Were the World Mine is a 2008 romantic musical fantasy film directed by Tom Gustafson and written by Gustafson and Cory James Krueckeberg.
Were the World Mine is a story of gay empowerment, inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Were the World Mine stars Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Zelda Williams, Jill Larson, Ricky Goldman, Nathaniel David Becker, Christian Stolte, and David Darlow.
Timothy (Tanner Cohen) is an openly gay student at a private boys' school. Although now in his senior year, he is still persecuted by the aggressive rugby team, on whose captain, Jonathon (Nathaniel David Becker), he has a crush. Timothy lives with his mother, Donna (Judy McLane), who is struggling with her son's sexuality and with getting a job, and his father who is not a part of his life.
Timothy is cast as Puck in the senior production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. While reviewing his lines, he discovers the recipe for creating the flower love-in-idleness. Timothy uses the flower to have the homophobic town take a "walk in his shoes". The entire town is thrown into chaos as previously heterosexual community members fall in love with their same-sex friends, bosses, and co-workers: whomever they first saw after being sprayed by the flower. The school drama teacher, Ms. Tebbit (Wendy Robie), guides Timothy towards the question of whether his actions have caused more harm than good.
- Tanner Cohen as Timothy
- Wendy Robie as Ms. Tebbit
- Judy McLane as Donna
- Zelda Williams as Frankie
- Jill Larson as Nora Bellinger
- Ricky Goldman as Max
- Nathaniel David Becker as Jonathon
- Christian Stolte as Coach Driskill
- David Darlow as Dr. Lawrence Bellinger
- Parker Croft as Cooper
- Brad Bukauskas as Cole
- Reid Dawson as Russ
- Alexander Aguilar as Taylor
- Yoni Solomon as Bradley
- Colleen Skemp as Becky
- Waymon Arnette as Henry
- Zach Gray as Ian
- Julia Black as Crystal
- Peggy Roeder as Cole's Mother
- Paul Lisnek as a Newscaster
- "Oh Timothy" – Jonathon
- "Pity" – Frankie
- "Audition" – Timothy
- "Be As Thou Wast Wont" – Timothy, Ms. Tebbit
- "He's Gay" – Frankie
- "Were the World Mine" – Timothy, Jonathon
- "The Course of True Love" – Timothy, Frankie, Coach Driskill, Nora, Max, Donna
- "All Things Shall Be Peace" – Ms. Tebbit, Timothy
- "Sleep Sound" – Timothy
- "Pyramus and Thisbe" – Frankie, Cooper
Lightning in a bottle
Author: steven-222 from Berkeley, CA, USA
28 June 2008
I just saw this movie at the San Francisco LGBT festival with a packed house at the Castro Theater, where it provided one of those lightning-in-a-bottle moments that sometimes happen at film fests. Yours truly is a cynical old curmudgeon of a film-goer, and when a movie can win me over this way (along with the rest of the audience) it's like a gift from out of the blue; I found myself not questioning or analyzing the experience, just letting myself give in to pure enjoyment. I'm not surprised that it keeps winning audience awards at festivals; people are grateful when a movie sweeps them up into its own world.
How the magic happens here, I don't know, especially since this is a movie by such a relatively inexperienced director. But I think I can put my finger on a few elements that make this mix happen. First, Wendy Robie as the drama teacher. I previously knew her only as crazy Nadine ("silent curtain rollers!") on "Twin Peaks." She's every gay boy's dream teacher from high school, and only gradually do we begin to realize that she must be more than she seems. Second, though the film is called a musical, and there are indeed songs, the use of music is surprisingly sparing. We don't get a big musical number every 15 minutes; instead the songs are used to capture certain states of mind and to introduce magical elements in the story. I actually left the theater wanting more music (a rare experience!). And third, the ugly homophobic elements in the movie at first seem almost jarringly realistic; this serves to heighten the magic of the wish-fulfillment.
Magic doesn't always work in movies or on the stage; not every production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" can capture Shakespeare's whimsy. But for me, it does work in this movie, and I'm a little awed by the experience.
Shakespeare plus singing dancing rugby players, and magically it all works!
Author: PTCfromDE from Wilmington DE
10 November 2008
Were the World Mine is set in an all male private school where the entire senior class is required to participate in the senior play, a production of "A Midsummer Nights Dream"---even the members of the rugby team.
But the events in the town start to take on a surreal gay twist, as the interactions of all the folks in the town start to mirror those in Shakespeare's original script.
