(director/writer: Corey Sherman; cinematographer: Gus Bendinelli; editors: Erik Vogt-Nilsen, Corey Sherman; music: Will Wiesenfeld; cast: Emily Deschanel (Nicole), Isaac Krasner (Jamie), Dora Madison (Allie), David Johnson III (Dan), Taj Cross (Will), Marion Van Cuyck (Erika), Emma Broz (Quinn), Jack De Sanz (Fantasy Jamie); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Corey Sherman/Allison Tate; Perfect Dog Pictures; 2023)

“The LGBTQIA+ fare has a magical quality that makes it watchable for both gays and straights.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A gentle queer coming-of-age first crush comedy directed with panache by the first timer Corey Sherman. The  LGBTQIA+ fare has a magical quality that makes it watchable for both gays and straights.

The 16-year-old newcomer actor, Isaac Krasner, plays the 14-year-old Jamie. He goes on a weekend camping trip to Lake Arrowhead, California, with his oafsh brother Will (Taj Cross) and their favorite older cousin, Allie (Dora Madison), who brings along a date, the physically fit Dan (David Johnson III). Jamie can’t take his eyes off the Adonis figure.

Jamie, on the outing, emulates his chef hero Anthony Bourdain by taking along the right spices to season the campfire meat.

The drama is about Jamie’s self-discovery, as he realizes the time is ripe to come out, after expressing a greater attraction for Dan than for any girl.

At the next campsite, Jamie’s crass brother tries to hook him up with Erika (Marion Van Cuyck), while he has a fling with her sister Quinn (Emma Broz). The sisters are camping with their parents. But being with Erika only convinces Jamie he’s gay and should gladly accept it.

Everything seemed natural. And in the end, when Jamie honestly reveals himself to Dan, it seemed like the right thing to do.

The film got its title when Jamie insists on teaming up with Dan for word games at the campsite and the older man christens them “The Big Boys.”

It played at the Provincetown Film Festival.