1h 35min | Comedy | 14 August 2019 (USA)
Awkward teen Adam spends his last high school summer with his big sister, who throws herself into NYC’s lesbian and trans activist scene. In this coming-of-age comedy, Adam and those around him encounter love, friendship and hard truths.
In a summer before marriage equality, high schooler Adam gets permission to stay with his big sister, a college student in New York City. Unknown to their parents, she is a lesbian, and her social circle consists of activists in the lesbian and trans communities. Hanging around that group, Adam is mistaken for being a trans man. When he starts dating a women he met at a party, he does come clean about his age, but has to frantically study to keep up his masquerade as a trans man.
There is emphasis within the community that what matters is gender identity in the head, and not what is physically present “down below”. There is a poignant scene at the Trans Camp swimming hole, where body-affirming participants go skinny-dipping, while Adam sits alone on shore, fully clothed. Adam is, effectively, fish out of water, as he lives a lie in order to pass as trans and have a relationship.
I saw this at the Inside Out LGBT film festival, with director Q+A. The screenplay was adapted from a novel by the original author, who then hired a trans director to direct it. Their toughest casting problem was for the title role. Because it had a sex scene, they could not cast an actual 17-year-old, but had to find someone who looked the part of one, who hadn’t overdosed on “T”.
This film is recommended for those who are not too disturbed by a cast full of trans and lesbian characters, while interested in knowing more about it.
Director: Rhys Ernst
Writers: Ariel Schrag (screenplay by), Ariel Schrag (based on the book by)
Stars: Nicholas Alexander, Bobbi Salvxc3xb6r Menuez, Margaret Qualley
Release Date: 14 August 2019 (USA)