You know once in a while when you stumble into something you weren't supposed to see? Like your grandpa's underpants? Or an intimate moment between two grandpas? Or your roommate, prone on the couch, weeping over a particularly moving episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which Data must defend his humanity before an inter- galactic court? (There, there, Kevin.) It's not bad, it's not shameful, it's just not for you.
That's how Were the World Mine made me feel. This is a deeply gay movie.
It all starts when willowy, troubled Timothy is cast as Puck in his all-boys private school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Bullied by the rugby team, buoyed by his kooky-old-bird drama teacher, and secretly infatuated with Jonathon, the requisite beautiful and kindhearted jock, Timothy sounds like your standard high-school-movie outsider.
Okay. But. So. Then. Using the mighty power of Shakespeare, Timothy crafts a magical pansy that squirts "Cupid's love juice" into unsuspecting eyeballs, causing people to fall madly in love with the next human they see, which, this being an all-boys school in a deeply gay movie, results in exclusively boy-on-boy love, boy-on-boy making out, boy-on-boy-on-boy choreographed dance numbers. Basically, Timothy turns his entire town gay. Oh, and also it's a MUSICAL.
Were the World Mine is a schmaltzy, ambitious, insane spectacle—the washed-out wasteland of Homophobia Academy giving way to face paint and fairy wings and soft-focus razzle-dazzle. The idea of a put-upon gay teen magically transforming his small-minded town into Friday night at the Cuff is fucking awesome. And there are some earnest little questions raised about love and lust—what's the point if it's just Cupid's love juice talking? But certain elements—the dancing, the low-budget effects (squirt, squirt!)—are distractingly silly, and I couldn't escape the feeling that I'd stumbled into someone else's guilty pleasure. It's not for me. But I liked it anyway. Squirt, squirt!