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Speech & Debate

USA, English, 105 mins

  • Director: Dan Harris
  • Writer: Stephen Karam
  • Producer: Tom Rice

CGiii Comment

Journalism relies on morals, ethics and honesty...so says a teacher who refuses to endorse a Gay/Straight Alliance on the grounds that it is more of a social event than a legitimate school-club!

This a might little film that seems to have slipped [shamefully] under the gay media's radar! Undeservedly [and, negligently] so!

A light-hearted approach to some seriously BIG issues...censorship, puritanism...and, the transference of errant [adult] opinion onto and into younger [dangerously impressionable] minds!

A trio of misfits...the gay, the geek and the precocious...demand their young voices and opinions to be heard...their approach may be a little unconventional...but, it will certainly put a smile upon your old wizzened faces!

It's been 13 years since Dan Harris sat in the director's chair...and, alas, the rustiness is all too evident. There is a little staggering and a few mis-steps along the way...

Hallelujah for Sarah Steele, a powder-keg of talent and charisma...she captures that fine line between being likable and unlikable perfectly - her two sidekicks sidekick admirably. But, it really is her film...and in being so, her character needed much more depth.

Aaaah but there are the obvious constraints...time and money! With a little bit more time, Harris could have mulled over whether this film should have been a fully-committed musical [that it screamingly wanted to be] or, the film it became...with a few partly-performed songs thrown in to keep things going at a jaunty pace! Ooops!

That said...it's a refreshing, entertaining [even, uplifting] little film that deserves to be seen by an audience, young and old, opinionated and impressionable...and, by the censorious and puritanical!



The(ir) Blurb...

Frustrated by the hypocrisy they see in their parents, teachers, and the entire school board, an unlikely trio set out to find a common truth and make their voices heard as they revive a defunct school club and take on the world.

Cast & Characters

Liam James as Solomon;
Sarah Steele as Diwata;
Austin P. McKenzie as Howie;
Roger Bart as Principal Bellingham;
Janeane Garofalo as Marie;
Wendi McLendon-Covey as Joan;
Kal Penn as James;
Kimberly Williams-Paisley as Susan;
Skylar Astin as Walter Healy;
Lin-Manuel Miranda as The Genie;
Sarah Baker as Miss Riggi;
Lucy DeVito as Lucy;
Ryan Lee as Mark;
Jeremy Rowley as Gary Crenshaw;
Logan Shroyer as Hot Debater

From the same director:

Imaginary Heroes

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