Writer: Patrick J Clifton, Beth Rigazio (Screenplay) James St James (Book)
Starring: Alex Lawther, Ian Nelson, AnnaSophia Robb, Celia Weston, Abigail Breslin, Better Midler
Plot: Follows the story of teenager Billy Bloom who, despite attending an ultra conservative high school, makes the decision to run for homecoming queen.
Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Flamboyantly Enjoyable
Story: Freak Show starts when gay teenager Billy Bloom (Lawther) who isn’t afraid to show his flamboyant side, which sees him showing off this style at a new high school after needing to move away from his mother Muv (Midler). Billy doesn’t take long before he becomes the target of hate from the school with his only friends coming from a girl he never caught her name, branding her Blah Blah Blah (Robb) who fills him out about who the school hierarchy is.
Billy does make one more friend, Flip (Nelson) the star football player, who is one of the only players that doesn’t torment him, in fact he defends him the best he can, this makes Billy believe he might have found a new crush, which drives him to run for homecoming queen.
Thoughts on Freak Show
Characters – Billy Bloom is a gay teenager, he was encouraged by his mother to express himself however he feels, which sees him struggling to be accepted in his new high school, he refuses to back down however difficult the hate gets him towards him, while trying to get his father’s love, waiting for his mother’s return and dealing with his first attempt of love, while trying to change the world by running for homecoming queen. Flip Kelly is the star of the football team, he does befriend Billy trying to help him through the hate, potentially hiding his own closest homosexual, while being the hero of the school. Blah Blah Blah is the student that supports Billy the most, she will help him despite the fact he doesn’t know her name. Muv is the mother of Billy that has encouraged him to flamboyant and himself, though she does have her own motives for her behaviour. Lynette is the rival homecoming queen competition, she is the most popular girl in school and has been planning for this for years now.
Performances – Alex Lawther is wonderful in this leading role, he embraces everything his character goes through and never looks out of place in any scene in this movie, showing the intern struggle his character is going through. Ian Nelson does bring the conflicted character who is trying to make a difference without giving away his own secrets in the world well. AnnaSophia Robb is strong though we could have seen more form her, while Bette Midler does do everything she needs to her role.
Story – The story here follows a openly gay high school student that isn’t afraid to make a statement with his love of fashion, dealing with the hate in the new school, learning to make a difference in the school and in the mindset of his classmates, while remaining himself. Set up to be like most teen comedies about a new kid moving to a new school, needing to learn the hierarchy and usually become the target of bullying, this story follows that arc with ease, with the standing up to make a difference coming through in the end. We get the generic bully figures that spend their time trying to make his life hell, with most of the focus left on the idea of a gay student running for homecoming queen. The core of the story is everything you want, while there are clear problems with the amount of money being spent on trying to become homecoming queen is ridiculous.
Comedy – The comedy in the film feels like most teen comedy material, it might have a less crude jokes, but will look at life with a laugh at times.
Settings – The film is set in two main locations, the high school where Billy doesn’t fit in and his home where Billy isn’t accepted by his father, both prove to be places where Billy needs to help make the change in mindset, which is important for the message of the story.
Scene of the Movie – The vote, even if the idea of using smart phones in a school is funny.
Final Thoughts – This is a teen comedy with the important message of accepting people for who they are, no matter what they choose to be in life.
Overall: Important Message Movie.