Despite the cliche-ridden plot Get Real, Simon Shore’s first feature film manages to tell sweet, moving story about the difficulties involved in being young and in the closet in suburban Britain. Steve Carter, a 16 year-old sixth form student, has been aware of and comfortable with his homosexuality since the age of eleven. His plump, strong willed best friend, Linda, is the only person who knows his secret. When Steve falls in love with John “sex-on-legs” Dixon Ð the repressed school athletic hero Ð he’s forced to face his fears regarding telling his peers and parents about his true self.
The rather unoriginal script, co-written by Shore and Patrick Wilde (who wrote the stage play upon which the film is based), has roughly an equal number of clever lines and embarrassing clunkers. It tells a simple and facilely inspiring story about bravery and being true to oneself. Simon Shore’s direction is energetic and colorful, but it’s the actors who keep the film entertaining and raise it to a level beyond an after school special. Ben Silverstone, who played the young Humbert Humbert in Adrian Lyne’s Lolita, gives a thoroughly engaging and believable performance as Steve. He draws one directly into his character’s mind while managing to make Steve’s thoughts and emotions radiate out through his skin and eyes. The rest of the universally pretty cast of unknowns are equally watchable. Additionally, one can somewhat forgive the film’s lack of originality by taking into account the fact that it is obviously targeted at teenagers.