Sometimes I take a glimpse in pop culture and notice how embraced the gay community is. You can see it in movies, music, and even network TV shows. While there was some visibility when I was growing up (I’m in my 30s), it was typically a gimmick and got off on exploiting stereotypes. I remember when Christina Aguilera came out with her music video for “Beautiful,” and it was probably my first time seeing two men make out on TV. While there’s still a ways to go, I can appreciate where we stand now. I get jealous of teenagers who are just so free about their sexuality without apologies. However, there are still reminders that some of the community has to face daily horrors that many of us were fortunate enough not to experience. Last year, Nicole Kidman starred in Boy Erased, an Oscar snubbed yet brutally honest look at two parents who aren’t the bad guy but think they’re doing the right thing out of love to protect their son when they realize he’s gay. It was hard for me to watch, but I also knew this was a movie I had to support. People don’t realize that these things are still happening. Now we have the home video release of THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, starring genre favorite Chloë Grace Moretz and based on the novel by Emily Danforth.
It’s 1993 and Cameron (Moretz) is caught having sex with another girl, resulting in her being placed in a gay conversion center with heavy religious beliefs. In this environment, it isn’t just that being gay is wrong, it’s finding one’s path to God that’ll cure your impure thoughts. To these people, you’re not even gay, you just have gay feelings based on gender stereotypes or maybe some completely unrelated life event that shifted where your sexuality led. Cameron is mostly not taking things too seriously. Her parents are dead even before the movie starts and she isn’t easily manipulated into transitioning. Some of the students are rebellious towards the whole concept of conversion therapy, while others are so under the influence, they honestly seem crazier than the counselors. As an orphan, Cameron seems to yearn for love and befriends the other students, some of who break the rules when alone at night. Their friendships are what keeps them going as they try not to let their spirits break.
While the heart of the story is there and the performances are delivered with just the right amount of absurdity, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST is an example of a movie with good intentions, but the execution is just lacking. Certain scenes are asking the audience to feel emotional pain, but the exposition doesn’t allow for us to care for them as individuals instead of just gay kids going through hell. With that being said, it’s safe to say the movie is worth the watch. Moretz is open about supporting gay rights and I’m sure her choice to play this role was no coincidence.
Aside from a commentary, there’s not much else on this disc to explore. Still, this is an interesting one to watch. THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST is now available to own on Blu-ray from FilmRise.
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