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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!

Smile:)


Trailer...

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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