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Film / Giant Little Ones

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Giant Little Ones is a 2018 Canadian drama film directed by Keith Behrman.

Best friends Franky and Ballas find their friendship tested when, on the evening of Franky's birthday, the pair share a sexual encounter. In an effort to protect his image, Ballas blames Franky and leads a campaign to ostracize him in school. Franky struggles to come to terms with what happened while forming a friendship with Ballas' outcast sister, Natasha, and working on his strained relationship with his father, who recently left his mother for another man.

This film provides examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Franky is shunned and mocked as gay after Ballas tells other students. A gay boy there also gets harassed and mocked as well. Natasha meanwhile is shunned as a "slut", when she was actually raped.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Both Ballas and Franky. While Ballas initiated oral sex, Franky tells his father that he wasn't uncomfortable with what happened. Both also have sexual encounters with girls throughout the film and nothing definitive is said about their sexualities.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The movie ends with Franky starting to find some level of inner peace with his sexuality and starting to repair his relationships with both his father and Ballas. There's a slight hint that Franky and Ballas could come to acknowledge their feelings for one another but the movie's ending very much feels like a prologue to that larger story.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: The character of Mouse is interpreted by some as simply a butch lesbian but with others as a trans man, although it is never clarified in the movie or supplementary material. Mouse's use of a fake penis and strong interest in what it's like to really have one, along with often apparently having sex using strap-ons, indicates the latter may well be the case. In the film Mouse never says however, and could still be unsure, just like the boys with their orientation.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: It's implied that this might be Ballas' situation. He is only ever shown throughout the movie having some form of sex with Franky, although he constantly boasts about having sex with his girlfriend (a classic sign that one is overcompensating) and acts overtly hostile to Franky over their sexual encounter, attempting to paint Franky as the only "gay" one so he's shunned by most people.
  • Closet Key: Ballas and Franky seem to ambiguously be this for one another as it's implied that prior to their sexual encounter, both assumed they were straight. Franky's dad also tells him about how he met his boyfriend, realizing that he's gay by doing so.
  • Dirty Coward: Typically this wouldn't apply to a confused closeted teenager, but Ballas really crosses the line by lying about what happened with Franky, leading a campaign at school to ostracize him and physically assaulting him twice, in fear of being labeled as gay.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Natasha is blonde, and a kind, friendly girl who's sweet to Franky when everyone else shuns him, becoming his girlfriend.
  • Hereditary Homosexuality: Both Franky and his father (when younger) experienced attraction to women, and then a sudden revelation that led them to re-evaluate their sexuality. While Franky's dad seems to identify as gay, his own situation is left unclear.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: Ballas and most of the students shun Franky when he gets branded gay by the former. In Ballas' case this is clearly to cover up their consensual sexual encounter. They also mock and harass a gay boy there.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Ballas is outraged after Franky and his sister Natasha start dating, claiming it was just to prove Franky's straight (but this isn't the case). They both roundly ignore his injunctions not to see each other.
  • Never My Fault: Ballas refuses to take responsibility for what happened between him and Franky and that he was the one who initiated it. According to Natasha, it's something he's been doing since he was a kid.
  • Nice Guy: Franky and Natasha, who are both nice young people. She alone among the students is kind to him after he gets shunned (perhaps empathizing due to suffering this herself at first). After they start dating and it's revealed she'd been raped, thus not wanting to have sex with him yet, he understands immediately (Franky still gets hand jobs or blow jobs though, so apparently this meant intercourse).
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Ballas instigates one against Franky that leaves him pretty severely beaten, and physically injured for the rest of the film.
  • Rape as Backstory: Natasha reveals to Franky that she's not actually promiscuous like everyone thinks. In fact, she was raped while at a party, waking up afterward with no memory of what happened. Though she seems fairly unfazed by all this, Natasha adds that not knowing what exactly happened is almost worse.
  • Sex Starts, Story Stops: Natasha rather explicitly gives Franky a hand job after they grow close to each other, which is not really necessary to show and had little buildup.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Ballas is a jerkass who never admits he initiated sex with Franky, rather telling everyone it's the opposite and leads them in homophobia against him. Natasha, however, is a very sweet girl who dates Franky and is shamed herself as a slut after she'd actually been raped, handling this with cool grace. They also have opposite hair colors-Ballas' brown, Natasha is blonde.
  • Slut-Shaming: Natasha suffers this at school to the point where she's completely ostracized. It's later revealed that she was actually sexually assaulted and has been isolated due to misinformation.