×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film Review: ‘GBF’

A genially cartoonish but rather sweet comedy that remixes 'Clueless,' 'Mean Girls' and 'Pretty in Pink' from a gay male teenage p.o.v.

With:
Michael J. Willet, Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Xosha Roquemore, Molly Tarlov, Evanna Lynch, Joanna "JoJo" Levesque, Derek Mio, Mia Rose Frampton, Taylor Frey, Anthony Garland, Horatio Sanz, Jonathan Silverman, Rebecca Gayheart, Natasha Lyonne, Megan Mullally.

“Clueless,” “Mean Girls” and “Pretty in Pink” get remixed — albeit from a gay male teenage p.o.v. — in “GBF,” a comedy from “Jawbreaker” director Darren Stein and first-time scenarist George Northy. The titular acronym stands for “gay best friend,” apparently the trendiest personal accessory sought by the furiously competitive prom-queen candidates at an upscale suburban high school. Genially cartoonish but also rather sweet, this fun genre spin has decent niche prospects in all formats.

The three “queen be-atches” who rule North Gateway High are drama-class diva Caprice (Xosha Roquemore), Mormon priss princess ‘Shley (Andrea Bowen) and supreme blonde-ambition exemplar Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse). Locked in a dead heat for prom queen, they are looking for any personal edge. And according to the latest pop-culture blather, that edge would be a suitably worshipful, fabulous gay BFF. Alas, no one in the entire school has as yet come out.

Brent Van Camp (Paul Iacono), practically aflame with stereotypical swishiness, considers this his opportunity to launch himself as the instantly infamous pet of the school’s most fabulous femmes. Unfortunately, he first persuades more reticent best friend Tanner (Michael J. Willett) to download a “guydar” app that leads North High’s most gay-sidekick-covetous girls straight to Tanner’s mortified mug.

As a result, the divas vie for his gay arm candy (giving him a considerable fashion makeover in the process), while he has a major falling out with the jealous Brent. Further complications include anti-gay campaigning by an evangelical student; Tanner fending off overtures from ‘Shley’s closeted “boyfriend”; and the less effectively closeted Brent’s fending off his mother (a hilarious Megan Mullally), aggressively attempting to be the most supportive parent of a gay kid ever. Things culminate in a “Carrie”-parodying prom sequence and charming wrap-up.

Like “Clueless,” “GBF” makes up some amusing teenage slang. The performances are entirely adept, with the endearingly farcical Willett and Roquemore’s drop-dead line deliveries particularly sharp. Tech/design elements are likewise expert, and for once the blooper scenes under the closing credits are actually pretty funny.

Film Review: 'GBF'

Reviewed at Frameline, San Francisco, June 30, 2013. (Also in Tribeca Film Festival; Outfest.) Running time: 94 MIN.

Production: A School Pictures, Parting Shots Media and Logolite Entertainmnent presentation in association with Steak Haus Prods. Produced by Stephen Israel, Richard Bever, Darren Stein, George Northy. Executive producer, Jennifer Levine. Co-producers, Kate Romero, Chris Sepulveda, Michael Anderson, Theodore S. Gildred III, Patrick Loftus-Hill, Charlie Finnegan, Michelle Pollino, Matt Spain, Dominic Ottersbach.

Crew: Directed by Darren Stein. Screenplay, George Northy. Camera (color, HD), Jonathan Hall; editor, Philip J. Bartell; music, Brian H. Kim; music supervisors, Dan Arriaga, Evan Stein; production designer, Michael Fitzgerald; art director, Jacob Gillman; set decorator, Siobhan O'Brien; costume designer, Kit Scarbo; sound, Rudy Zasloff; sound designer/re-recording mixer, Joe Milner; assistant director, Christopher DeBenedetto; casting, Katie Piel, Elizabeth Shoai.

With: Michael J. Willet, Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Xosha Roquemore, Molly Tarlov, Evanna Lynch, Joanna "JoJo" Levesque, Derek Mio, Mia Rose Frampton, Taylor Frey, Anthony Garland, Horatio Sanz, Jonathan Silverman, Rebecca Gayheart, Natasha Lyonne, Megan Mullally.

More Film

  • wanda Movie Metropolis Qingdao

    Why Simon West is Making Movies in China (EXCLUSIVE)

    British director Simon West (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Con Air,” “The Expendables 2”) is set to further into the Middle Kingdom at the helm of his second Chinese action-adventure blockbuster. The Wanda-backed “The Legend Hunters,” hits theaters next summer. West was brought onto the project by veteran producer Eryong, who had approached him about a [...]

  • The Eight Hundred

    History Rethink Group Key to 'Eight Hundred' Shanghai Cancellation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chinese authorities may have abruptly yanked Huayi Brothers’ $80 million patriotic war epic “The Eight Hundred” the day before its debut as the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival’s opening film because it didn’t portray rivals of the ruling Communist Party in a sufficiently negative light, local reports said. Huayi on Friday attributed the cancellation of its [...]

  • Simon West

    Simon West Directing Chinese Tomb-Raid Movie “Legend Hunters’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    The British director Simon West, who made Angelina Jolie-starring “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” is now co-directing a Chinese tomb-raiding film. “The Legend Hunters” is the next instalment in the “Mojin” universe based on the popular fantasy novel series “Ghost Blows Out the Light.” Backed by Wanda Pictures and Beijing-based Saints Entertainment, the film is set [...]

  • Emu Runner

    Sydney Film Review: 'Emu Runner'

    Writer-director Imogen Thomas’ debut feature “Emu Runner” has and probably will play in designated family-themed strands of film festivals, and given its story of a 9-year-old Aboriginal girl who deals with grief in the wake of her mother’s death by bonding with a lone female representative of Australia’s largest native bird species, this programming strategy [...]

  • Sophia Antipolis

    Locarno in Los Angeles Film Review: 'Sophia Antipolis'

    There are two Sophias in French director Virgil Vernier’s clever, cunning, chilling fifth feature. The first is its setting, the eponymous “Sophia Antipolis,” a technology park in the south of France, a place self-consciously designed as an experiment in social engineering, where an international community of professionals would, it was hoped, create an environment of [...]

  • I Lost My Body

    Netflix Pickup ‘I Lost My Body,’ ‘Buñuel,’ ‘Away’ Top Annecy Festival

    ANNECY, France  — Fulfilling expectations, Jeremy Clapin’s “I Lost My Body, the subject of one of the highest-profile Netflix deals at this year’s Cannes, won this Saturday the Annecy Festival’s top Cristal Award of best feature plus, in a relatively rare Annecy double whammy, the festival’s Audience Award. The first was expected, the second a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content