Johnny Bullet
Movie Reviews
Get Real (1998)
By Hervé St-Louis

June 4, 2022 - 13:00

Studios: Arts Council of England, British Screen Productions, Distant Horizon, Graphite Film Production
Writer(s): Patrick Wilde
Starring: Ben Silverstone, Brad Gorton, Charlotte Brittain, Stacy Hart, Kate McEnery, Patrick Nielsen, Tim Harris
Directed by: Simon Shore
Produced by: Stephen Taylor
Running Time: 108 minutes
Release Date: August 1998
Rating: R (Restricted)
Distributors: Paramount Pictures

In Get Real, geeky public school student Steven Carter stumbles upon fellow schoolmate and jock John Dixon at a gay pit stop pick up in a park. The unlikely fellow quickly fall in love, after Dixon finally admits, partially, his homosexuality. The torrid affair between the teens goes on with Carter hiding his sexuality from everyone while being bullied and Dixon imposing rules on how they meet to preserve his jock image and relationship with his own current girlfriend. But quickly, it all comes crashing down as the secrets between the boys create conflicts and threaten to expose them. Can they maintain their secret affair and keep hiding their sexuality?

Get real is the better produced version of Beautiful Thing with a better budget, better set locations, and better cinematography. Like Beautiful Thing, it is also an adaptation from a play. While a good story, I was surprised at some of the hinted material, like Carter (Ben Silverstone) having a lot of experience with older guys at the pick up place in the park. The parents were a bit clueless about the whereabouts of their kids, although the mom did understand what was happening early on. Other parts of the film also felt like plot holes, like when bully Kevin (Tim Harris) stumble upon the boys who are frolicking in a pool. He says nothing even though what is happening is obvious.

I had problems understanding actor Brad Gorton’s English many times. He plays Dixon. It’s odd when one must turn on the subtitles for an English-language film. In a way, it is a good thing, as it probably means that it is an authentic performance. The straight girl best friend was annoying and too aware of everything. While I understand that the unlikely pairing was the point of the story, there was not much chemistry between the characters except for the fact that they dated because no one else was available or should know about their secret. The conclusion of the film felt like one of those empowerment movies with an after school special message. It put me off.

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