Growing up is hard, but growing up while trying to hide yourself is even harder–something a lot of queer people have felt at some point in their lives. There have been an innumerable amount of coming out stories, but I’ve never seen anything quite like Jonathan Wysocki’s dynamic Dramarama. Based on his own experiences and the people he knew growing up, Wysocki infuses his script with such a gentle nudge-nudge that it wins you over in its first few minutes. I love this movie so much.
Set in Escondido, California in 1994, the film centers on a group of drama students having one last murder mystery sleepover before they go their separate ways to college. It captures that very specific feeling of taking the first huge leap in your life as an adult and wondering if you can leave your high school life behind. Gene, played by Nick Pugliese, is anxious to come out of the closet but he is hesitant to do so. It’s an evening full of challenging heartbreak and realizations. Wysocki’s script is concise and smart. The references–my god–the references!
This is the type of film that immediately resonates because of the history and emotion poured into it. I felt such a connection with these characters because I knew them–I was one of them. Wysocki and I talk about the connection of faith to sexuality and how that changes as you get older. You may grow apart from your close friends or the people you knew in high school, but when you are about to embark on your own path for the first time, you will realize how much of an impact they have on you.
Please note that this video interview talks about the entire film. See the film and then come back to our chat. Dramarama is playing in select cities now.