G.B.F. – “gay best friend” – is essentially a queer Mean Girls. Like that film, it exists in an exaggerated candy-coloured high school reality, our world emphatically underlined with a pink highlighter. It’s defined by rigid cliques spouting made-up slang, ruled over by picture-perfect teenage girls.
The story centres on how a gay teenager’s inadvertent outing makes him the centre of attention at his high school. The school’s three queen bees (queen B’s if you prefer) fight to possess the latest trendy accessory – a gay best friend. G.B.F.’s setting might be a long way from reality, but there’s a real message here: a consideration of how mainstream ‘acceptance’ of gays is predicated on fitting in to palatable stereotypes (fashionable, effeminate; fabulous).
Stein isn’t subtle about highlighting this message. Or about anything, really; G.B.F. is a modern take on Shakespearean comedy, with jokes and innuendos so broad you half-expect the actors to wink at the audience. It’s perfectly pitched for the Brisbane Queer Film Festival where I saw it (roars of appreciative laughter often drowned out the dialogue). It’s more interested in laughs and escalating farce than a deeper analysis of the intricacies of homosexuality in school, but there’s nothing wrong with that.