Get Real (15) 110 mins e a

Comparisons With 1995's feelgood comedy Beautiful Thing are ineVItable: both films are low budget British productions With unknown casts, adapted from the stage, gay-themed and immensely popular With cinema audiences. In fact, Get Real won the Audience Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival last year.

Set in Basingstoke, Get Real follows a group of teenagers suffering the varied trials and tribulations of adolescence Sixteen-ycmr-old Steven (Ben Silverstone‘ iuggles the twm pressures of home and school life, while coming to terms With his homosexuality Steven's sole confidante and next door neighbour Linda (Charlotte Brittain) dreams of loosing mOre than her L plates to her driving instructor.

School's out: Ben Silverstone in Get Real

Meanwhile, best pal Mark is trying it on with the school magazine's feisty editor, Wendy. Avoiding ex-boyfriend Kevin, Wendy’s friend Jessica mistakes Steven’s Sympathy for a come on. Finally, there's school's sporting superstar John, who is idolised by the school population and lusted after by Steven. So far, so La Ronde, but matters are complicated when John returns Steven’s attention, much to the surprise of both boys. While John remains firmly in the closet, Steven takes the bull by the horns and comes out.

Director Simon Shore and writer Patrick Wilde (author of This Life and sOurce play What's Wrong With Angry? Get Real) eschew kitchen sink realism for American high school-style melodrama. Fun but slight, Get Real plays like a gay Grange Hill.

(Miles Fielder) e Selected release from Fri 74 May.

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Starts 14 May atFilmhotJSe, Edinburgh ’-

Parting Shots (12) 99 mins 3

The phrase 'a Michael Winner film’ is enOLigh to chill the blood of critics and audiences alike, though only the former tend to turn up to his films these days, and then only grudgingly. His latest effort V/Ill do little to redeem the reputation of a director on the wane

In the light of recent tragic events, the plot is pretty questionable tOO, as photographer Chris Rea learns that he has terminal cancer and decides to use his last days on earth executing all those 'fi'iends' and 'loved ones' who have done liini wrong And so he does, picking up police interest and a mystifyingly understanding girlfriend (Felicity Kendall) as he goes.


‘3', '2 ,«k’

Dire Rea: Chris Rea in Parting Shots

Parting Shots is a bad taste tale With misfired Jokes and a succession of starry cameos that range from the stupid to the embarrassing. The few, honourable exceptions are Joanna Lumley as a spiritual barmaid With an

expertise in small arms, and Ben

Kingsley as an overly aggresswe chefs The late Oliver Reed makes an appearance too, as a well spoken hitman.

But that's it, except to say that there are home movnes being shot that have more suspense and better composition. There may be a couple of surprises on the way to a trite conclu5ion, but none so big as how this film was allowed to be made in the first place.

(Anwar Brett) a Selected release from Fri 74 May.

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13-?7 May 1999 THE “ST 25