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If you were breezing through this week's new releases on the sites a few of UK on-line retailers, you might just stumble across a film called Balls (actual title Männer wie wir, which translates as 'Men Like Us'), and a good many of you will hop straight past it because more than one of these sites have chosen to label the film 'gay interest'. In terms of its subject matter it would certainly qualify for the queer cinema label, but a film as energetic, cheerily upbeat and well made as this one does not deserve to be so narrowly pigeonholed (the same is true for a great deal of queer cinema, of course). It seems daft that a formulaic but entertaining story of underdogs winning against the odds that would normally be seen as mainstream fare is in danger of being consigned to a specialist audience simply because the main characters are gay. Mind you, I'm not completely naïve here – I do realise that a large portion of the mainstream audience are still intolerant enough to run a mile on spikes rather than watch a movie featuring even one gay character, let alone eleven. Which is a shame, as it's that still widely held prejudice that this film so effectively highlights and challenges, and in delivering a worthwhile message in an audience-friendly wrapper, it could make ideal viewing for more mainstream-orientated viewers.

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