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by Peter Sobczynski

"Accessory To Popularity"
3 stars

G.B.F." is a teen-oriented comedy that clearly wants to follow in the well-shod footsteps as such popular high school satires as "Heathers" and "Mean Girls"--it even goes so far as to giving the latter an explicit shout-out early on in the proceedings. Despite a promising premise and a game cast, it never quite manages to hit those admittedly lofty heights, though it comes closer to hitting that mark than most recent films of its ilk.

As the story opens gay high schooler Tanner (Michael J. Willet) is accidentally outed by barely-closeted best friend Brent (Paul Iacano). Naturally, Tanner assumes that his life will now become a living hell but instead finds himself in the center of a war between three most popular girls on campus--drama queen Caprice (Xosha Roquemore), nasty blonde Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse) and Mormon goody-goody 'Shley (Andrea Bowen)--who covet him as the must-have fashion accessory of the season for any stylish young lass, the gay best friend. In news that will surely come as a shock to anyone who has never seen a teen film before, Tanner lets his newfound popularity go to his head and abandons his former pals while the insanely jealous Brent plots his revenge.

The idea behind "G.B.F." is undeniably intriguing and there are some moments here and there where it comes close to living up to its satirical premise--mostly in the scenes involving Megan Mullally as Brent's overly supportive mother. However, there are too many instances in George Northy's screenplay where he seems more interested in trying to make "fetch" happen via invented slanguage than in moving the story along or in reaching the levels of outrage that it is clearly straining to achieve. Likewise, director Darren Stein's direction also has a been there/done that feeling to it, largely because he has already done the teen satire thing before in the much funnier "Jawbreaker," right down to the "Carrie"-inspired prom climax. The cast is attractive and amusing enough throughout but most viewers will find themselves wishing that they had been given stronger material to work with.

Still, "G.B.F." is more or less watchable throughout, inspires a few laughs here and there and may well strike at least a minor chord amongst LGBT teens longing for a movie in which characters representing them are placed front and center for a change. I can even see it maybe one day becoming a regular feature at sleepovers a la its predecessors, even if it does turn out to be the one that inspires the most nodding off amongst the participants.

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originally posted: 01/18/14 04:10:46
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/12/18 nobuo810 I was really excited for this movie, but it’s missing something... 3 stars
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  17-Jan-2014 (R)
  DVD: 11-Feb-2014



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