It’s quite rare that a foreign gay-themed indie film gets to have a regular screening in local cinemas (outside of film festival events). And whenever one appears, I try to catch it because the local gay indie movie industry is such a huge disappointment. Foreign gay films that I’ve managed to see in local cinemas include Boy Culture, Adam & Steve, and Gay Sex in the 70s. Now I’m adding Geography Club to that list.
Based on Brent Hartinger’s critically-acclaimed novel of the same title, Geography Club is a coming-of-age high school comedy film about a group of closeted gay and lesbian teens who form an after-school-hours “Geography Club” as a support group and to share experiences. They figure that nobody would mind since geography is a boring subject. But of course, things don’t turn out as they planned.
The film’s protagonist is Russell (Cameron Deane Stewart), a fairly attractive and smart guy who’s unsure of his sexuality. He is chased by girls but eventually found himself when he entered into a secret relationship with the school’s quarterback, Kevin (Justin Deeley). Unfortunately, Kevin tries to keep everything on the down-low as he aims for a college football scholarship. Russell struggles with his problems and finds solace in the aforementioned Geography Club.
The film tackles themes of coming out, bullying, peer pressure, and social acceptance. While those seem like heavy topics, the film actually is pretty light and explores the idea that being gay is becoming not a big deal anymore. I also liked how the movie tackled bullying by presenting one of the films most moving characters, Brian, portrayed wonderfully by Teo Olivares. I actually found the film quite refreshing, although I was a bit surprised at the movie’s abrupt ending. I’ve read reviews saying that while the movie is OK, the book is even better. So I’m looking forward to reading it (if I can find it).
Anyway, what I really loved about this film were the very tender kissing scenes between Russell and Kevin. While there are no bed scenes or anything of that sort, seeing two good-looking guys sharing intimate kisses made watching the movie worth my while.