Boy Culture – **

Posted: April 15, 2012 in 2006, Dramedy, LGBT themed, romcom, USA, XX

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433350/

The trailer isn’t promising, but as it was a 99 cent rental on iTunes, I decided to at least start looking at it. Well, surprise surprise, I really liked this one. It had my attention for the 80 minutes it lasted, even though I didn’t care for the end that much.

One of the reason that it kept my attention was the fact that it was narrated directly to me (as the viewer). It’s one thing to have a voice over, it’s better to have the narrator talk to you like you’re listening to a private tale (with images), interacting with what you may think or feel while listening and watching. I’ve seen movies where that tactic doesn’t work at all, but here, it was perfect. During the narration you see flash backs in which the narrator does all the voices. Which makes total sense. That’s how you tell a story! You imitate the voices of the people who you are talking about.

The narrator is a male escort, called X in the movie, who is totally ok being a prostitute. It’s not like someone or something pushed him into the oldest profession of the world, even though some traumatic (though very common) experience in his youth made him believe having sex for money is just less of a trouble than falling in love with someone who may just dump you the next day. I like people who think like that. Put the ration before the heart. Of course, that’s an ideal situation, as we all know that in reality the heart does take over some times. Such is the case in this movie too.

Derek Magyar, who plays X, does a good job. He’s great at pretending to be emotionless. You can actually see him pretend, which makes the character sympathetic. It could also be bad acting, but I didn’t see it that way. I personally liked his character a lot, a prostitute with a certain moral!  Is what he does worse than what the majority of the (gay) people do in the weekends? Spending hundreds on dollars on expensive jeans, exclusive perfume, high-end drinks, long taxi rides only to have sex with a guy once and then start all over again the next weekend. Yeah. I recently had a conversation with a (female) friend who said she never pays for drinks when she goes out and makes sure the date will pay for her dinner if he wants to end up in her bed. “So, you’re a prostitute”, I replied. End of the friendship.

But this movie isn’t so much about prostitution as much as it is about confusion. X is perfectly okay being an escort. He’s just afraid that a partner would disapprove of his job. He’s too afraid to getting really hurt, so he focuses on his job and avoids having sex with other people than his clients. One of them is Gregory, who only pays him to open up emotionally. Those reverse shrink moments make the most interesting plot line. The other plot line is less interesting because it isn’t scripted and acted well. It focuses on X’s relationship with his roommate Andrew, who clearly is boyfriend potential and who has shown interest in him as well but who doesn’t want to be in a relationship with a hooker.

Okay, that sounds very cheesy and boring. But I’ve seen enough heavy drama on the screen lately. So this was a welcome change. I actually wasn’t annoyed at all by the portrayal of gay people in this feature movie. There is of course a stereotypical flamboyant character, but he’s only in the story to counter balance the quieter protagonist. It’s the other roommate,  a runaway kid who starts exploring the gay scene, being the easy slut that a lot of gay people seem to have been at one time in their life. But as an antagonist the portrayal worked. And he wasn’t too camp. There’s a lot of right-on remarks about the difficult (sad?) life of single gays in a big city.

Just too bad that the soundtrack of the movie is terrible. X had my sympathy until he goes on a road trip and puts on an incredibly bad gay disco house track and then actually explains why he likes it. From there the movie went downhill sliding in unbelievable scenes and a predictable ending. It still had my attention until the end, but it faded.

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