By Jeff Walsh
"The Curiosity of Chance" is a gay movie that plays with all the conventions of the teen movies of the 1980s. If Duckie were gay and had his own movie, this would be it (and if that sentence made no sense to you, you really need to catch up on your John Hughes flicks).
From the outcast friends, the bullying jock, the jock that Chance has a crush on, and the caricature of a principal, all of the familiar elements are here. But, for some reason, it never seemed to take those building blocks and go in a different direction. I'm not complaining, but it just seemed the movie was so close to being really unique and amazing, something was missing that prevented it from happening.
I think it might be that according to 80s teen movie archetypes, Chance would have been in the sidekick role. Here, he is the main character, and his story doesn't really have the gravitas around which to spin the whole movie. I mean, can you really "out" someone who already wears top hats, eye patches and such to school? Even in the 80s, I would have to say no, even if you did have a photo of them in drag.
For some reason, I kept thinking the movie was going to have a sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead quality, where there is a backstory going on that, traditionally would have been the main Molly Ringwald story, and instead of focusing on that, we kept following Chance and making his story the primary one.
I don't want to give the wrong impression, though. It was an incredibly enjoyable movie and I thought that Tad Hilgenbrinck as Chance took what could have been a one-note role and breathed humanity and sass into it.
If anything, I'm harder on this movie because I saw more promise than a lot of films offered. I was rooting for it to blow me away, and instead I only had a really good time that thoroughly amused me. That's still a good night at the theater and definitely worth a look when you get a chance.
Here's a list of upcoming screenings. For most of you, this is going to be a DVD watching experience in a few months.