In a sendup to the high school flicks which dominated the nineties and eighties comes what could affectionately be called a parody of Heathers, Jawbreaker, and Mean Girls while at the same time hanging a lamp shade on tropes ignored by those films but played up in others like Scary Movie made fun of (specifically the S.B.F., AKA the Sassy Black Friend. But this isn’t about the nineties. This is about the new white woman’s accessory, the G.B.F.
Starting out as your typical gay movie, Michael J. Willett plays Tanner Daniels, an in the closet guy who is disillusioned by his best friend, Brent played by Paul Iacono, who wants to become then next big trend, the titular G.B.F. The crux of the plot occurs when Tanner is accidentally outed, in part due to the machinations of said best friend, and the crumbling of Brent’s dreams as Tanner is propelled as the new shiny accessory of the Queen Bitches’ of their school.
G.B.F. is an independent film that managed to cram a crap-ton of people I know and love, like Megan Mullaley as the overbearing but totally loveable mother of Brent (Will & Grace), Natasha Lyone as the supportive teacher and supervisor of the GSA (But I’m a Cheerleader), Rebecca Gayheart as Brent’s stepmother (Jawbreaker), Jonathan Silverman as Brent’s father (Monday Mornings).
But the film also features established and up and coming young actors in the principal roles such as JoJo as Soledad the de facto leader of the GSA who is waiting for her GBF to come out and tell her how “fierce she is!” (Come on, are you even trying to ignore knowing her?).
Sasha Pieterse as Fawcett, one of the three Queen Bitches of their school (Pretty Little Liars!), Andrea Bowen as ‘Shley, the Mormon (we forget the second ‘m’) and second of the Queen Bitches of the school (Desperate Housewives), Xosha Roquemore as the third Queen Bitch of the school (The Mindy Project will rise again!).
Then of course there are those people who tie into the plot in one way or another, like Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood everyone) who plays Mormon purist McKenzie, Brock Harris as our stereotypical joke homophobe Hamilton, and the sexually confused but equally Mormon Topher played by Taylor Frey.
Rounding out the cast are Tanner and Brent’s friends played by Derek Mio as Glenn who really isn’t a “Gaysian” (from Greek), and Molly Tarlov as Sophie who may or may not be lebanese (courtesy of Brittanna from Glee) we never find out one way or the other (You may know her as Sadie from Awkward).
What is awesome about each of these characters is that they don’t stray too much from their roles while still feeling like real, genuine people. The film doesn’t go out of its way to throw characters like Mr. and Mrs. Daniels at us in places where they wouldn’t fit, while at the same time making sure they’re fleshed out. Because this is a high school movie the majority of the film follows our high school students. Of course since this is a sendup to Mean Girls we are treated to a few similarities like the famous walk where Lindsay fell into a garbage can (although this one is split between scenes).
G.B.F. is an independent film but that doesn’t mean it is not a fun, interesting piece that should be lauded for its originality on what most might call a stale topic. Especially with everything going on, it is important to learn the lesson that this film has to teach us about labels.
Take a spin and enjoy G.B.F.