Movies

The Boys in the Band

(Everett Collection)

A-

The Boys in the Band

Genre: Drama; Starring: Kenneth Nelson, Peter White; Director: William Friedkin; Author: Mart Crowley; Runtime (in minutes): 119; MPAA Rating: R

Let’s get one thing straight: The Boys in the Band is not, as the title suggests, a musical. But it is the most gay-cliché-filled movie ever. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… This time capsule of camp is both revelatory and galling. Band captures a night in the life of nine gay men in 1968 NYC, where a birthday party devolves into a nasty WWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-style parlor game of true confessions, revealing a deep sea of vitriol beneath the flamboyant surface. The extras nicely contextualize the play-turned-movie’s making-of, but a commentary from writer Mart Crowley and director William Friedkin is oddly repetitive. Nonetheless, this heavy-handed relic of a self-loathing time proves surprisingly relevant — not to mention funny, disturbing, and deeply moving. A?

Originally posted November 5 2008 — 12:00 AM EST

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