Were the World Mine
Although I’m prone to dissect movies when writing reviews, on occasion you run into a film that’s more a moment in time. This particular film is like that – you just give yourself over to the sensation and take the ride.
The film begins with an overdone premise – gay teen struggles against bullies at an all-boys school, but he’s in love with the hottest one, etc. Fortunately things move quickly into a realm of fantasy as Timothy’s high school teacher tries to intoxicate her boys with a love for Shakespeare. Eventually she convinces (or bewitches?) our hero to audition for the senior play – A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
From there things take a surrealist turn as Timothy, who has won the role of Puck, crafts the actual love potion mentioned in the play. Suddenly he has the whole rugby team making out with each other left and right – and that’s only the beginning! It leads to an amusing subplot where his mother ends up courted by her new boss – the bewitched cosmetics maven, Nora.
Along the way there are songs, which do not so much advance the plot as one would expect in a typical musical, but they do set the overall tone and mood. The clincher – before you even realize it – is the lyrics are mostly Shakespeare’s. Meanwhile the viewer is treated to luscious visuals – including fantastical costumes and fields of purple flowers.
Overall the film is a sweet meditation on the passionate side of love, and the lengths one will go to get there. The romance between the leads Tanner Cohen and Nathaniel David Becker is believable and touching. Most importantly, it really teaches something about the durability of Shakespeare’s plays over the centuries. The wonderful teacher (witch? enchantress?) even speaks on a daily basis in iambic pentameter! My grade for this delightful film – an A-.