Last night, PJ and I watched the movie Were the World Mine, a queer take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Tom Gustafson and starring Tanner Cohen as Timothy, a gay high school student who uses the recipe in Shakespeare’s comedy to whip up a love potion to make the boy of his dreams fall in love with him. I’ll use this post to offer a brief review of the film, but first here’s the video of the title song from the movie, which is my song of the week:

I really like how the film makers use Shakespeare’s play to create what also stands as a great queer-affirming song. And Cohen does a great job singing the song. I’ll post the lyrics and more about the movie after the break.

The movie is a nice gay fantasy. Timothy is a student at a private school. He’s constantly abused by the school’s jocks, the members of the championship rugby team. When the school’s English teacher (luminously portrayed by Twin Peaks‘s Wendy Robie) stages Dream for the senior play, Timothy and the jocks have to work together on it. (Timothy is cast as Puck.)

Here’s the trailer:

In the main plot, Timothy has the hots for Jonathan, who is played by Nathaniel David Becker, and frequently day dreams that Jonathan returns his interest. Jonathan is cute and is also the only member of the rugby team who doesn’t enjoy gay bashing as a hobby. While reading the play one night, Timothy is inspired to mix up Puck’s love potion; the next day he splashes it into Jonathan’s eyes, causing him to fall in love with him. When the jocks continue to tease and abuse him, Timothy decides to have some Puckish fun and splashes all of them too, causing them to fall in love with each other. Chaos ensues, of course.

I enjoyed the fantasy of turning the homophobic jocks and some of the anti-gay townspeople gay. The movie does a good job re-staging Shakespeare’s play as queer revenge fantasy. I would have liked for the chaos to have come earlier in the film and for more of the film to focus on the comedy of mixed-up lovers, especially since that’s what Shakespeare’s play does. In other words, I would have liked a closer adaption of the source material.I also thought that the town’s homophobia and the subplot involving Timothy’s single mother seemed a little rushed and extraneous, respectively.

Even so, I enjoyed the film. Cohen is great in this role and really deserves to be a gay superstar. He’s hot, talented, and likable. Overall, I liked the movie; it’s definitely one of the better small, gay films I’ve seen recently. I’m also a sucker for a musical. Make it a gay musical and I’m in heaven! So, “Were the World Mine” is my song of the week. Here are the lyrics:

I see their knavery.
This is to make an ass of me.
To fright me, if they could.

But I will not stir from this place, do what they can.
I will work, up and down here.

And I will sing, that they shall hear.
That I am not, I am not afraid.
I am not afraid.

I know not by what power I’m made bold.
But still you flout my insufficiency.
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.

My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye.
My tongue should catch your tongue’s sweet melody.
My tongue, your tongue, were the world mine.

And I will sing, that they shall hear.
That I am not, I am not afraid.
I am not afraid!

Faeries away! Fetch me that flower…
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down.

Faeries away! Swift as a shadow…
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down!

Oh why rebuke, you him that loves you so?!
Lay breath so bitter, on your bitter foe.
On your bitter foe!

What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
I pray thee gentle mortal, sing again.
I pray thee gentle mortal, sing again.

Mine ear is much enamour’d of thy note.
So is mine eye enthralled into thy shape,
I’ll follow thee, I’ll follow thee,
and make a Heaven of Hell…
I’ll follow thee, I’ll follow thee,
and make a Heaven of Hell…
And make a Heaven of Hell!

Faeries away! Fetch me that flower…
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down.

Faeries away! Swift as a shadow…
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down!

Faeries away! Fetch me that flower…
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and…

Faeries away! Swift as a shadow…
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down!

My ear should catch your voice…
My eye should catch your eye…
My tongue, your tongue…
Were the world mine…

Advertisements