Revenge of the Fairies

12.28.2008

By Shana Naomi Krochmal

Y ou would think Tanner Cohen is simply too big to play a fairy. At 6 foot 4, the 21-year-old actor towers above his would-be tormentors in Were the World Mine, a breathtaking musical film that is both a retelling and a gloriously queer reinvention of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

As Timothy, the resident gay outcast in his all-boys academy, Cohen tunes out humdrum high school in favor of sweetly sexy fantasies -- staged song-and-dance numbers in which his classmates don glitter and silver lam' shorts while head jock Jonathon (Nathaniel David Becker) croons Timothy's name. 'They shall hear that I am not afraid,' Timothy sings back, almost smugly. (The lyrics are largely adapted from the original Shakespeare.)

Timothy's crush isn't wholly his imagination. Jonathon lets his looks -- and his slaps on Timothy's ass -- linger just a little too long for mere camaraderie. He chastises his teammates for ganging up on Timothy (the only way they have half a shot at winning a fight), says Timothy's jump shot shows 'good form' and compliments his overheard audition for the senior play.

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