A few years ago, I read a delightful YA coming-of-age novel by Brent Hartinger called The Geography Club which I really enjoyed. I recently learned that the book had been made into a movie. I saw the movie last night and loved it – thought it was really well done. I couldn’t say if it was true to the book though as it’s been a few years ago since I read it.
Here is the editorial blurb:
16-year old Russell is going on dates with girls while nurturing a secret relationship with star quarterback Kevin, who will do anything to prevent his teammates from finding out. Min and Terese tell everyone that they’re just best friends. And then there’s Ike, who can’t figure out who he is or who he wants to be. Finding the truth too hard to hide, they decide to form a Geography Club, thinking nobody else would want to join. However, their secrets may soon be discovered and they could have to face the choice of revealing who they really are.
Russell (played by Cameron Deane Stewart) the main character is an attractive high-school student who is questioning his sexuality and discovers that the school’s football star, Kevin (played by Justin Deeley) is gay – but closeted. Russell meets a few other gay kids who had formed a secret Gay & Lesbian support group at school called The Geography Club, figuring that the name was so boring nobody would want to join. In this way, they would meet without drawing attention to themselves.
Eventually, Russell’s secret comes out and the rest of the movie deals with the fallout. I enjoyed the movie as much as I recall enjoying the book. Even though the book was written ten years ago, I found the movie especially relevant today as each day we read about more and more athletes publicly coming out of the closet. I personally remember all to clearly what it was like being gay in high-school – the fear, the shame, the peer-pressure, the desire to be “normal”. I felt that this movie did an excellent job at portraying how difficult this period of life can be for a gay teen.
This family-friendly film was well-done from the cinematography and storyline to the acting. It’s available in some theaters now and is scheduled to be released on DVD on March 11th. If you think you might enjoy a heartfelt young adult film with fun, colorful characters that portrays the value of friendship and life of a gay teen in high school, then this movie is definitely worth a view.
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