Inside Out 2015: Super Awesome!
The fight for marriage equality is gaining traction around the world. In order to be successful in this endeavour the LGBT community without a doubt needs the support of heterosexual people. Australian writers, directors, and actors Guy Edmonds and Matt Zeremes are seeking to change people’s minds and relay the importance of this issue through whimsical comedy in their film Super Awesome! The hope with this film is that they can teach that this isn’t just an issue for LGBT people to fight for; this is something everyone should band together on regardless of their sexuality.
Best friends Mark (Matt Zeremes) and Gary (Guy Edmonds) are playwrights struggling to find their next hit. Before giving up completely on their passion, and while heavily intoxicated, they jokingly come up with an idea to do a musical about marriage equality. A friend puts together a video and a fundraising page announcing the project. When the video goes viral, the pair ends up with $250,000 and an invitation to open a prestigious New York theatre festival. The problem is they have no script and only six weeks. Being that they are both straight, Mark and Gary immerse themselves in gay culture trying to find inspiration for the show. Procrastination follows them as they struggle to find the personal connection to the story and the reasons for why straight people should care. A series of events happening to the people around them give them the revelation they need to create a successful show. Will they make it in time for the New York festival and be able to revive their dream?
The film is a light-hearted comedy that uses song to relate its message to its audience. Using their love of the film Rocky, the two persevere and succeed at pushing themselves through their self-doubt. The characters go on a personal journey that to some degree mimics that of their show, as they come to realize why telling this story and the fight for marriage equality is important even though they’re not gay.
The script perhaps misses the mark a few times when it’s searching for the message it’s trying to convey but we aren’t meant to take the film so seriously. The story is strongest when we can see the personal connections Mark and Gary are having to the cause. They begin to realize that the issues at hand are crucial and that continuing to deny marriage equality to the gay community is simply cruel. They see first-hand the devastation it has on their friends’ relationship. These moments needed to be bolder, louder, and more frequent to really be effective. Perhaps dialing back the wackiness a few notches would have helped given it a more even tone.
That being said, not many films are tackling this issue, and especially not through this amusing manner. While the characters live somewhat in a fantasy world, the film still manages to display compassion and respect for the very important subject matter at the center of the story. We are often bombarded by serious films about the struggles the LGBT community goes through and accumulatively this can become quite taxing on the psyche. Having a film such as Super Awesome! allows us to take a break and lighten the mood. It instructs through laughter rather than pain and this is something we all need more of in this world. This collaborative pair has a unique, fun voice that hopefully will continue to be afforded opportunities to make more of these kinds of entertaining films.
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