Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Curiosity of Chance (2006) Review

Plot Summary - Offbeat coming-of-age comedy set "somewhere in Europe, some time in the 80s", about teenage Chance, a quick-witted gay transfer student who is being raised by his strictish military dad who goes around in army fatigues and calls his son "cadet". Chance establishes his eccentric persona right off the bat by going to high school his first day in top hat and cane (and the next day with a pirate patch over one eye). He makes friends with a weird guy who constantly carries around a briefcase (clutched to his chest) with "secret" contents and a really sarcastic black girl with a bad sort of chip on her shoulder. He makes enemies with a hulk-like school jock who constantly harasses him for being gay. Then there's Levi - Chance's hunky next-door neighbor and schoolmate (the actor reminded me of Jake Gyllenhaal). Chance develops a crush on Levi, but Levi's jock pals won't let him stay friends with Chance for long. And meanwhile - - Chance and his friends go to a nightclub where a drag show performs - Chance befriends the performers backstage and decides to perform in drag at next week's amateur night. And soon Levi finally stands up against his jerk friends to form a band with Chance, with intentions to compete in an upcoming high school student "Battle of the Bands".

Review - Well, I thought this film was pretty good - I see it as sort of a cross between "Rock and Roll High School" and the John Waters version of "Hairspray", but with a gay theme. It's really quite campy, the setting in Europe (filmed on location in Belgium) makes for some rather bizarre stuff because the whole high school scene seems like a really typical American high school except that many of the actors are putting on a variety of fake European accents. The 80s clothing and hairstyles done for this is fairly realistic - yes, I myself used to often sport a long side ponytail back in those days (I never went for the leg warmers though another hairstyle I often wore then involved a big Madonna style bow tied on top my head). By the way, this film has a really good 80s soundtrack of mainly New Wave songs including several old faves of mine I haven't heard in a long, long time (nostalgia!) - just hearing that Devo song played during the opening credits made me want to get up and dance and get out my old Devo records and play them once again (yes indeed, I certainly do have my entire 70s/80s vinyl collection). I thought this indie film was a quirky, fun watch - very entertaining. Rating - 8/10 stars

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