Get Real


Directed by: Simon Shore
Written by:Patrick Wilde
Starring: Ben Silverstone, Brad Gorton, Charlotte Brittain, Stacy Hart, Kate McEnery
Released: March 16, 2000
Grade: A-

Steven Carter (Silverstone) is 16, at school and gay.  No one knows but his next-door neighbour and best friend Linda (Brittain) but he dreams of falling in love and meeting the right man.  In keeping his secret hidden, the only way he can meet guys is by hanging out at the local park toilets, a renowned spot where homosexual men hang out.

Imagine his surprise when one afternoon after school he meets school jock John Dixon (Gorton), whom he’s had a crush on for years but never dreamed he was gay.  And so the life of Steven Carter is about to become a little complicated...

Things go well at first and they hit it off but it soon becomes difficult to keep their relationship out of the public eye.  Why would one of the least popular kids and school suddenly become best friends with one of the most popular?  How can they find the time to see each other without their parents suspecting anything?  Threatened with exposure, do they have the guts to “come out”?

Get Real is based on Patrick Wilde’s play What’s Wrong With Andy? who adapted it for the screen and is directed by British TV director Simon Shore.  It’s a fabulous adaptation and an impressive feature of the film is that it captures all the awkward dialogue perfectly.  This is not some American teen flick where every line looks like it’s been rehearsed for hours.  It has a real and honest feel, a characteristic that English filmmakers always seem to capture.

It’s a mixture of comedy of drama with unexpected scene stealing lines from Silverstone and Brittain.  It keeps the pace steady and doesn’t give too much away.  Sure the ending is Hollywood-like but given the aura of the film, it couldn’t have ended more appropriately - it has a message.

Ben Silverstone burst on to the scene in 1994 in one of my favourite films, Mike Figgis’ The Browning Version.  This is his first major role since then and gives an extraordinary performance as Steven Carter and fills the role with brilliant expressions and reactions.  Charlotte Brittain steals all the great dialect and is hilarious as Linda whilst Brad Gorton has the toughest role as John Dixon and has the steadying influence over the film.

Get Real has been a big hit at film festivals around the world and made the top 10 of the audience’s vote at both the Brisbane and Sydney International Film Festivals in 1999.  Touching, funny and poignant, Get Real is a real people’s favourite.