G.B.F. review: high school sucks

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G.B.F. green light

Sharp satire cutting through the sweet silliness makes this a refreshing change of pace for teen comedies.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

In a school where the three reigning popular girls — each hoping to become prom queen — are like “warlords” operating under an uneasy truce, the latest, hippest weapon for dominance is the G.B.F.: the gay best friend. Problem is, North Gate High doesn’t have any “’mo’s”… or does it? When geeky Tanner (Michael J. Willett), who’s not very fabulous (he’s into comic books) is accidentally outed, he becomes a pawn in the games of Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse), ’Shley (Andrea Bowen), and Caprice (Xosha Roquemore: Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire). (Harry Potter’s Evanna Lynch, aka Luna Lovegood, appears here too.) Will he tolerate being a fashion accessory for the sake of popularity? Writer George Northy and director Darren Stein aren’t afraid to go for broad farce here, and it’s the sharp satire cutting through the sweet silliness that makes this a refreshing change of pace for teen comedies. The oppression of peer pressure — including the kind that involves religious cliquery — earns a well-deserved thump, as do the diminishing stereotypes that reduce wonderfully weird, idiosyncratic individuals to less than they deserve to be seen as. G.B.F. probably doesn’t have anything new to say to anyone who’s finished high school, but almost anyone still stuck there may find succor and amusement here.

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Sat, Jan 18, 2014 1:46pm

Probably unique among teen comedies in that it isn’t about the boy getting the girl. :-)

Alexis Goitia
Alexis Goitia
reply to  RogerBW
Fri, Apr 11, 2014 6:50am

I love how it wasn’t even about the boy getting the boy, it was about real people living through real (Though somewhat contrived) situations.

I get Tanner, I really do, I was outed in my first year of high-school (Though my outing involved a make out session in the backyard rather than a phone app, that’s the 2010’s for you, I guess), and I became sort of a sought-after GBF myself, Angie and Dulce were my Faucett and Caprice (No Mormon princess for me, I’m afraid), and sadly I have to admit I got into it and ditched good friends for something that didn’t really matter (Their dumb clique wars).

I even had this really close gay friend and our resolution was basically the same as Tanner and Brent’s despite a lot of confusing moments.

In the end I did make the right choice, and while I keep friends from my time as the GBF (Because nobody in this world is a Regina George, we all have good and bad in us) I prefer to stick with my videogame-loving, comic-book-reading, kind of socially-awkward crew for the most part, where I can be myself and not a handbag pomeranian.

I guess that’s the reason this movie speaks so much to me, it’s a fancier (And funnier) version of my high-school experience.