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Thursday, January 24, 2019

'Boys' DVD: Gay-Themed 'Boyhood'

The TLA Releasing DVD of the 2018 film "Boys" once again proves that gay-themed films can have broad mainstream appeal. This mixed coming-of-age and belated quarter-life crisis tale of everyguy Jonas largely is relatable to males all along the Kinsey Scale of sexual orientation.

The timelines of "Boys" alternate between the present in which Jonas is an early-30s Grind'r slut with a long history of hooking up with Mr. Right Now that is catching up with him and his mid-teens in which he is coming to terms with liking other boys "in that way." An incident in the present often triggers a flashback that helps fill in gaps.

The true beginning of our story is the first day of high school for freshman (in both senses of the word) Jonas. Comparable to many gay-themed coming-of-age films, the ninth-graders are gathered for an opening of the academic year assembly when new boy in school Nathan makes a grand entrance. Of course, he and Jonas lock eyes. 

This leads to older-man Nathan manipulating things so that he and Jonas share a desk in their history class; this involves an interesting bros before hos conflict that is relevant to the present of Jonas. 

The friendship without benefits between Jonas and Nathan goes to the next level when Nathan the corrupter convinces a willing Jonas to sneak a smoke and a smooch. This leads to a very cute romance complete with at least partial parental approval. 

Meanwhile in the present, Jonas is released from police custody only to find that his live-in boyfriend is less-than-pleased to see him. This leads to Jonas finding himself homeless but not himboless. 

The well-crafted extended climax (no pun intended) commences with Jonas seeking shelter at a local hotel. The cute and seemingly flirty desk clerk creates expectation of a room-service scene; however, what unfolds is much more compelling. 

We learn that the desk clerk is correct in stating that he and Jonas have a history; these boys heading out for an evening of fun does end up with Jonas waking in a strange bed with no idea of where he is; stating that he subsequently experiences a walk-of-shame is a tremendous understatement. 

This leads to the final pieces of the puzzle coming together in a manner that fully ties together the past and the present. We learn about how Nathan becomes the one who got away and hope that Jonas gets a variation of a second chance with him, Minimally, the aforementioned "morning after" provides our boy a wake-up-call that has potential to fully transform him from boyhood to manhood.

The most awesome part of this is that the closing scene that provides the sense of redemption also symbolizes recapturing lost innocence. 

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