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Get real

Threat advisory: Severe - Severe risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

What if you can't avoid sexuality, guilt, peer pressure, lies, bigots, rumours, misunderstanding, parents, teachers, nerds, jocks, romance, loneliness, shame and insecurity? School's out... so is Steven Carter.

Get real follows the fate and fortunes of a group of teenagers as they pick their way through the minefield of adolescence. Sixteen-year-old Steven Carter (Ben Silverstone) is finding it increasingly difficult to reconcile life in high school with the pressure of his parents' aspirations and his own inner state of hormonal overdrive. There's one thing Steven is completely reconciled to, however: he's gay and has known it for years. His only confidante in such matters of the heart is Linda (Charlotte Brittain), the girl next door, currently on her 48th driving lesson in the hopes of one day getting her way with driving instructor Bob.

While Steven spends his life at home telling his parents what they want to hear, school is the setting for romance and intrigue. Steven's best friend Mark (Patrick Nielsen) is trying to win the attention of Wendy (Kate McEnery), the feisty new editor of the school magazine. Meanwhile, Wendy's best friend Jessica (Stacy Hart) is trying to avoid the attention of her ex-boyfriend Kevin (Tim Harris). She's still wounded by their recent break-up, and when Steven offers a sympathetic shoulder, she takes it as a promise of more to come.

The centre of attention for the entire student body is John Dixon (Brad Gorton), sporting superstar, academic achiever and all-round dreamboat. John's life comes complete with an assured place at his father's old Oxford College and the enviable accessory of local "supermodel" Christina Lindmann. Such accomplishments make him the idol of one half of the school and an object of desire for the other half - including Steven.

Steven's fortunes take an unexpected turn when he discovers that his feelings for John are returned. But while Steven wants to shout their love from the rooftops, John insists on keeping it firmly in the closet.

At the school commencement ceremony, where John is to be honoured for his sporting prowess and Steven is to receive an award for his essay on Growing up as we approach the new millennium the time for intrigue and evasion comes abruptly to an end. It's time to get real, and Steven becomes the conscience of them all.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Get real image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film drama gay teen high school romance love comedy UK homosexual boyfriend

Persons of interest

  • Ben Silverstone .... Steven Carter
  • Charlotte Brittain .... Linda
  • Patrick Nielsen .... Mark
  • Kate McEnery .... Wendy
  • Stacy Hart .... Jessica
  • Tim Harris .... Kevin
  • Brad Gorton .... John Dixon
  • 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 .... the English teacher
  • Patrick Wilde .... Playwright: What's wrong with angry?
  • Patrick Wilde .... Screenwriter
  • Simon Shore .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Yowza. Not since Beautiful thing has there been a (gay) teen romance worth mentioning. This is not surprising since it is mostly Hollywood that makes teen romances and, well, you know what Hollywood is like.

Fortunately, Get real is an English flick so even in its brightest moments it never forgets the dark underbelly of society. Joy walks hand in hand with pain. Love is an extension of furtive lust in a public toilet. Honesty is pain, lies are happiness. And the irony, ah, the irony!

Not to mention Steven's quick-bitch wit, the hallmark of the scene queen. That is, if Basingstoke had a scene.

Anyhoo, Get real has more than a touch of the Romeo and Juliets about it with tragedy lurking around every corner. The two lovers who are perfect for each other are fighting a war between themselves and against the outside world which wants nothing more than to see them dead. It's a harsh and painful lesson for anyone who hasn't experienced this sort of thing before. That's a cool lesson for parents and teenagers alike. Actually, Get real would make a good anti-homophobia resource for schools: the fear, the dangers, the loves and the pains of growing up gay are all there to behold, revealed in a clear and honest manner. That's more than can be said for the pro-homophobic propaganda that fills the media.

Ben Silverstone has a whacking good time as Steven; you can see that he's having a ball playing this complicated in/out character. He's also got that cute little boy look that makes people assume that he's a nice boy (which he is) and that makes his character even more sympathetic for the viewer. Brad Gorton is just right for the uptight, confused, over-achieving school spunk. He's got a really sexy look without losing any sense of reality. He looks like a human being, not a supermodel. He also acts from the gut: the scene where he seduces Steven is intense!

Occasionally there is a bit of theatre dialogue that sneaks into the script (especially a couple of monologues) but these indiscretions can be over-looked given the other aspects that do so well (ie actors, performances, locations, etc.)

But the best part of Get real is the unhappy ending. All the way through the film you just want to grab John Dixon and shake some sense into him. Any idiot can see that Steven is the perfect guy for him but he's too scared of coming out to let himself be with the man he loves (it is love, if you've never seen it on-screen before, you will now). You will be filled with all Steven's love and anger for John, and you'll agree with him when he decides to leave John hiding in the closet in search of someone who isn't afraid to love him, even though it hurts like hell.

Get real, get Get real.

Security censorship classification

M (Adolescent themes, sexual references, medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

110 minutes (1:50 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 21 June 2000

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