Cert 12A 91mins Stars 2

This cross-dressing US high school comedy is a horribly heavy handed and dispiritingly joyless experience.

It’s message of inclusivity and tolerance is welcome but is sadly delivered via the catty sneering and narcissistic poor little rich boy.

English actor Alex Lowther gives his all as Billy Bloom, a mansion dwelling lonely child who’s inherited a love of sequins from his mostly absent showbiz mother, played by Bette Midler.

At a new school, the openly gay Billy faces prejudice and violence so challenges it by standing for election as the homecoming queen.

Though this explores many of the same ideas as last years Love, Simon, there is none of the humour, charm or wit.

It’s a wearying debut from director Trudie Styler, who while pop star hubby, Sting, has dabbled in acting, has amassed 30 film producing credits.

She exploits her celebrity contacts to serve up tennis ace, John McEnroe, into a small role as the sports coach. She cannot be serious.

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