Bay Area Premiere
The emphasis is on the “Q” in LGBTQ as two teens with a passion for writing fan fiction meet in writer-director Clay Liford’s sweet, hilarious, and sometimes poignant adaptation of his 2012 short of the same name (Frameline38), a film as much about friendship as it is about budding sexuality. Fifteen-year-old Neil’s (Michael Johnson, Teen Wolf) passion for writing “slash” fiction—erotic fan fiction that emphasizes same-sex fantasies—about a sci-fi icon, Vanguard (Tishuan Scott), is a secret that the shy adolescent keeps closely guarded. He’s thrown for a loop when he becomes close to his 16-year-old, seemingly worldlier, more self-confident classmate Julia (Hannah Marks, Awkward). His fantasies and crushes have been focused on males, but questions arise as he grows smitten with a girl who shares his interests. At the same time, after Neil begins posting his writing on a fan-fiction website, he starts an online flirtation with its middle-aged administrator, Denis (Michael Ian Black, Wet Hot American Summer), furthering his sexual confusion. Dramatic re-enactments of Neil’s stories—complete with special effects the way a kid might imagine them—are hot and silly at the same time. They further the fun, as does a visit to a Houston Comic-Con that allows Neil and Julia to cosplay and further indulge their fantasies while adding new wrinkles to their relationship. Johnson and Marks are wonderful in this warm, funny film that perfectly captures the awkwardness and inchoate yearning of youth.
— Pam Grady
AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F130