Gay Essential Films To Watch, 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous

50 Ways of Saying Fabulous is all about the tumultuous life of 12 year-old Billy (Andrew Paterson), a confused gay boy stuck in the conservative ways of rural New Zealand in the 70s. His penchant for the fantastic and curious fashion makes it easy to single him out, with classmates referring to him as a ‘poofter’ despite his ignorance of the term’s significance.

His cousin Lou (Harriet), is a tomboy, and helps to insulate him to some degree from the aggressiveness of his classmates. Billy also often finds solace in fantasies rooted in his favourite TV show, Adventures in Space, sparking many offbeat fantasy sequences that add some charm to the proceedings.

Eventually, Billy meets the intense Roy (Jay Collins), who expands his awareness of the world of self-pleasure. This develops into a relationship of sorts, but Billy’s further attraction to the epitome of masculine cool in the boy Jamie (Michael Dorman) leaves Roy feeling jilted. At the same time that Billy has to learn to deal with the immature and undeveloped notions of romance at his age, he also has to struggle with the complexities of family acceptance in a time and setting where acceptance ran short.

50 Ways of Saying Fabulous


“Downplaying the camp, gender-bending and fantastical elements of his 1993 debut feature, “Desperate Remedies,” Kiwi writer-helmer Stewart Main’s overdue sophomore effort is a kidpic-of-sorts that ends up being just as peculiar.”
   Denis Harvey, Variety

50 Ways of Saying Fabulous is a beautiful love story full of the anguish and pain of adolescence”
   Rima te Wiata

Did You Know?

50 Ways of Saying Fabulous never secured wide theatrical release, but was still able to win the Special Jury Award at the Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in 2006. The movie was adapted from the novel of the same title written by Graeme Aitken, who based the events of the story loosely off of his own experiences growing up in 1970s rural New Zealand. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll
- 4 weeks ago
Alexander Ryll
Alexander Ryll