Although it starts out as an exercise in syrupy wish fulfillment, the gay indie "Were the World Mine" gains momentum and strength by the scene. This high school reworking of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" never really takes flight, but neither is it the preening misfire the first half promises.
Frustrated gay outsider Timothy (Tanner Cohen) is the whipping boy for the jocks at his straitlaced prep school, but teacher's pet to the drama teacher (Wendy Robie, "Twin Peaks"). Teach, who seems to be channeling "Sunset Boulevard's" Norma Desmond, casts the boy in her annual Shakespeare production. In the course of his preparation he discovers the recipe for Cupid's Love Juice, which squirts, symbolically enough, from a purple pansy.
Timothy used the elixir to turn his tormentors gay, just as Puck made the "Midsummer" characters fall for whomever they saw next. Although no one gets a donkey's head (a blessing, given the film's half-a-shoestring budget), bigots become lovesick asses and homophobes turn homosexual.
The film's strengths are its musical sequences. When you have a lyricist like Shakespeare, you're already on third base, and the inventive music by Jessica Fogle and Tim Sandusky drives it home. The acting is middling except for a standout named Zelda Williams, who plays Timothy's spunky punk gal pal. While everyone around her is strenuously acting, she's effortlessly living her character. Her father, Robin Williams, ought to be very proud.
Colin Covert • 612-673-7186