Bad romance

Boys On Film: Bad Romance

I'm a big fan of Peccadillo Pictures' Boys On Film series, each release crammed as it is with more hits than misses, but with the seventh volume, Bad Romance, the scales have almost tipped unfavourably towards the negative.

Do we really need another (albeit cute, sexy) coming of age tale? Cappuccino (director Tamer Ruggli) ticks all the boxes, but its depiction of a gay teen with a crush on his straight classmate is one we've seen countless times before. What's new? Where's the twist? Perhaps if it had been set in wartorn Iraq, we'd have something fresh. But Cappuccino is set in a very photogenic Switzerland.

Mysh Rozanov's Watch Over Me is, as far as I can tell, some cack-handed True Blood fan fiction for the big screen. It's pointless, and no, being set in Tel Aviv doesn't make a difference. Christopher Banks' Communication features a Jewish kid and a rich older guy, but doesn't really add up to much.

Much better is South Korea's Just Friends, a sunny little gem with two very appealing leads, and Canada's wordless Mirrors, which makes much of being beautiful and strange.

Joachim Back's The New Tenants is nuts - really, this is WTF?! territory - and Tomer Velkoff's The Traitor takes us into grim worst-case-scenario territory that'll have you thinking twice about breaking up with your beau.

The high point - and low point - is Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein's dark, frightening The Strange Ones, which will leave your head spinning. Brilliant.

As usual, some real gems, but a word to Peccadillo: a little more non-white representation would be welcome.


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