As you may know---the comedy of the Shakespeare play centers around a device where a fairy named Puck can sprinkle a magic elixir into someone's eyes, causing that person to fall madly in love with the first person they lay eyes on.
Timothy, who is picked on by all the members of rugby team, and is playing Puck in the play, manages to get his hands on the elixir for real. But as in Shakepeare's version, not everything goes as planned.
Along the way, there are lots of shirtless hot rugby players, and amazing singing.
I saw this at the Santa Barbara GLBTQ film-festival and was captivated. After seeing the film, now when I play the clips of the trailer I get goose-bumps. During the film I was so transported into the world of the characters that I didn't even notice all the amazing cinematography that I see now in the trailer. The film seems to move effortlessly between realistic scenes and those that are surreal and fantastic---in all senses of that word.
The cast is terrific---and the music is transcendent. I highly recommend this film.
A first-rate and altogether engaging film.Author: davidgarnes from United States
30 May 2008
Though it may be labeled as a gay/lesbian film, this is a witty and lovely takeoff on "A Midsummer's Night Dream." The acting by all the principals, particularly by appealing lead Tanner Cohen, Judy McKane as his mother, and Wendy Robie as the school drama teacher, is first-rate. The art direction, music and especially the cinematography help create a magical quality as the story enters the realm of Midsummer fantasy. Director Thomas Gustafson skilfully develops believable characters, manages complicated plot twists, and never loses the thread of "what if" that is essential to a retelling of Shakespeare's timeless story. Like the characters, you'll be enchanted by this small-budget but high-quality film.
Author: Brian W. (greatermind) from Vancouver, Canada
19 August 2008
I was lucky enough to see this film at the official youth screening at the Vancouver Queer Film Fest. Liked it so much I walked in and stood for the second, sold out, screening that followed. Beautiful scenes, good acting, great concept / plot, absolutely rapturous music... this movie made my heart melt, made me fall in love with the two main characters. This is what movies are supposed to do, and Were the World Mine did this beautifully.
This film realizes many a gay boy's high school fantasy, and does it with style and grace. It's poignant, moving. The actors who play Timothy's two best friends nail it. The drama teacher is a woman to be reckoned with. And the two male leads are both gay in real life. I will be buying this one as soon as it comes out. In the meantime I will be listening to music from the film on their MySpace page.
Not perfect, but a favorite
Author: Leonardo Rimini from United States
30 June 2008
Were the World Mine may not be perfect, but it is inspiring, with a brilliant and durable concept (a queer interpretation and extension of A Midsummer Night's Dream). Like a previous reviewer, I just saw this at the San Francisco Int'l LGBT Film Festival, where it was indeed a solid crowd pleaser and one of my three favorite features in the festival. The film grew from the director's short film "Fairies" (which was also memorable) and I dare say that the music and lyrics, and certainly the lead performers, deserve to have him tighten it up a bit, somehow get lots more money, and carry this forward to a remake a la Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge") or Julie Taymor ("Across the Universe"). In a way, the material is both weighty and fanciful enough to really need that level of realization to be properly appreciated. As is, though, "Were the World Mine" moved me to tears, made me laugh many times, and made me want to listen to its few songs again, more closely!
Author: mg501 from United States
19 September 2009
Usually I resent anything that stereotypes homosexuals. I resent it even more when gays stereotype gays. As gay as this movie definitely is (fairies... guys wearing wings... rugby players doing pirouettes), I am -surprisingly enough- completely enamored with it. I am glad that I watched it, then watched it again, and... watched it again.
There is something about this movie that moves past being just a story about fairies - literal and otherwise. Cohen has a strong and beautiful voice. Both he and Becker play their characters way beyond stereotypes. It didn't hurt to have them both be such total hot-ties, either.
It's really too bad that so many people will be put-off by anything to do with same sex relationships. (BTW: this movie is about more than just that.) They are missing a film that inspires the audience to have the courage to be oneself and the courage to let go of what you love, because of that love, at the risk of losing it. -- 12/08/09 Before Puck (Cohen) sings "Sleep Sound" there is a brief moment when the viewer sees Cole's mother obviously disgruntled by her son's apparent homosexuality. She breaks into a gargantuan smile when Cole return to his heterosexual self. Many gays and lesbians live their entire life knowing that, when all is said and done, our parent's continue to feel that we have failed them by not (at least) pretending to be heterosexuals. When it comes to sexuality, it is not uncommon to find our parent's and our friends' love to be very conditional.