Fun and Upbeat
Spork, a fun and upbeat junior-high pseudo-musical comedy, focuses on a young intersexed girl-of-a-creature named Spork. Played by Savannah Stehlin, Spork has curious bush-like hair, wears Clark Kent glasses and appears physically unappealing. Like so many of us, she tries to find her place in the world by trying to fit in. The problem? She canít. And adding to her inherited misfortunes, Spork lives in a trailer park with her older brother, portrayed by Rodney Eastman, who is the only family she has.
Being the black sheep of junior high isnít easy. Spork has no friends except for another outcast named Charlie (Michael Arnold) who is fathered by two gay dads and seems to be the only person with an understanding of what Spork is going through. Spork even gets rejected by a religious sisterhood that claims to welcome everyone. Realizing she canít be someone sheís not, Spork turns to her neighbor and friend Tootsie Roll (Sydney Park), the hip hop dancing queen who is also the leader of her pack. Tootsie Roll sympathizes with Spork, thereby letting her be a part of her sisterhood.
So what is Spork really about?
In the filmmakerís words, itís a story about standing out, but fitting in. Sporkís writer/director J.B. Ghuman Jr., whose real life inspired this story-turned-film, claims he was a Spork while growing up. Just like Spork, he lived in a trailer park and for a long time didnít know that The Wiz is a Wizard of Oz remake. He was an outcast with mostly black friends who were his influence for the hip hop culture. J. B. is also a capable break dancer (although he didnít demonstrate this talent at the premiere), and he too went through the challenge of having to prove himself in order to ďstand out while fitting in.Ē
Although the film will undoubtedly resonate with adults and teens who were outcasts growing up, it also carries a wider appeal because of its sense of humor. The movie features vintage tracks from the 90s including a score by Casey James and the Stay Puft Kid, 2-Live Crew, JJ Fad's "SuperSonic," Dimples T's "Get It Girl" and many others, which should ring a bell with anyone who grew up in the 90s.
The film boasts rhythmic appeal, in part due to its phenomenal cast, its fun and high-energy shooting style and the vibrant set dressing colors as well as the stylish wardrobe design and quirky soundtracks (which came from a video game). The well-crafted editing seems in rhythm with the movie, and illustrious montages of dancing sequences give it a very MTV look, while the wide exterior master shots, which include semi-animated skies, add coloring to the story as a whole.
Itís fun to watch the magnificent performances by the leads, especially during those well-executed musical numbers. Kudos go out to Park (Tootsie Roll), Arnold (Charlie), Rachel Fox (Betsy Byach), and Oana Gregory (Loosie Goosy), and especially to Stehlin (Spork) for taking on such a different role which, while comical, also carries a level of responsibility for the filmís target audience.
Spork had its World Premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
(Released by 42West; not rated by MPAA.)