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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 31.34%
Average: 2.99%
Pretty Bad: 20.9%
Total Crap: 0%

5 reviews, 37 user ratings

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Get Real
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by Thom

"It says all the right things in a generally predictable way"
4 stars

Steven Carter - suburban queer pioneer, manages to start his non-high-school life with a bit of wisdom and a coming out story.

Get Real tells the story of Steven Carter and his relationship with John Dixon in an English suburban high school.

Steven (Ben Silverstone), meets John (Brad Gorton), in a toilet in a park near their neighborhood quite unexpectedly. Steven knows he is gay, John is trying to not know but, as you would expect, it is too obvious to him that he does like other boys.
This is the start of a relationship that thrusts John deeper in the closet, and frees Steven from his.

Because John is a popular jock, their relationship must remain secret and Steven is not even allowed to say hello to John at school. Steven does, however, tell his best friend, next door neighbor and confidant, Linda, (Charlotte Brittain) who acts as his moral guide and co-conspirator. She's the "fag hag" who doesn't just play a supporting role but is also given a moment of vindication against the type of insecurely masculine (macho) male that not only harasses queers but preys on women.

Thats the basic plot. The movie covers a much wider scope of just about every gay issue or gay teen issue there is. Dealing with homophobia, both subtle and overtly hostile. Dealing with one's own sexuality. Dealing with the closet. Coming out. Staying in. Parents, friends, neighbors. Needing freedom, needing security.

The plot moves along rather predictably once the basic premise of the tension between private/public sexuality is set up. Steven is the one who is "questionable". Steven takes the fall and then takes the stand. John gets to express his sexuality in private and finds real love but can't betray his heterosexual image. Its hard to not sympathize with John, though. You can see the years of a different kind of struggle he will have to endure by trying to live a double life.

There is a scene in the beginning that illustrates the logical and somewhat tragic end to this kind of double living when Steven runs into one his tricks at his father's photography studio and discovers that he is married and has just fathered a child. The family portrait said it all. Gay man, trapped in a life that is not his, forever living a lie, forever living in misery and having to sneak around to get what he can have quite openly in a different context. This kind of dishonesty affects the whole family and the way the director put the trick in shadows and sat him at least 6 inches from the wife shows the seperation and darkness and bitterness in that moment. Steven is shocked. This is one of the scenes that move Steven farther away from the closet. He wants to be happy. As happy as he can be and be who he is. Later in the film, you see John headed more or less towards the life of that trick. Its hard to say what will happen to John in the fictional time after the movie ends. The audience, I'm sure, some of whom may have known John, or met him for the first time in this film will have different opinions about this.

The characters in "Get Real" are more archetypal than stereotypical. They represent universal characters in a universal drama. This has led some critics to claim it is too sentimental or too much like an after-school special. It is intended to instruct the heart as well as the head and it does rely on some tried and true rhetorical devices, but at its core "Get Real" is part of the story of many, many gay lives. Get Real is almost a myth in the classical tradition of the Myth. Part of the story is the story, the other part of the story is what the audience gets from what it doesn't say, what it only suggest or the situations it presents that are not resolved in the film but need to be resolved by the listener.

The story is a true one. True as in it is truthful. Get Real is well acted, subtle and complex. It may not hit you right away but given some time, the movie will sink to its proper level and unfold its many dimensions to the attentive viewer.

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originally posted: 05/29/99 06:31:40
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User Comments

2/15/07 dandz nice cinematography, great chemistry between ben and brad, i love everything in it! 5 stars
2/27/05 Miriam Bravo this movie is awesome, cannot stop watching it. Brad Gorton is Sex on Legs 5 stars
2/22/05 Captain Craig A really tastful, heartwarming gay themed move..all too true 5 stars
10/03/04 Daveman Sentimantally glosses over the issues that is so earnestly raises. 2 stars
9/05/04 DM How the fuck did this get an R? 4 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt An excellent, touching, funny coming of age film! 5 stars
3/17/04 Brody Amazingly True 5 stars
1/05/04 cwlg420 Great! Sweet and powerful... 5 stars
1/18/02 Tomper non-gay here,was this real??sex-addiction or true love??more on relationship w/o sex for me 2 stars
9/29/01 hugo peralta I think its justly the best picture about the topic 4 stars
8/27/01 katie Thoroughly enjoyed it! Funny yet serious. 5 stars
12/05/00 Boy In The Desinger Bubble Bought the DVD and found the movie entertaining! 4 stars
11/27/00 Pete The *BEST* gay film out there 5 stars
9/17/00 fernando not better than "Beautiful thing", but a great film anyway 4 stars
8/17/00 neil bartlett only the brits make great gay themed movies 5 stars
8/01/00 William Burton I would have liked this movie better, if it concentrated on John rather than Steven. 3 stars
5/04/00 ry A true romance story with some upredictable twists... the comedy keeps you on your feet. 5 stars
5/01/00 Nuthouse N Poignant and remarkable. Stays with you for days. 5 stars
4/26/00 Robert L. Griffith Awakened long-dormant feelings of adolescence. Absolutely wonderful! 5 stars
4/25/00 Jorge Herrera It's a really good picture, a new view into gay issues. Definitively Fucking Awesome. 5 stars
4/21/00 HllywdChk Highly recommended! 5 stars
4/02/00 Tera Great movie, just as good as beautiful thing and funnier 5 stars
3/17/00 Glenn DiDomenico Fantastic/ Ben Silverstone was wonderful & lovely 5 stars
3/14/00 brentley A good movie for straight people to watch to see what it's like to grow up gay. 5 stars
3/10/00 Chad This movie portrays a lifestyle often misunderstood. I really liked it! Two thumbs up! 5 stars
10/11/99 Laura Albrittton I loved this movie! 5 stars
9/21/99 Tedd A. This movie is truly touching and has such an authentic feel to it. Wonderful. Ben was great 5 stars
7/19/99 Greg Ben is a gem. 5 stars
7/05/99 ivan Wonderful! A+ 5 stars
6/15/99 Tom Funny and truly moving, with terrific acting. Everything a good movie should be. 5 stars
6/13/99 Duane This movie is the next Beatiful Thing. I have seen it 6 Times 5 stars
6/03/99 brentley Very funny movie. The entire theater was roaring with laughter throughout the movie. 4 stars
6/03/99 Heather Sensitive, uncontrived, funny movie 4 stars
5/29/99 Joe very funny, very moving, very real 4 stars
5/28/99 Aaron Plot and dialogue sometimes predictible and unrealistic, but worth seeing nonetheless. 4 stars
5/27/99 darren A decent film that had potential to be so much more... 4 stars
5/10/99 Mr Showbiz The meesage is important; this after-school-special-like film isn't. 3 stars
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  30-Apr-1999 (R)


  24-Feb-2000 (M)

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