Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Were the World Mine |
Actors: Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Zelda Williams, Jill Larson
Director: Tom Gustafson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Gay & Lesbian, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Wolfe Video Release Date: 06/09/2009 Run time: 95 minutes
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An inspired romp!
Lankyguy | New York, NY United States | 12/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The premise of Were the World Mine is romantic comedy trope: character A yearns for the love and affection of unattainable character B, then though a series of hi-jinks, true love wins in the end. That is about where the comparison ends as everything else is turned on its ear in Tom Gustafson's big screen adaptation of his own short film Fairies.
The film's tagline, `If you could make someone love you, would you?' Is honestly, unexpectedly answered, "Yeah. Obviously."
The first twist to the romantic comedy trope is that the lead couple is two young men. In the film our put-upon hero Timothy (Tanner Cohen), is cast as Puck in his senior production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. During rehearsal, he happens on the recipe to recreate the flower, here called a pansy in a nice play on words, which Puck uses on Shakespeare's lovers. Timothy/Puck uses the pansy first on his unrequited crush Jonathon (Nathaniel David Becker), then on his classmates, and then the town, allowing everyone to see the world through his eyes. By the end of the film, as in Shakespeare's play, all is peace.
Of course, Timothy is hardly the usual trodden-down gay lead. This is not some Cinderella story with the homely, or even 'Hollywood Ugly' lead forlornly in love with someone quite beyond him; Timothy is a pretty boy himself. The object of his affection, Jonathon is not the typical, unattainable ideal man either. We are shown in subtle ways that he is just as interested in Timothy, as Timothy is in him. Oh, were things only a bit different, eh? Enter the pansy.
This is not an adaptation of Midsummer Night's Dream, but it does have plot points tacked on from that play. Helen Fielding did the same thing tacking on Jane Austen's plot from Pride and Prejudice to the novel Bridget Jones's Diary. Timothy at various points may is Puck, Oberon, Bottom and Helena. Perhaps that is the perfect descriptive combination for a young gay man, part fairy, imp, fool, and unrequited lover.
The musical fantasy sequences are not really fantasy, they are a part of the plot; magic spells that movie the story along.
The music and lyrics are inspired. Shakespeare interpolated and set to music, may hardly be revolutionary, but it is still quite fun and infectious. I find myself listening to the soundtrack repeatedly. Tanner Cohen is wonderful and has a slight sibilant 'S' that is quite endearing.
Tom Gustafson is definitely a director and writer to watch, he spins a fun, engaging yarn with genuine moments of poignancy. Some of the imagery in the film is iconic and arresting. It is hardy without flaws, but the the music and the performances buoy you along over those flaws. Cohen and Becker are especially good. I would not change a frame."
Well Worth Seeing and Listening to
Christina J. Harner | Louisville, Kentucky | 12/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a straight, married 25 year old female, I suppose this is not the typical movie for me. I stumbled upon the music on Napster and, as an author of fantasy books, was intrigued by the cover (a boy wearing an unusual fairy costume). After listening to the soundtrack, I fell in love with it completely. The music is absolutely fantastic, Tanner Cohen's voice is a dream to listen to, and each song plays an important role in the overall movie. I even sing the songs to my 3 year old daughter (who loves the song "were the world mine", minus the "bad word" at the beginning, lol). Because it left the theater in my area the day I found out about the movie so I missed it, I actually drove all the way to New York City from Kentucky just to see this movie with a friend. It was well worth the drive. Even though it's a very simple premise, each moment is fitting and enjoyable. The only two negatives to me were that the tagline "If you could make someone love you, would you?" seemed like a "duh, no!" to me (because then it's not REAL love), but to Timothy it was a yes. I disagreed with that and did not truly enjoy the romance between the two boys until it proved real later on. The other disappointment was by my friend, who at the last scene freaked out on me whispering "You mean, Timothy doesn't sing again????" We just wanted to hear his voice more, he's so amazing!
I am definitely going to buy the DVD (despite the raised eyebrows I will most certainly get from people here!) because the movie was clean, fun, happy and very sweet. I'm sad it left the NY theater, because I might have taken the 13 hour trek again just to see it!"
The New Gay Megahit
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 12/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Were the World Mine"
The New Gay Mega-Hit
By now most of you have heard about the new gay musical movie that is making waves everywhere. It seems that "Were the World Mine" is the movie of this year and from what I hear for years to come. Thomas Gustafson has directed a beautiful modern day and gay version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" replete with great music, beautiful cinematography, a wonderful cast and lots of homoeroticism.
Timothy (Tanner Cohen) is a gay boy who is a student in a private boys' school and he is secretly in love with super rugby jock, Jonathan (Nathaniel David Becker). Both boys are students in Ms. Tebbit's English class and she is a teacher who is determined to excite her students with literature. She decides to cast the two boys as the romantic leads in her summer production of the Shakespeare classic. She does as was done in Shakespearean times when males were cast in even the female roles and this riles the town people as well as the rugby coach. Timothy goes off into his gay fantasies but he can't seem to get the language of Shakespeare right and his teacher tells him to let the words work their magic on him and as he does this, he discovers a magic potion in the script that makes people gay. All it takes is one spritz of the potion to make a person utterly gay. The town where the school is located is populated by Christian fundamentalists and as opening night for the play grows closer, everyone becomes increasingly more nervous. Timothy uses his potion to make most of the town gay but first he begins with the object of his youthful lust, Jonathan. We see as Shakespeare said that "the course of true love never runs smooth".
