Best of Schools
Grand Echole
Reel Affirmations 13: Washington DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Date: Sunday, 10/17/2004
Time: 7:00 pm

Venue: Lincoln Theatre
Tickets: $9 (buy online now)

Type: Feature presentation
Language: French with English subtitles

Metro Weekly Rating: (2 out of 5)

by Will O'Bryan

Best of Schools

REMEMBER THE RULES of Attraction? In that 2002 movie adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel, audiences follow the sexual intrigues of kids attending the country's most expensive college. Best of Schools is more of the same, albeit without a moment of comic relief.

Whereas Rules was an accessible mainstream film, Schools definitely seeks a more cerebral audience. What could have easily been a French sex farce delves instead into heady questions of class, social philosophy, ethnicity and sexuality.

The story revolves around provincial rich kid Paul. His obsession with sexy college roommate Louis-Arnault catches the attention of Paul's girlfriend. She insists that she and Paul compete for Louis's affections. That competition alone could've sustained Schools, and made the film far more digestible.

Best of Schools

Instead, there is Mécir, the blue-collar gay Arab who loves Paul; there are speeches about the values of majoring in literature versus finance; there is the imminent execution of an inmate in Texas; there is an unresolved stabbing.

The lingering mid-film visit to the men's locker room as Louis-Arnault's water-polo team soaps up seems not at all gratuitous. It is a much-needed device helping viewers regain their focus, for Best of Schools boasts a talented and beautiful cast, stuck in a story too muddled to make a point.

More information

Film Links:
· Reel Affirmations details
· Internet Movie Database

Festival Venue:
Lincoln Theatre
1215 U Street, NW; Washington, DC 20009. (202) 328-6000. (map)
Directly across from Green Line Metro / U Street-Cardozo station.

You may buy your tickets or passes in advance: Online at or by phone at (800) 494-TIXS (494-8497). Or you may visit the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U Street, NW, WDC); the DCJCC (1529 16th Street, NW, WDC); Lambda Rising (1625 Connecticut Avenue, NW, WDC); or Universal Gear (1601 17th Street, NW, WDC).

For more info visit the official Reel Affirmations website.