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Continuing my gay education 2: The Boys in the Band (2020)

Yes, unfortunately I couldn't get a hold of the original as recommended to me by fellow posters, and I couldn't wait any longer, so I watched the new one. I assume that, being based on a play, they are pretty much word for word anyway?

I will still watch the original when I can because I actually enjoyed this. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. I put it off for ages because all I had heard years ago was that some people didn't like how it portrayed gay men, and I didn't think I could deal with a movie all about gay men being horrible to each other, which was kind of something I had just made up in my head it turns out. Though they were very bitchy to each other in a way I've always been uncomfortable with when around men like this.

In the end it was quite simply about self-hatred. It was also very funny in parts. I really did like watching it and would watch it again. The world it portrayed is not completely familiar to me, and yet it also felt true. I don't think I'd be any good at a party like that; just stand in the corner with a fixed grin on my face. I hate confrontation and I'm not quick witted enough to be amusing to other men like that. Never have been.

Tuc Watkins is SO my type. I would love a daddy like that, haha. I was really pleased Hank and Larry made it up at the end, I was gunning for that to happen.

I had assumed that the Harold character was basically the kind of queen who was going to come into this happy party and ruin it all; was completely surprised by what actually happened in the movie and that it was the Michael character who was the problem. Loved it when Harold just stood up at the end, quietly summed up Michael and then left.

The only thing is, I really didn't need the flashback scenes. Not that they were that intrusive, but they were so unnecessary. I know this is the film of a play, and I really like it when plays are filmed closer to how they appear on stage. I could've happily just watched the men tell their stories.

Now trying to figure what the next step is for me in my gay education. Thanks for the recommendation for this one to those who mentioned it.

by Anonymousreply 22November 23, 2022 7:23 PM

PS, I don't think I've ever heard the word "faggot" mentioned so much in my life!

by Anonymousreply 1November 19, 2022 9:38 AM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2November 19, 2022 9:43 AM

Ooh cheers, R2! Is the whole thing there? I'll check in on it - sometimes I find I get half way through and even though one part says it's there, the video ends up jumping to the next. That happened when I tried to watch Koyaanisqatsi recently.

If it is all there and the quality doesn't make my head hurt, I'll definitely check it out.

by Anonymousreply 3November 19, 2022 9:49 AM

Oh I meant to say too - there were a number of phrases used in this that I kind of sat up and thought: "Hang on, is that where this phrase originated?" I can't remember too many examples now unfortunately, but things like: "We like you, you can stay" and stuff like that. I wonder if they came about in gay groups due to this play.

by Anonymousreply 4November 19, 2022 10:01 AM

So thinking it through - Alan never was gay was he? The whole thing was Michael projecting himself onto Alan, probably he was in love with his old friend and trying to speak through Alan during Alan's phone call to his wife.

by Anonymousreply 5November 19, 2022 1:50 PM

Cowboy: “I was doing chin-ups and fell on my heels and twisted my ankle”. Emery: “You shouldn’t wear heels when you’re doing chin-ups”!

by Anonymousreply 6November 19, 2022 2:09 PM

Initially I was like: "aww, why are they being so mean to that sweet cowboy", but I must say he really WAS dumb. I laughed at the part where he said something and Donald is like: "Oh my GOD!"

by Anonymousreply 7November 19, 2022 8:21 PM

Oh, I also found it funny that Netflix warned of "Strong Sex Scenes"! Because, unless my version was cut somehow, all we say was Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells briefly nude in a bathhouse and Matt Bomer disappears below the screen for a gob job. Outside of this, I am noticing that the warnings on Netflix are getting more and more ridiculous - maybe I'm desenstised, but they really seem to be going over the top with this "Strong" this and that and the other.

I even saw something recently where the warning was "contains themes". Well, I should hope so!

by Anonymousreply 8November 19, 2022 9:41 PM

Coming back to what I said at R5 for a moment, I have been thinking about this over the past few days and can see a good argument as well that he was gay and turned up to the party hoping for something else only to be confronted with everything happening and ended up driven back to his wife.

It's a very interesting play, it's been running through my mind since I saw it. So many things I watch these days just immediately leave my head after I've seen them.

by Anonymousreply 9November 21, 2022 6:54 PM

Bleh. Watch the og. Just because its newer doesmt mean its better.

by Anonymousreply 10November 21, 2022 8:03 PM

PS..the original doesnt have the flashback scenes.

by Anonymousreply 11November 21, 2022 8:04 PM

[quote]Coming back to what I said at [R5] for a moment, I have been thinking about this over the past few days and can see a good argument as well that he was gay and turned up to the party hoping for something else only to be confronted with everything happening and ended up driven back to his wife.

