Given how the musical is known for being popular with gay people, it’s surprising there aren’t more film musicals made with a gay bent. There have been a few, such as the superb Hedwig And The Angry Inch, but not as many as you might expect. Were The World Mine follows gay teenager Timothy, who’s routinely castigated for being a ‘fag’ by the rugby players at his school, even though he secretly lusts after one of them.
After being cast as Puck in the school’s musical production of ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’, Timothy discovers a way to make the plot of Shakespeare’s fantasy come true, spraying people from a flower so that they fall in love with the first person they see afterwards. Timothy soon manages to make his crush besotted with him, before spreading gayness around his small town to give the small-minded townsfolk a taste of what it’s like to live in his shoes.
Were The World Mine is a movie filled with some great ideas and good tunes (although it doesn’t actually break into song all that often). Exploring ideas such as the isolation many gay teens feel because they don’t know any other gay people, small minded attitudes gay people have to deal with and the difficulties of love, Were The World Mine certainly can’t be faulted for its ambition.
The only real problems stem from the fact its budget isn’t really big enough for it to fully realise its ambition, and also that the script could have done with some judicious editing to make it a bit more focussed. There are times when things get a little confusing and the film is trying to do so many things that it can’t quite pull off every trick it tries, but even so it’s very entertaining and is far better than most gay cinema offerings. In fact considering it’s incredibly low-budget roots, it’s a bit of a triumph.
Sadly the disc itself isn’t that great, with only some trailers, a photo gallery and an okay but not great short film called ‘Fairies’. It’s a shame there isn’t a bit more, as it is the sort of film where a few behind-the-scenes interviews would have been quite illuminating, but sadly we don’t get it. Were The World Mine has been referred to in several places as being a gay High School Musical and there are quite a few parallels, but while it might not be quite as polished as Disney’s juggernaut franchise, it has far greater ambitions and achieves enough of them to make it a great success.
Overall Verdict: If you’re looking for something that offers something a bit different to a run-of-the-mill musical, Were The World Mine is well worth a look.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac
(This review previously featured on MovieMuser.co.uk)