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Though "Ready? OK!" takes place in San Diego's own Normal Heights, the funny and decidedly quirky little film enjoys characters not normal by the usual standards. Their offbeat tendencies make them that much more engaging.

Written and directed by Escondido High School graduate and San Diego theater veteran James Vasquez, the film is the closing-night selection of this year's FilmOut San Diego 2008, the gay and lesbian-themed festival running Friday through April 17 at the Ken Cinema in San Diego. "Ready? OK" closes the festival with a screening at 7:15 p.m. April 17.

In the family comedy "Ready? OK!," a boy shows himself more than a little interested in cheerleading, along with dresses and dolls. His concerned single mother consults with religious officials and others as she tries to figure out exactly what the deal is, while also trying to keep the frazzled family together. Her wayward and wandering brother has just returned home to live, and she also deals with her own mother, a brutally honest woman with little use for men, played by Vista stage regular Sandy Ellis-Troy.

While the adult characters grapple with the many problems in their lives, young Joshua is the happiest and most in control, guiding his often comically inept and insecure older family members through their myriad dilemmas. Though Mom is most concerned with Joshua, it's Joshua who may have the best insight into contentment.

"Ready? OK!" is a creatively solid little comedy about family members in distress, relying on love, loyalty, fate, good luck and common sense to pull them together. Those many dynamics render the film frequently poignant, a nice accompaniment to the laughs.

FilmOut San Diego offers more than 70 films from around the world featuring gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes, and this year includes numerous films made by former or current San Diego County residents. For a complete schedule, visit www.filmoutsandiego.com (http://www.filmoutsandiego.com). The festival runs Friday through April 17 at the Ken Cinema, 4061 Adams Ave. in San Diego. Call (619) 987-9982.


"Ready? OK!"

Starring: Carrie Preston, Lurie Poston, John Preston

Director: James Vasquez

Studio: Daisy 3 Pictures

Not rated

RT: 93 minutes
Source: North County Times

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