I think that if we believe everything Michael says about Alan's friendship with Justin Stewart, including what Michael says Justin told him about Alan, there is no doubt that what Alan wants to talk to Michael about is the fact that Alan has finally admitted to himself that he's gay and has left his wife for that reason.

by Anonymousreply 12November 21, 2022 8:10 PM

OP, if you have or can get access to TCM, the original is streaming there.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 13November 21, 2022 8:11 PM

Too bad any version of the show is a bore

by Anonymousreply 14November 21, 2022 8:15 PM

To me, it's a structural thing--if Alan's not gay, why does he stick around? He knows there's a party, why does he come to it. His actions don't make a ton of sense if he's a 100 percent straight guy on the outs with his wife. He's like Hank, but without Hank's courage.

I've seen both versions, but the second one barely sticks with me. The original cast version is a bit stagey, but the actors get their parts--Leonard Frey as Harold is amazing. All this build-up to his entrance and then he delivers on it.

Self-hatred is a theme in the play, but not every character is self-loathing. Hank and Larry aren't. I don't think actually think Emory is--he's a button pusher.

by Anonymousreply 15November 21, 2022 8:24 PM

I don't think Bernard is self loathing either, or the cowboy. La Tourneaux is really good in this, its not a super deep role but his sweetness and naivety come off as completely genuine.

I feel Alan wants an escape from his stuffy conservative existence. The way Michael speaks about his family ("They look down at people in the theater") makes you feel that it would be a prison for anyone even questioning that hum drum rich conformist lifestyle. Escaping from his heterosexuality may be part of it but it need not be. Maybe Alan sticks around in the party because for the 1st time in I imagine a long long while he's in a group of people that are themselves, that express their feelings and are openly whatever they are, the good, the bad, the bitchy and mean and loving and caring. I still hope (unrealistically I know) that Allan returns at some point and joins Michael and his crazy friends. Straight or gay, I hope he's free.

by Anonymousreply 16November 21, 2022 9:18 PM

[quote]To me, it's a structural thing--if Alan's not gay, why does he stick around? He knows there's a party, why does he come to it. His actions don't make a ton of sense if he's a 100 percent straight guy on the outs with his wife.

Good point.

by Anonymousreply 17November 21, 2022 9:42 PM

[R13] This TCM streaming is stupid because you must have cable with TCM to use it. Why isn't there a TCM app that can be used without cable? It's ridiculous that when so many people are ditching cable for streaming, they still require a cable provider to access this. I guess TCM doesn't care about being accessible to all of us who have dropped cable? Maybe Xfinity owns TCM?

by Anonymousreply 18November 22, 2022 1:32 AM

R13, thanks so much for the link. I'm in Australia, so don't think I have access to that, but appreciate the thought.

R15, I agree there, and that's why I started to change my mind about Alan not being gay. Why did he come to the party anyway? He was going to see Michael solo the next day, but he dropped by. I think he suspected there would be gay men there and wanted to see what it was like. And then he's shocked by what he sees and experiences. And because the others think he's straight, some of them (like Emory) start acting defensive towards him which makes things worse. He clearly likes Hank, and I think his comment privately about how he can't stand people who speak like Emory shows he perhaps has some understanding of gay life. Sadly, Michael's behaviour drives him back to his wife. But like R16 says, I kinda hope he could make his way back again.

I also like how you can really argue both sides of it.

Re: self-hated, yeah I think that is a strong term for all the characters. Michael, Harold and Allan could all be considered to have self-hatred, but I think most of the characters have that lack of self-respect that oppression causes. Bernard lets Emory use racist language towards him, for example, Hank lets Larry treat him badly, Larry takes a lot of his anger out on Hank... but they all kinda get nice endings. Larry and Hank open up that they really love each other and finish the play making love for probably what is the first time in a long time, Emory apologises to Bernard and promises to never do that again.

The only characters I couldn't see this in were Donald and the Cowboy, and the Cowboy, to be fair, is so naïve that he just seems to happily go through life as is.

When I got to the end of the movie, I couldn't imagine most of these characters seeing each other again, but the more I think of it, the more I think there were some happy outcomes here.

As an aside, I still remember the names of each character in this play. That's a good sign, I usually struggle to remember characters names, and just start calling them by the actor's name. I really did have a good time with this movie. And some great lines in it too:

"How'd you like to blow me?"

"What's the matter with your wife? She got lockjaw?"

by Anonymousreply 19November 22, 2022 7:30 AM

Oh, did I mention how much I enjoyed the music? I've been listening to "Hold On, I'm Coming" and "Heatwave" on repeat the past couple of days.

by Anonymousreply 20November 22, 2022 12:00 PM

I've now checked out a couple of brief clips from the original movie (the dance scene, a funny moments clip), and I have to say, I'm really looking forward to watching it! Both actors playing Alan look really similar.

The actor playing Emory is straight, isn't he? I think his mannerisms are just a little bit over the top, BUT, he is very cute at the same time and I liked him.

by Anonymousreply 21November 23, 2022 6:45 AM

"Kind of makes you want to rush out and buy a slide rule doesn't it?"

by Anonymousreply 22November 23, 2022 7:23 PM
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