As nice as it is to see a gay-interest film that isn't completely about sex, it's a pity that "Get Real" doesn't quite live up to its title.
That's not to say this British drama, based on Patrick Wilde's acclaimed stage play "What's Wrong With Angry?" is completely divorced from reality. But at times it falls prey to cliched characterizations and incredibly contrived plotting, so that it feels like a soap opera.
Also, at 110 minutes, it feels much too long.
That said, it is a very well-acted piece, one that is certainly leaps and bounds better than other recent films with similar subject matter.
Of course, it helps to have an appealing cast, which includes newcomer Ben Silverstone. He stars as Steven Carter, a 16-year-old private school student with a problem. Namely, he's gay. And worse, he's afraid to tell anyone about it except his best friend, Linda (Charlotte Brittain), who has love troubles of her own.
To his surprise, he discovers another student having problems expressing his sexuality, class stud John Dixon (Brad Gorton), who eventually returns his affections but only when the two are alone.
In fact, at school John virtually ignores his outcast fellow student, who is dying to tell anyone about their illicit activities. Except his parents (David Lumsden and Jacquetta May), who are becoming concerned about their increasingly introverted son.
Will Steven finally come out to his parents? Will John finally come clean about his relationship with Steven? Will Linda run off with her driving instructor? First-time filmmaker Simon Shore and Wilde (who adapted his play for the screen) throw in more than a couple of surprises though some of them strain the movie's credibility.
Fortunately, Silverstone makes a very believable confused teen, as does Gorton. And though her character is a walking stereotype (the overweight best friend of a gay teen), Brittain nearly steals the show from them both.
"Get Real" is rated R for profanity, use of vulgar slang terms and some sex talk, violence (a couple of scuffles) and brief male nudity.