Daniel MacIvor. Callum Keith Rennie. Rebecca Jenkins. All three were reasons why I was excited to see that Whole New Thing was playing at the festival. It fed neatly in to my Canadian film obsession, and the fact that it was a queer story, with a 13 year old formerly homeschooled boy developing a crush on his male teacher, well, that was just a bonus.
…and then I took a moment to look up the IMDb link and got distracted by comments on a Yahoo blurb about the film. All the (barely literate) commenters flipped the hell out over their perception of the plot and, of course, a few NAMBLA jokes.
Oh, the rage. Because, okay. For one thing, no. Not to be with the spoilers, but hello. Students develop crushes on teachers ALL THE TIME. That doesn’t mean they are having the sex. The more I read, the angrier I get, and that makes me less articulate. If it had been a story about a heterosexual crush, that same group of posters would think it was adorable. Of course, if it was a het crush, I wouldn’t see it, and MacIvor wouldn’t have written it. What’s the point? -That’s- an old story. That’s -not- a whole new thing.
So, I’ll just say that this film started from MacIvor’s own memories of being queer and 13, that everything is handled with delicacy and complexity, and that most of all, the characters feel real.
(Plus, there’s a reference to the sex lives of hobbits, and that’s always a good thing,)