Plus-Size Teen Experiences First Blush Of Queer Crush In ‘Big Boys’

Isaac Krasner and David Johnson III in 'Big Boys'
Isaac Krasner and David Johnson III in ‘Big Boys’ (photo: Dark Star Pictures)

Big Boys is a winning coming-of-age film from writer/director/producer Corey Sherman, who beautifully captures the magical first blush of queer crush.

The film centers on Jamie (Isaac Krasner), a plus-size 14-year-old aspiring chef who unexpectedly experiences his first-ever feelings of romantic attraction when he meets his cousin’s beefy new boyfriend, Dan (David Johnson III).

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The film’s official synopsis reads:

“Jamie’s dream camping trip is ruined before it even begins when he finds out that his beloved cousin is bringing her new boyfriend. However, Jamie’s initial jealousy of the competent and confident Dan quickly turns into a friendship as they bond over cooking, games and both being ‘big boys.’ But, as the weekend progresses, despite Jamie’s brother’s attempts to set him up with a girl staying at the campsite, all Jamie wants to do is hang out with Dan. As his burgeoning crush gets him into awkward scrapes and arguments, Jamie begins to come to terms with who he is, and who he desires.”

Big Boys also features a strong supporting cast with Taj Cross as Jamie’s annoying brother Will, Dora Madison as ‘favorite cousin’ Allie (Dora Madison), and Marion Van Cuyck as Marion, a girl he meets at the campsite.

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Sherman’s gentle pacing and easy touch never allow the storytelling to get heavy-handed. Krasner’s immensely likable Jamie navigates life-altering changes like an adorable, ever-growing puppy. In one scene, Jamie injures himself during a long hike through the woods with Dan. Jamie’s reaction as Dan whips off his shirt to dress his wound is both touching and hilarious.

In his feature film debut, Krasner delivers a gorgeous, heartfelt performance that perfectly captures the vulnerability of emerging adolescent emotions. His understated yet authentically anxious journey will resonate with audiences who remember those youthful moments of self-discovery. And Johnson is perfect as fellow ‘big boy’ Dan, whose bear build and carefree confidence make it easy to understand Jamie’s infatuation.

Isaac Krasner in ‘Big Boys’ (photo: Dark Star Pictures)

“I wanted to showcase the very funny, thrilling, and tender experience of a chubby teen going through a life-altering experience and allow him to be a fully developed, nuanced character,” Sherman says of the film. “I hope that all audiences who see the film can feel more celebrated and understood, including all the Big Boys who have never seen their story on screen before.”

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“For many queer people like myself, growing up was full of unrequited crushes on straight or closeted peers,” he adds. “Yearning for someone we couldn’t have was frustrating enough, but not seeing any exploration of that experience in the media made it feel like a lonely failure.”

That yearning manifests clearly in this newly released clip where Jamie wakes up from a dream in which he envisions himself as a grown man (Jack De Sanz) encountering Dan in the campground bathroom where they share an intimate moment.

 

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A film festival favorite, Big Boys won several top honors at Outfest LA, Provincetown Festival, Boston Wicked Queer Film Festival, and more.

The Hollywood Reporter gushed: “The kind of young queer audiences who made Netflix’s Heartstoppers a hit should gravitate to this highly specific but relatable story, which will speak most directly to awkward-age boys struggling to see how their hefty frames might fit into a gay landscape that so idealizes the Adonis model of physical beauty.”

And The Guardian called Big Boys “an achingly brilliant queer coming-of-age classic.”

Instinct gives Big Boys 5 out of 5 stars. This is easily one of the best queer-centered films you’ll see this year.

Big Boys is available now On Demand via Apple, Amazon, Google, YouTube, Vudu, Direct TV, and more. 

Isaac Krasner and David Johnson III in 'Big Boys'
Isaac Krasner and David Johnson III in ‘Big Boys’ (photo: Dark Star Pictures)

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