OUTFEST 2008 Film Review - Ready? OK! is a G-R-E-A-T!!

                    

On the carpet with Sister Vivian (Tara Karsian), again.

Ready? OK! is a great film. It tells the story of Andrea (Carrie Preston), a single mom and producer of a local news segment in the small town of Normal Heights. Her son, Joshua (Lurie Poston), is a persistent, aggressively optimistic 10-year old, who continually bucks up against the strict rules of his private, catholic school, determined to become part of the all-girl cheerleading squad. Resurfacing in his broken down red Camaro is her twin brother, Alex (John G. Preston). The self-proclaimed traveling salesman (aka junk collector and swap meet extraordinaire), has come back home after burying their absentee father who has recently passed.

John Preston & Carrie Preston in "Ready? OK!"

Andrea has lots to deal with in her life. She is at Joshua’s school twice a week, summoned by Sister Vivian (Tara Karsian) after each and every innocent stunt her son pulls to try and be included on the cheerleading squad. Her brother Alex reappears homeless and begins to forge a bound with her son, which she knows will only be temporary. Her mother, Emily (Sandra Ellis-Troy), visits just to irritate her with stories of flings with younger men, and her on-camera talent Halle Hilton (Kali Rocha) is campaigning for “Diva of the Decade”. Indeed, Andrea is the only adult she knows, or at least the only one acting like one, meeting her responsibilities, including Joshua’s father who left them shortly after he was born.

Diva Alert! Kali Rocha (l.) and Carrie Preston in "Ready? OK!"

So when Joshua decides he wants to go to Cheerleading Camp, Andrea must decide whether she will support him in his “artistic” endeavors or if she will insist that he, along with the rest of her family, just grow up.

Lost in the Family

I’ll say it again, Ready? OK! is a great film. It is colorful and innocent and very funny. This film is wonderfully acted and directed without being preachy or condescending. This film is extremely family friendly and serves as a definitive advocate for acceptance and a model for against conformity.

Lurie Poston is a marvel as Joshua, the young boy with the unflappable spirit. His performance is so joyful and naïve, it reminds us of all the best things about being a kid. Carrie Preston is wonderfully conflicted as the doting mom who wants to do the right thing for her child, but flounders a lot in trying to figure out what the best thing is.

Lurie Poston (l.) and Michael Emerson in "Ready? OK!"

Michael Emerson plays Charlie New, the openly gay neighbor who encourages Joshua’s interest in ‘ladies fashions’, as well as in the goal Joshua has set for himself (namely changing the rules at his private school). All performances across the board were very good. Well done.

This film is just delightful from beginning to end. Finally, there is a teaching aide for all the “artistic” kids out there who need to have that talk with their parents.

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