“Rated R for sexual references” is the typically tone-deaf ruling from the MPAA flywheels on Darren Stein’s comedy G.B.F., a film that has far fewer sexual references than the similarly themed Easy A.
But while the PG-13 Easy A was about a straight teenage girl whose social status drops when she’s falsely accused of losing her virginity, G.B.F.‘s protagonist, Tanner (Michael J. Willett), is a closeted teenage boy whose social status rises when he’s accurately outed as gay, reluctantly becoming arm candy for the popular girls to avoid getting bullied by the jocks.
For an R-rated movie, there’s no sex, nudity, or violence, and the only F-bomb is the contextually appropriate “faggot,” so here’s to hoping lax multiplex security allows teenagers to sneak in to this very funny and thoughtful take on how straights often objectify queers — and how increased visibility in the media can result in an expectation to conform to stereotypes. (“You don’t sound like the ones on Bravo! Say the word ‘fierce.'”)
The young cast holds their own, though Megan Mullally as Tanner’s best friend’s mother steals all her scenes; many of her improvisations are shunted to the end-credit blooper reel, and in a perfect world, one of the eventual Blu-ray extras would be Mullally’s full commentary on Brokeback Mountain. And it would be unrated.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 22, 2014