectations set in the mid 1980's during the post-punk "new wave" period that generated so much of the "alternative" music scene and the posturing lollapalooza lifestyle of the 1990's.

Eric meets his first real gay boyfriend and slowly but surely Eric mutates from awkward suburban high-school naif to worldy-wise flamboyant gay male who still has to return to school for that last dreaded year in the fear factory. And he does it to spite everyone who wants to deny his sexuality.

This film gives many gay men what they never had. An adolesence of sexual exploration and validation unless you count the furtive few moments with your decidedly straight friends before 10th grade when everyone got girlfriends and you still quietly ached for your best friends touch.

Well ache no more, homo-boy. Its hard enough to be a grown man when you missed out on all the rituals and conditioning of heterosexuality during those early years. Let this movie take you back into your memory and reclaim your personal gay history.

Okay, so its not all that therapeutic, but what the hell, may as well get more of it than a stiffy.

Along with Eric's coming of age and coming out, he steps into the then subvervise gay underground club scene where all types mixed freely outside of the closed-minded and repressive atmosphere of the suburbs. This is the other side of the Top 40 mall world of America.

As if having a Bronski Beat record wasn't enough of a clue. Hello, Mother, I have something to tell you. Yes, I know you remember it too, doll.

Lea DeLaria, Lesbian comic, plays the mothering dyke with a heart of gold. You know you met her once and she understood all about what you were going through.

Edge of Seventeen is more than a sappy teen romance. Its a sappy teen GAY romance. John Hughes should have done us all a favor and made this movie when I was in high school in the 80's.

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