The Curiosity of Chance
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In this John Hughes-esque ‘80s teen flick, Tad Hilgenbrink stars as Chance Marquis, the eccentric new kid at Brickland International High School, located somewhere in Europe. At his new school, top-hat-wearing Chance sticks out like a sore thumb. And on his first day, the most popular guy in school—a seriously homophobic, muscle-bound jock—declares war on the new freak in school, immediately turning Chance into an outcast. Only the school’s other outcasts—a tough chick and photographer for the school newspaper—will be seen with him. To make matters worse, Chance’s first assignment for the school newspaper is to write an article about the football team—but none of the players will talk to him, except for Levi (Brett Chukerman), the hot guy who lives next door.

At home, Chance also has to deal with a tough-as-nails military dad who doesn’t understand his gay son—as well as his obnoxiously perfect little sister, who couldn’t keep a secret if her life depended on it.

It’s not until Chance meets a drag queen called Claire Vuoyant (Danny Calander) that he begins to come to grips with who he is. When he finally dons a dress and performs on his own, though, the pictures leak out at school—and Chance realizes that it’s about time he started fighting back.

The Curiosity of Chance is a kitschy comedy that’s unashamedly cheesy and chock-full of ‘80s clichés. Taking its inspiration from classic John Hughes films, it’s sometimes a little preachy, and it’s often pretty obvious—sometimes a little more than I would have liked, actually—but it’s thoroughly entertaining nonetheless. Though the acting isn’t always entirely top-notch—and I found the cheap ending to be a disappointing pay-off—there’s still a lot to love in this movie. The characters are shamelessly cliché (like the military dad and the jock who’s a jerk), which is just another part of the film’s charm. And the European setting gives it an interesting twist. The jock, for instance, is an intriguing mix of Patrick Swayze and Arnold Schwarzenegger. On top of that, the drag queens are fabulous—and their banter is priceless. And the big Battle of the Bands scene toward the movie’s end is every bit as cheesy and fun as it should be.

Though it might not be as memorable or as inspiring as Pretty in Pink or The Breakfast Club, The Curiosity of Chance is a campy-fun film that puts a whole new twist on your favorite ‘80s teen flicks.

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