Will Jamie’s classmates accept his drag queen alter ego?
For many, the titular routine will be a delight. But for me, a tsunami of winces erupted as a troupe of twenty-something drama-school graduates in school uniforms loudly spread rumours about Jamie through the medium of dance. Still, those more accustomed to the over-the-top conventions of the West End stage (and not scarred by childhood memories of Rod Hull’s Pink Windmill Show) should find plenty here to enjoy. The film’s greatest asset is its lead. Age aside, 24-year-old newcomer Max Harwood is perfectly cast as gay schoolboy Jamie New.
We meet him on the morning of his 16th birthday as he’s lugging a bag of newspapers up the hilly streets of Sheffield while dreaming of becoming a drag queen.
A plan to release his outrageous alter ego at his school prom puts him on a collision course with his homophobic dad (Ralph Ineson), a rule-bound teacher (Sharon Horgan) and a school bully (Samuel Bottomley).
Thankfully, his mum (Sarah Lancashire) is supportive and local drag clobber seller Hugo Battersby (Richard E Grant) agrees to act as his mentor.
The charismatic Harwood has the moves and the voice to carry the play’s showstoppers.
But there are quieter, more reflective songs too and one original number written and sung by Holly Johnson.
Here the film leaves the feel-good formula behind to deliver a refreshingly cinematic montage about the history of gay rights. The title song is my latest earworm but I suspect this sequence will be my most enduring memory.
Read More: Hollywood News
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