First there was BBF and BFF, but apparently the coolest thing is the GBF-that’s Gay Best Friend to those not in the know. In G.B.F this American Teen comedy looks at the current trend of having a Gay Best Friend as the new fashion accessory but will it be sassy enough to make me enjoy this movie?
Tanner (Michael J. Willett) and his best friend Brent (Paul Iacono) are both closeted gay teenagers. Brent is desperate to come out but Tanner is not ready yet. When Tanner is accidently forced to come out he risks getting beaten up by the school jocks and bullies. His unlikely saviours come in the form of the three most popular girls at school (from rival cliques), who protect Tanner from the bullies as long as he chooses to become one of the girls’ GBF and promote their bid for Prom Queen.
If words like GBF, OMG or any kind of American Teen acronym bring you out in hives, you’re probably thinking you should avoid this at all cost. But G.B.F is actually a surprisingly sweet and likeable movie, albeit one that isn’t in the same league as films such as Mean Girls however much it tries. There isn’t as many snappy one liners or laugh out loud comedy to ensure that kind of status but I like the fact that the gay best friend normally seen in these movies is for once taking centre stage and given more to do then dispense fashion advise. The film lightly examines how Tanner is treated differently when he comes out. One of its main themes is about friendship and how the girls act like Tanner is a possession or a pet rather than a person.
Willett is cute and relatable as the shy Tanner who’s pushed into the limelight when he is thrown out of the closet. I’ve heard some say that Willett plays practically the same role as the one he does in TV series Faking It. But apart from both characters being gay they are actually very different. Whereas Willett’s Faking It character Shane is camp, confident and promiscuous, Tanner is shy, nerdy and more reserved, although grows in confidence as the film progresses.
Its young cast (mostly seen in TV shows like Awkward and Desperate Housewives) gamely bring their all to the comedy. While the film has all the usual teen movie clichés (popular girl, sassy black girl, camp gay friend etc) it tries to bring a little depth to them. For example Sasha Pieterse at first seems to be playing a similar character to Alison in Pretty Little Liars; however her role as Fawcett is given some much needed layers to the popular blond girl cliché.
While it’s not going to be a classic teen movie it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable one.
Rating 3/5 – a fun and endearing movie with a sweet centre