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Boys (1996)

PG-13 | | Mystery, Drama, Romance | 10 May 1996 (USA)
Patty Vare falls off a horse and is found unconscious by preparatory school student John Baker. He takes her to his dormitory. As he quickly discovers, she is hiding from something. For ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Baker Jr
Officer Kellogg Curry
Fenton Ray (as James LeGros)
Bud Valentine
Spencer Vrooman ...
John Murphy
John Cooke
Officer Bill Martone
John Phillips
Vivienne Shub ...
Russell Young ...
John Van Slieder
Jon Heinz


Patty Vare falls off a horse and is found unconscious by preparatory school student John Baker. He takes her to his dormitory. As he quickly discovers, she is hiding from something. For John this becomes a road to maturity and for Patty, it's a way back to love and tenderness. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No one stays innocent forever.


Mystery | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

10 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Girl You Want  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$516,350 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After multiple cuts and dubbing out language, the film went from a R rating to PG-13. Winona Ryder was very disappoint in the final cut of the film and did not promote it when released. She also has issues with the last minute title change from "The Girl You Want" to "Boys". See more »


Before Baker falls asleep away from the fair, the trees closest to him have all of their leaves. In the morning, both are almost bare. See more »


John Baker Jr: Will you marry me?
Patty: What?
John Baker Jr: I know that sounds ridiculous to you, but I'm do it. I would I do anything for you...
See more »


Featured in Beyond Clueless (2014) See more »


Written by Paul Weller (as P. Weller)
Performed by Paul Weller with Portishead
Courtesy of Go! Disc/London Records
by arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

I liked this movie...
14 February 2008 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

I liked this movie. Imagine a teenager, named John, the typical guy who goes to the last year of high school and doesn't quite know what to do with his life. Then, one day, he finds a beautiful woman lying on the floor in a field who, apparently, is on the run for something she did and takes her to his room. It's a boarding school, he might get kicked out, but he doesn't care; he just wants to help her. The look on his face when the woman first wakes up and the teenager walks towards her, is the first sign of a magical performance by Lukas Hass; it's a look that combines the excitement of having this woman in his bed and the curiosity of wanting to know what she might have done.

The woman is called Patty Vare, played by the wonderful Winona Ryder in the kind of role she knows by heart but never forgets to add new elements to. Here, besides appearing to be somewhere other than the real world (she fell off a horse before John found her and doesn't remember much), she masters the 'look'; that seductive look only she can achieve and makes anyone go crazy to the point that they would do anything for her. Well, at least that's the effect it had on John in the movie…And on me, of course.

But don't get things wrong. I personally don't think "Boys" is a romantic movie, even if it was writer/director Stacy Cochran's intention. I would call it some kind of an 'age analysis'. Yes, there are romance related moments that make you smile because Winona is an expert on the subject, but this time her character Patty is an expert too: on men. So the study the film tries to make is what can happen when a woman of Patty's experience meets a kid like John in an extreme situation.

That's why Cochran shows us flashbacks of what happened to Patty before meeting John; they're necessary for us to know the kind of woman she is. On the other hand, we don't know anything about John but the fact that he has a bad relationship with his father (a respectable Chris Cooper). But we don't need to know, because we realize when he is with Patty; when we hear what he says and see what he does.

There's a scene in the town fair, where Patty and John are together in the merry-go-round. The final moment of that scene explains why I liked this movie, and those are the scenes in the movie that work. Not the police sub-plot (led by a convincing John C. Reilly), not John's relationship with his friends at school (although some scenes are good to watch more of Hass' perfect work), not even the conflict with his father.

There's another scene really worth paying attention too: a chat in a table where a beautiful light from the window makes Patty seem so vulnerable. Luckily for us, this is a movie where we have the final world; about whether we believe the characters or not and about the inconclusive and far-fetched ending. Yes, it may not honor reality itself, but "Boys" honors its title; and I liked that. I liked this movie.

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