High school coming out movies are a staple of LGBT cinema, making it challenging to offer anything truly unique to wide collective of films in the genre. With Giant Little Ones director Keith Behrman brings us a fresh twist on the genre while maintaining a high school movie aesthetic. Early in proceedings Behrman dispatches with the usual motifs of a high school coming out story, opting for a far more contemporary exploration of sexuality in modern youth culture.
Franky (Josh Wiggins) and Ballas (Darren Mann) have been close friends since childhood, spending the majority of their days together, alongside active after school activities in the swimming team. Their friendship is soon challenged and changed by an alcohol fuelled night, where masculinity and experimentation mix to create explosive results for both young men.
Giant Little Ones is at is strongest when exploring the turbulence of youth and intensity of emotions associated with friendship, peer groups and family. Performances are solid throughout, especially from Josh Wiggins who captures the confusion and anger of youth, alongside the fun, exploration and sexual ambiguity of a young man coming of age. Cameo performances from Kyle MacLachlan also offer gravitas in exploring issues of identity and family structures in a modern society.
Humour is well placed, with scenes between Franky and a close female friend exploring gender identity beautifully constructed and delivered.
Where Giant Little Ones struggles is in its lack of originality in location and structure, focussing on affluent middle class families, and a school setting of limited diversity. This creates a similar dynamic to previous films of the genre despite the films ingenuity. A fault also lays in the development of Ballas, a complex character superbly portrayed, who feels underserved in the end result. Despite these minor weaknesses, this is a film that dares to be different and creative, reflecting the modern journey of sexual discovery for young people in our 21st century world.
Giant Little Ones has moments of true creativity in its modern reflection of sexuality and family, taking it beyond the traditional coming out high school film. Despite this it never quite manages to seize its ingenuity in soaring to new levels in the films final conclusion.
Country: Canada 🇨🇦
Director: Keith Behrman