10 August 2003 | Aussie Stud
Not bad for a 'fourth' go-around...
"Boys Life 4" continues the successful series of short films about gay men.
The first story is called "L.T.R." (ie. Long Term Relationship) which focuses on the lives of two young men aged 20 and 21 (ie. 'twinks') who fall in love and believe that it will last forever. An amateur film-maker documents their entire relationship from week one... right through to week four. One of the boys is very much a responsible home-maker while the other is a pot-head. The dynamics of their relationship recall the days of young love and how immature and inexperienced two young men can be. Some of the funnier high-lights include interviews with their friends and their take on the relationship, along with some personal 'interaction' with the film-maker himself.
The second story is called "O Beautiful" and tells the story of a young gay man who is attacked and sexually molested by a group of homophobic men in a New Jersey cornfield, and is then rescued by one of his attackers who returns after everyone else leaves. This would probably be the most drawn-out story of the four. It is hard to say whether these two men build a friendship, or more of an understanding when they spend the entire trying 20 minutes of the story talking about being gay, dealing with it and where to go from there. I actually felt that this was the most boring out of the four stories and probably the most cliched, especially the scene where the attacker breaks out into a rendition of "O Beautiful" for no other real reason than to cause the viewer irritation and drum in the fact that 'THIS IS AN INDEPENDENT FILM! YOU MUST LOVE ME!'. For those who are interested, there is only one shot of male 'nudity' in Boys Life 4 and you will find it in "O Beautiful".
The third story is called "Bumping Heads" and is a bittersweet story of an older man in his 40's who falls in love with a young drug-abusing man in his 20's who designs hats. The two meet at a party where they, 'bump heads' while reaching for a can of beer. Their friendship builds when they go out to a nightclub and again, 'bump heads' while looking around the club at the people dancing. The story is partly told in flashbacks from a hospital room where the older man has a bloody patch on his head and the younger man is angry at him for starting a fight. We discover what happened through the telling of the incidents leading up to this to what actually happened at the nightclub. There are some funny lines from the female Doctor at the hospital, but other than that, the ending leaves your mouth feeling a little sour.
The fourth and story is called "This Car Up", referring to an elevator in an office building and the budding relationship that is about to be explored by a bored office worker and a bicycle courier. This would have to be my favorite story of the four. The two men appear to be very superstitious about love, the office worker always referring to his 8-ball for answers, while the bicycle courier counts his odds by flipping quarters. The story is told in split-screen style with a set of spinning poker slots above their heads that tell you what they're currently thinking. I thought the format was clever and extremely funny and the outcome is very comforting. Definitely one of the cutest stories in the Boys Life series.
All in all, I was very pleased with Boys Life 4. The series is certainly not tired and with the continuing addition of fresh and innovative story-tellers and directors, I predict Boys Life to continue on for quite some time.
My Rating - 7 out of 10