What makes this film so interesting is that the director is relatively new but somehow everything comes together. Wendy Robie as the English teacher is every gay boy's dream of a high school instructor for one thing. Something else is the wonderful music and thirdly the homophobia we see is amazingly real. Even though there are elements that this is a fantasy, everything comes together. The acting is uniformly excellent and the direction is artful. The music and creative music combine to create a magical quality and the characterization, the plot twists and the story all contribute to the "what if" idea that the film presents. Even though the film is low budget, it exudes high quality. It is stylish and graceful, moving and poignant.
"Were the World Mine" is not a perfect film but it inspires with a wonderful concept with material that could have been quite heavy. It is the cast, above all else, that makes this film so memorable and the music is original and excellent. Even the ending which could use a little more explanation doesn't deter from the overall effect of "WTWM". The film was undoubtedly somewhat of a risk and Tom Gustafson met that risk with great aplomb and is to be commended for giving us a wonderful experience that will not be forgotten quickly. If there is a word that describes the film, it is "personality" of which it has plenty. There is energy galore and it makes a person feel good. I laughed, I was stunned visually and I was moved to tears by this film, The few flaws are overpowered by the creativity and "WTWM" moves gay cinema ahead to a place where it truly deserves to be as of late.
In closing, I just want to say that I am going to knock myself out to try to bring this amazing movie to Eureka Springs where the magic of the town and the magic of the film will come together to give us a movie going experience that I do not think we will ever forget. Stay tuned for updates."
Were the World Mine: A Review.
Dexter Manning / Emulzion.com | 02/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The new film "Were the World Mine" can be categorized a number of different ways. Arthouse movie. Buddy picture. Fantasy. Feel-good picture. Gay flick. High school drama. Morality tale. Musical. Romantic comedy. Satire. Screwball comedy. Teen flick. Theatrical play. But, ultimately, it transcends easy categorization and is best enjoyed on its own terms with an open mind toward the unexpected.
It takes as its inspiration William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," but it also is highly influenced by growing up gay in small-town America. Our embattled protagonist, high-school student Timothy (Tanner Cohen, playing this eager teenaged soul with remarkable sincerity) is constantly ridiculed, rejected by his classmates, criticized by his mother, and leads an isolated existence merely because he's different from everyone else.
He tries out for version of the Bard's play that his school is planning to stage and is cast in the role of Puck. It's an all-boy cast -- the way it would have been done in the time of Shakespeare, as the curiously open-minded theater teacher, Ms. Tebbit (Wendy Robie) points out. But that bears little improvement in Timothy's status as the school outcast. He is left to daydream comically but sadly about what it could be like to be loved, and by whom. And he's left with his comically insatiable crush on the school jock, Jonathon (Nathaniel David Becker).
In the course of preparing for his role, our perpetually love-forsaken hero reads in the play about a strange potion that cajoles people to fall into the most swooning love imaginable. Timothy thinks: How wonderful it could be if I had such a potion, such a magic scent, to make anyone I desire fall in love with me. So, with an innocent deviousness, he follows the recipe so well detailed in the play and, voila, concocts a potion, which he discreetly keeps in a little, old-fashioned perfume bottle that he carries around wherever he goes, its spray tip topped by a flower with lavender petals.
As a test, Timothy first sprays one of his friends who is visiting him in his bedroom, though share an interest in the other. The test passes, to Timothy's dismay; the friend becomes helplessly infatuated with Timothy and, throughout most of the film, he can't help but touch him. Timothy manages to escape his newfound admirer and, in the midst of the rehearsal sprays the object of his affection, Jonathon, instantly making him see Timothy in a whole new, irresistable light. And it doesn't stop there, a spray-happy Timothy eventually turns much of the town not just gay-friendly but just gay, including Coach Driskill (Christian Stolte), the biggest homophobe in the school. His mother's snobbish friend, who routinely snubbed gays, suddenly is overcome with an urgent need to have his mother in bed. His friend prefers Timothy's company over his own girlfriend's. The coach keeps trying to serenade the confounded (and married) school principal. What has happened to people? Confusion begins. Jealousy develops. Love reigns. Especially gay love.
And, it's an exquisite kind of love, as the fantasy expands from a simple lavender liquid in a bottle to take over the entire filmscape with colorful, glittery costumes and sets, like a genie being let out of a bottle to fulfill a much-longed-for wish. The fantasy sequences, like a super-sweet sugar, gradually dissolve the boundaries that limit them to the movie's occasional, and rather catchy musical numbers (the soundtrack is by Jessica Fogle) and become more continually present. The visuals (shot by Kira Kelly with Cory James Krueckeberg's production design) are a sight to behold: quite theatrical, lavish and a bit gaudy, reminiscent of the French photographers Pierre et Gilles, and used to wonderful effect here (especially for a film with such a limited budget).
The actors may appear a little too old to be playing teenagers, but their childlike exuberance and general goofiness help make up for that in this decidedly unusual and uninhibited movie directed by Tom Gustafson, who co-wrote the screenplay with Krueckeberg.
But, what's really wonderful about this film is that it addresses a real issue with which millions of kids suffer in and out of school: the loneliness of not fitting in with anyone and the longing and trauma that go with it. And it has tremendous fun doing so, addressing the issue in a simple, off-kilter, little story, but not taking itself too seriously. Delightful."