With the entire world now talking and texting in acronyms, G.B.F. the movie, which stands for Gay Best Friend, is totally relevant, fresh and follows a classic list of high school films like “Mean Girls”, “Clueless” and even “The Breakfast Club”. Having just premiered to a sold-out crowd at The Tribeca Film Festival in New York last week, G.B.F. is the story of two closeted gay best friends, Brent and Tanner, who’s high school existence pretty much goes unnoticed, until Brent has an idea that they just need to befriend one of the three popular girls in school, Fawcett, Caprice or Shley and become their G.B.F. At the same time Fawcett, Caprice and Shley realize, after reading a popular teen rag, that what they need is a G.B.F. to solidify their popularity in school. Finally, Soledad is trying to make her mark in school by introducing an LGBTQ organization, but can’t seem to find any gays to join the group. Tanner is perfectly content remaining inconspicuous, however when Brent’s plan goes awry, and Tanner is outed to everyone in the school, he is quickly scooped up by our three fabulous popular girls, to become the object of their next conquest – having a G.B.F.
It would be challenging to pick out a favorite scene in this hilarious, fresh and relevant new film, written by first time writer, George Northy, who has managed to get into the minds of today’s youth culture and give his character’s fun and quick-minded dialogue that you wish you could replay over and over again. However, the initial meeting between Fawcett, Caprice and Shley, with Tanner, is high on the list, when they determine that Tanner isn’t really as ‘gay’ as they’d hope, as Fawcett spews, “You don’t even sound like the gays on Bravo…We can totally gay you over”. What follows is a predictable, yet crowd pleasing scene where the ladies makeover Tanner. Director, Darren Stein, told the Tribeca audience, that he had to tell this story and it was also an homage to many of the high school films over the years. One can see many references to “Clueless”, when Cher makes over the tragically unhip, Tai.
According to Stein, the film was made possible by the Outfest Screenwriting Program, a division of OUTFEST, which is an intensive mentor-led workshop in Los Angeles that helps screenwriters further develop their script through critical advising by established writers.
Stein told the audience that he hoped this would be the one and only time a film would be told where it’s desirable to have a gay best friend, versus just acquiring a friend without labels. However, he’s managed to produce a fast-paced slice of fun, with a very talented ensemble. Delivery of this fresh dialogue required a stellar cast and that’s exactly what this film benefits from, alongside acute writing and precise directing. Picking out one performance in this awesomely assembled cast would be difficult, but both Michael J. Willett, who plays Tanner and Paul Iacono who plays Brent both have the sincerity, and embody the high school angst that many of us have felt. Molly Tarlov, who plays Sophie is also quite adept at playing a confident, yet ‘older than her age’ high schooler. Sasha Pieterse, Xosha Roquemore and Andrea Bowen (Fawcett, Caprice, Shley) embody the ‘mean girl’ spirit, but are completely likable and fabulous at the same time. Finally, Megan Mullally, who plays Brent’s mother, is a true added treat this very fun film. Her awkward mothering, while trying to be hip is nothing short of pure brilliance.
Look out for G.B.F. and hope that it opens soon. For now be sure to Like it on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/GBFmovie Watch the hilarious trailer below: