The Boys in the Band | Shades of Queerness and Friendships

I am no theater geek, so I’m not quite sure how this movie came to my attention. I think it might have been when the actors in this piece were promoting the play on various late night talk shows. Maybe it’s the cast themselves, Jim Parsons (Home, The Big Bang Theory, Hidden Figures), Matt Bomer (Doom Patrol, Magic Mike XXL), Zachary Quinto (NOS4A2, Star Trek), Andrew Rannells (Big Mouth, Girls) who is the one I remember talking about it on Seth Meyer’s show, Charlie Carver (Ratched, Teen Wolf), Brian Hutchinson (The Sinner, Jessica Jones), Michael Benjamin Washington (Ratched, 30 Rock), Robin de Jesus (Camp, SVU), and Tuc Watkins (The Mummy, Black Monday). I know over half of them by name, some of which I didn’t know were queer, and the others on sight.

Ryan Murpby (Glee, Nip/Tuck, Ratched) is producing this newest adaptation of Mart Crowley‘s 1968 play of the same name, and Actor-director Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart) is directing.

Premise : In 1968 New York, a group of gay friends come together to celebrate one of their birthdays. An uninvited guest and a drunken game throws the celebration into turmoil, leaving the group reckoning with unspoken feelings and buried truths.

Review: When it started and I saw the run time I groaned, something about a two hour runtime when it’s not an action movie always scares me, but I was quickly captivated. This story is amazing, when I say captivating, it is captivating. Time flew by, I even rewinded a few times.

The dialogues are like a symphony, perfectly balanced, funny, poignant and true. The way they talk to each other and what they are saying feels very true to me, organic despite the theater delivery. The whole set up is like a play, most of it is in one appartement but there’s so much going. Every inch of that space is used, it was amazing. There is subtext in the subtext, so much to unpack. The film is bursting at the seams with commentaries, making it both a joy and a pain to watch at times because it still resonates. Whatever your sexuality or gender, you know what they’re talking, you’ve seen these dynamics, you might even be one of them, and it’s a 1968 play!

This is possible because of the cast – and the writing. These actors are…top notch, not that I was worried about them individualy but together they are great, I was impressed. They’re all pulling their weight, holding each other up while putting a shine on their own character. It felt very collaborative.

The Boys in the Band is a discovery that I am very happy I made, a movie that I instantly wanted to watch with some friends.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.

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