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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

'Boys in Brazil' DVD: Queer as Sao Paulo Folk in Perfect Pride Month Flick



The only bad thing about the Brazilian tla releasing film "Boys in Brazil," which comes out (pun intended) on DVD on June 30 2015, is that tla is not making it available in time for Pride Month. A better aspect of "Brazil" is that it both makes a terrific Saturday night date or friends film and is a nice example of mainstream queer cinema.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the spoiler-laden trailer for "Brazil" provides glimpses of the story lines via the most amped-up scenes in the film.

The personal impact of "Brazil" requires the same drifting into "blogland" as the last several reviewed indie flicks from numerous genres. In this case, A Saturday night viewing of this film about the Sao Paulo Pride Festival having a  textbook life-changing aspect on two late-teens boys evoked a nice memory of the 1997 gay rom com "I Think I Do" providing a Saturday night movie theater introduction to that genre. (The "The Partridge Family" soundtrack in "Think" alone is enough to make this amusing and lively film worth watching.)

Thinking that "Brazil" will provide young guys (and girls) the same sense as "Think" is exciting and is an example of the motivation for this zero-revenue review site. "Brazil" is a nicely made and relatively low-key film with enough subtle touches of drama, camp, and suggestions of  erotic (rather than salacious) male nudity to appeal to viewers seeking a guilty pleasure.

"Brazil" further evokes thoughts of the 2000-2005 Showtime drama series "Queer as Folk" in that the main characters are largely gay stereotypes without being caricatures. Eighteen year-old Mauro is a combination of enthusiastic twink Justin and flamboyantly outrageous Emmett. His more conservative and shy BFF Rodrigo is the Michael of the group. Mauro's gay uncle Vincente is the "Uncle Vic" of the group in that he is the mentor and role model for the boys.

Cross-dressing scene-stealer Silvetty Montilla is the "Brazil" answer to Michael's mother Debbie. Montilla's Dona Vera is a hilarious cross between Endora of "Bewitched" and Mrs. Roper of "Three's Company" in both personality and appearance.

The cast further includes a tough but feminine (i.e., Lindsay) videoblogger and her more butch girlfriend (i.e., Melanie).

"Brazil" opens with Mauro running through Pride like a puppy on speed with Rodrigo and Vincente in tow. Coming across thugs literally bashing the married and closeted Roger dampens the mood and requires that the whole gang become involved when Mauro enters fierce chihuahua mode.

The quartet retreating to the apartment of Vincente to tend to their physical and emotional wounds prompts a "pink pact" to leave the closet before the next Pride. The central events in the interim include Mauro actively pursuing an interest in drag, Vincente and Roger entering a challenging but loving relationship, and Rodrigo finding his first boyfriend in schoolmate Lucas.

The continued focus on the hardy boys indicates that "Brazil" is largely a well-done "After-School Special" for that demographic with enough variety to appeal to a broad range of queer (and otherwise) folks. Many young men who are discovering (and coming to terms with) that they like boys better than girls can relate to Rodrigo being nervous about even letting Lucas know of his sexual interest in him and subsequently acting on it and Lucas stating in reference to Mauro that he will tolerate the best friend of his future boyfriend.

One of the best scenes has a very anxious Rodrigo attempting to come out to his parents for a very sweet reason. The aspect of the response that states limited acceptance is both funny and realistic.

For his part, Vincente faces uncertainty regarding both the consequences of coming out at work and how to proceed with his relationship with the still-married Roger.

The final note regarding this tale of Pride before the fall is that teen gay viewers will find it uplifting, older gay viewers will relate to the story, and everyone else will simply enjoy a good film.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Brazil" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.