Like “White Man’s Burden” before it, the filmmakers of “Different” create an interesting parallel universe; only they fail to fully explore the subject they so easily attempt. At Liberty High School, being gay is the social model and being straight is whack. With that mere synopsis alone, questions are sure to be raised. Whatever they are though, there is a good chance they won’t be tackled here.
With homecoming a few days away, Justin (Ben Hogestyn) discovers that the glances he shares with a female classmate, Joanne (Emily Stiles), may be enough to turn him over to the dark side (that would be being straight). When he finally confronts her about his problem, the rest of the school turns on him, especially since he turns down the most popular guy in school.
This seems like the perfect subject matter, especially with comedy, to tackle with a short film yet this end result leaves a lot to be desired for something so relevant to today’s societal standards. Lee De Gregorio’s screenplay creates a unique universe and then glosses over the interesting with the usual high school romance clichés. “Different” should have taken a cue from its title, instead of just falling into norm.