The Boys in the Band is based on the phenomenal Off-Broadway show of the same name which in 1968 broke many boundaries, this latest film version (in 1970, a large screen adaptation was also made), brought back its line-up of Broadway revival players (all actors who had openly claiming to be gay), which was staged in 2018.
It is true that in some parts the story elements are out of date, but The Boys in the Band, which was born in the pre-liberation era, is more appropriately seen as a period piece than a reflection of the present. Even if viewed from a more general perspective regarding the human psyche, relevances can still be found. Best Movie Site
In July 1968, accompanied by jazz music and the perfect night atmosphere as a background for chatting with friends (except for the rain that had fallen), nine gay men gathered at Michael (Jim Parsons) apartment, to celebrate the birthday of Harold (Zachary Quinto), who was late arriving. thus angering Michael. But before that, the script by Mart Crowley (the original show writer) and Ned Martel first invites us to get to know other figures.
Host Michael is both a Catholic and a former alcoholic, who attach importance to appearance even if it leaves him in debt. Donald (Matt Bomer) is undergoing therapy to treat his anxiety disorder. Larry (Andrew Rannells) is an artist who adheres to a free lifestyle, while his girlfriend, Hank (Tuc Watkins), who is in the middle of the divorce process, puts forward commitment. Emory (Robin de Jesús), the flamboyant who likes to say campy humor, arrives with Cowboy (Charlie Carver), the stupid blonde whore. Finally, there is Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington), a black man who for years harbored feelings for the white man who owns the house where he and his mother used to work as servants. Movie Review
Interactions that are built, effectively help the audience remember “who is who”. The performance of the line-up was strong, with Jim Parsons as Michael who ignited the majority of the disputes, most prominently. Only Matt Bomer was less convincing, and that’s not entirely the actor’s fault. The script introduces Donald as a man with a psychic mess, but throughout the duration, he appears to be the most calm and orderly.
We see many character problems in everyday life, whether in LGBT or not. Larry and Hank clash commitment and freedom in relationships, Emory shows that a happy-go-lucky figure may harbor internal vulnerabilities, while Michael’s hatred of himself tends to make him “force” others to admit the same thing. This trend became clearer after the arrival of two other men.
The first is the unwanted guests. Alan (Brian Hutchison), Michael’s friend from college, suddenly appears, having previously called in tears. We never know the reason for shedding tears, even though it is implicitly, it is likely that he is a closeted gay caught in a dilemma. Alan made a lot of homophobic remarks, making Michael even more excited to force him to admit to being gay. Not that Michael cared about Alan or wanted to stand up for gays. He just wanted to hurt his old friend.
It became even more apparent after Harold’s arrival, who Michael kept accusing him of as a pathetic man who was always worried about his appearance, and had suicidal tendencies, but wouldn’t have the courage to do it. Quinto displays an eccentric charisma, full of calm in fending off Michael’s scathing words, who want everyone (read: all gays) to hate themselves as much as he hates himself.
Joe Mantello’s directing is able to make the conversation of the nine men dynamic, entertaining, and not too stagey for film audiences. It was a lively and noisy night, but behind the almost always audible laughter, there was a fear of loyal lurking. The fear that someone will report them to the police because they feel “disturbed”. The fear that victims of bullying still feel today, so The Boys in the Band is still relevant. That means, more than four decades ago, we haven’t gone far. Top Movie