“DIVOS!” Movie Review – A Hilarious Romp Navigating High School Theater & Growing Up

DIVOS movie review film
DIVOS! (Image: PR)

What could have ended up being a very stereotypical movie about queer kids preparing for a high school play, DIVOS! ended up being an indie comedy film I enjoyed every second of.

I was provided with a free screener of DIVOS! for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

According to the press release, Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, acquired the U.S. rights to DIVOS!. This comedy movie was made available to rent and own on DVD and North American digital HD internet, cable, and satellite platforms through Freestyle Digital Media today (July 14, 2020). Do consider checking it out!

DIVOS! was written and produced by Matt Steele, who also plays the lead. Yes, it’s the same Matt Steele from the YouTube channel ‘Two Gay Matts’.

Steele shared, “There’s always that one kid who takes the school play way too seriously. DIVOS! is for those kids whose year is made or broken the day the cast list is posted.”

The premise of DIVOS! dealt with Ricky Redmond (Steele), a senior, giving his all to a high school production. Ricky’s dream is to move to New York and become a Broadway Legend. Of course, he also has to find a way to secure a scholarship. While his mother does support him every step of the way, money’s tight.

Everything seemed to be going well for Ricky until one day the school’s baseball MVP Josh Kelly (Timothy Brundidge) decided to audition. After breaking his arm during a match, Josh’s looking for a way to bump his extra curriculars for his college applications and high school theater’s his best bet.

DIVOS! ended up making me quite surprised by how it weaved the narrative. I thought Ricky and Josh were going to continue colliding heads. However, after understanding why Josh wanted to do theater, Ricky took him under his wing. But as time passed, Ricky began to realize that helping Josh might have been a mistake.

I loved how DIVOS! showed that many people, regardless of their sexuality or gender, aren’t above lies, manipulation, and even blackmail when it came to getting what they wanted. Competitiveness can get quite messy between high school students and I enjoyed every minute of Ricky and Josh trying to one-up each other.

While seeing high school kids being a mess was fun, DIVOS! did offer a lot of heart. In my opinion, it’s a film that urges viewers to be more understanding of others. Everyone’s carrying their own baggage and while certain people do have an air of confidence about them, that doesn’t mean they aren’t fighting insecurities.

I appreciated how the film shared the narrative from both Ricky and Josh’s perspectives. It was an unexpected, yet welcome narrative decision. In the end, both characters had to realize that not getting what they wanted doesn’t mean their journey’s over. I think that’s an important message to tell young kids and even certain adults.

Yes, some doors will close for you not because you lack talent, but because you aren’t related to the right people. It’s just an unfortunate part of life. However, even when you think a door or two has closed, you might be able to find a couple of open ones by being patient and looking around. 

Directed by Ryan Patrick Bartley, the ensemble cast also included Marissa Jaret Winokur, Nicole Sullivan, Jayson Bernard, Jason Stuart, and Jake Busey.

If you’re looking for a film that plays like a mashup between Mean Girls, High School Musical, and Glee, you need to watch DIVOS! as soon as possible.

I began laughing 5 minutes into this film and it kept my enjoyment levels high throughout. It’s a queer-centric comedy that knows it’s crazy and has a lot of heart.

As far as Ricky and Josh’s relationship is concerned, I wouldn’t mind following their journey in a sequel. There were some hints about the two possibly having romantic feelings for each other. Josh’s father seemed very on board with it. I’m not against the two being endgame (when they’re in their late 30s or something), but for now, I’m more than happy to see them as unlikely friends trying to navigate growing up.

Have you seen DIVOS! 

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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