Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gay Best Friend Representation Test

G. B. F.
Gay Best Friend
The movie GBF is about about a group of friends, including best friends Brent and Tanner, that don’t fit the popularity pattern at their school. The school is entirely dominated by a clique of girls competing to be the top of the totem pole. When all three girls in the clique realize that all they needed to be the schools top dog was a gay best friend. They all began their search. it becomes apparent to them that all the school’s gays are closeted. Meanwhile Brent tells Tanner his plan to out himself to become popular and be the class diva. Throughout the delay of his unsteady plan, Tanner is accidentally out-ed to the whole school and became the schools “token gay boy” making him outrageously popular fast. I chose GBF to asses the representation test because I thought it would pass with flying colors. By analyzing the fact that this is an independent film that it is LGBTQ themed in my opinion it should have passed with a higher rating than a B. 
The movie GBF features a boy, Tanner and his best friend Brent who both play the protagonist. There are female leads but the plot line isn't centered around them as much as the boys. All three girls that are featured in the film are skinny and show the typical figures that is portrayed in today’s media. The girls are the attention of “male gaze” in the movie. Although that isn't their primary purpose, it cannot be denied that it happens periodically throughout the movie. Another way the women’s section of the test was failed was the fact that all the girls were in high school and only a select number of characters were over forty five. The characters over forty five had no meaning to the plot or story but just contributed to small conversations. Interestingly, the conversations between the girls failed the Bechdel Test. Their conversations centered around a guy but not in the standard relationship conversation the Bechdel often refers to. The girls fought over sharing a gay best friend and not a potential suitor which is how it differs. 
The movie gets points because it has members of the LGBTQ community and therefore the male role is also “unconventional”. It is flawed in the fact that the plot is centered around LGBTQ stereotypes. Often throughout the movie they stereotype different LGBTQ characters that have not come out to the rest of the school and try outing them. This movie is all about stereotypes. On many occurrences there is racial prejudice and joking remarks along the common LGBTQ stereotypes that are thrown in and become the movies “norm”. Male violence is often demonstrated throughout this movie, for example the two best guy friends fight each other physically and are cheered on by their peers and given praise for “winning”.
GBF was given bonus points in the director and writer’s category because both are part of the LGBTQ community. Both the writer and director were white males but are distinct in that they're gay. The writer George Northy said himself that this movie is loosely based on his high school experience with his best friend and their coming out. 

The movie GBF passes the Representation Test with a B because it has a high quantity of LGBTQ related components. I chose the movie thinking that it would score higher. But the only races featured in the film are African American and White which are stereotyped frequently; there isn't much variance in the schools population other than that. The movie lacks in female strength and intelligence as well as female writing or direction. 

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