Editors' pick

Were the World Mine

Were the World Mine movie poster
MPAA rating: NR
Genre: Action/Adventure
A small-town gay high school student snaps out of his stupor when he discovers the recipe for a love potion while starring in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Starring: Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Nathaniel David Becker

Editorial Review

Writer-producer-director Tom Gustafson's musical fantasy "Were the World Mine," based on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," is mostly delightful.

The unknown cast is attractive and well suited to the light material; some of Jessica Fogle's musical numbers really soar and the entire production rises above its modest budget. But the first half is slow to get rolling; later the focus tends to wander, and some moments are preachy. Overall, though, the good far outweighs the bad.

Timothy (Tanner Cohen) is openly but not happily gay at the all-male Morgan Hills Academy. He suffers mild taunting and pines for the jock Jonathon (Nathaniel David Becker). Also involved are Timothy's single mom (Judy McLane) and his friends Frankie (Zelda Williams) and Max (Ricky Goldman). Things change when Ms. Tebbit (Wendy Robie), the flamboyant English teacher, casts Timothy as Puck in the senior play.

As he immerses himself in memorizing the lines, he conjures up Puck's magic love potion, a liquid that squirts from a purple pansy. The unlucky mortal who gets it in his or her eyes falls hopelessly in love with the next person he or she sees. Straightaway, Timothy is spritzing everyone, and all the wrong people are inappropriate love objects.

The transitions from everyday reality to fantasy are accomplished with colored lights and sparkly makeup, but they evoke the right emotions as effectively as more dazzling digital effects. The film is fine as it is. A bigger budget and a more glamorous cast would not necessarily have improved things.

-- Mike Mayo (Dec. 12, 2008)

Contains strong language and sexual subject matter.