Movie Review for Were the World Mine (2008)

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Review #715 of 365
Movie Review of Were the World Mine (2008) [NR] 95 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $13.75
Where Viewed: Starz FilmCenter at the Tivoli, Denver, CO
When Seen: 28 December 2008 @ 5:00 pm
DVD Release Date: Unscheduled (please check back)
After the Credits: Nothing
Unsung Member of the Crew: Key Grip -- Tom wood

Soundtrack: Download now from Tanner Cohen - Were the World Mine (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - or - order the CD below

Directed by: Tom Gustafson (Fairies)
Written by: Tom Gustafson (Fairies) • Cory James Krueckenberg (debut)

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Tanner Cohen (The Life Before Her Eyes) • Wendy Robie (Fairies ) • Judy McLane (debut) • Nathaniel David Becker (debut) • Zelda Williams (House of D ) • Christian Stolte (The Express) • Ricky Goldman (debut) • Jill Larson (The Living Wake )

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Every so often, a little independent film comes along that's just so great and so moving you just want to run out and tell everyone you know to see it. Such is the case for co-writer / director Tom Gustafson's, Were the World Mine. Expanded off his highly successful short film, Fairies, WtWM utilizes the premise of a gay teen, recently enrolled in an exclusive private boys school by his divorced mom, who struggles to fit in and discovers he's got a major crush on the star Rugby player, Jonathan (Nathaniel David Becker). His ethereal English teacher who has the boys write in Shakespearean verse and recognizes there's something particularly special and almost enchanting about Timothy (Tanner Cohen). She basically commands the new boy to audition for the spring senior play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Skeptical, he convinces himself this could be a breakout thing for him. So, he auditions and discovers himself subsequently cast as the lead, Puck. In the process of preparing for the role, Ms. Tebbit (Wendy Robie) encourages him to get inside the text to discover the true meaning which then leads him to preparing a potion that turns out to turn anyone who breaths its fumes into a nightmare for the Focus on the Family people. Before long, the entire town turns gay from the staunchest Bible-bearing Baptists to the Rugby Coach, and they aren't the least bit shy about showing it and their true love. Amazingly, Timothy is able to douse Jonathon with the potion and realize his fondest fantasy for Jonathon falls instantly in love with him—who could have known. The rest of the story then follows the reaction of the crazy townspeople as they watch their sons, daughters, husbands, and wives suddenly switching teams so to speak, and how Timothy will have to wrestle with his conscience for spreading the potion around and turning the boy of his dreams into his boyfriend against his will. For every gay person out there, this is a fantasy fulfilled.

What if the world were gay, and straight people were the different ones? Imagine the elation of feeling 'normal' for once. The film is marvelous in that Timothy is so accepting of himself and has a core of friends to support him. His mother, Donna (Judy McLane) has issues and self-doubt and fears for her son, the typical heterosexual mom worrying stuff, and she may even subconsciously blame him for her divorce—it's unclear. But, Timothy survives it all and then rises above both his fantasies and the realities throughout the events of the magical story. Gay teens should see this film immediately, to be sure, but so should their parents and anyone else who harbors fear and prejudices toward gay people.

Of course, the success of the film rests entirely on the square shoulders of young Tanner Cohen who sings for himself throughout this demanding film. He's absolutely stunning and brilliant. He gives the film an authentic feel he'll have you wondering where it's taking place. Is it London?

Tanner Cohen's absolutely stunning and brilliant.
Is it New England? Well it was shot in and around Chicago, believe it or not. This lad is so incredibly gifted, we can expect to see him moving on to a phenomenal career if he chooses. The rest of the cast is spot on too. Tom Gustafson has created a magical world both on and off the stage allowing all people to consider the source of their prejudices and stereotypes. The film has a great moral and serves the viewers well. It's too bad that mainstream America won't get much of an opportunity to see this marvelous little film.

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Related Products from
Other Projects Featuring Were the World Mine (2008)
Cast Members
Tanner CohenWendy RobieJudy McLane
Nathaniel David BeckerZelda WilliamsChristian Stolte
Ricky GoldmanJill Larson
Tom Gustafson
Tom GustafsonCory James Krueckenberg

Review-lite Were the World Mine (2008) [max of 150 words]
Everyone should take the time to see Were the World Mine. Tom Gustafson transforms his short film, Fairies, into the feature starring the brilliant Tanner Cohen as Timothy, the gay lad placed in an all boys prep school who gets cast as Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and journeys were few have gone before turning the entire town gay along with him. The fantastical film represents a must see for gay teens, parents of gay teens, and anyone with prejudices against gay people in general.

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