6.6/10
894
14 user 32 critic

House of Boys (2009)

Unrated | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 29 July 2011 (USA)
Two young soul mates find each other while working at an all-male performance club/brothel. Eventually, one contracts AIDS.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Loïc Peckels ...
Young Jake
Layke Anderson ...
Frank
Harry Ferrier ...
Karl
...
Christopher
...
Rita
Sascha Ley ...
Frank's Mother
Chris McHallem ...
Frank's Father
Natalie Slevin ...
Amanda
Kelly Jake ...
Boyd (as Jack Kelly)
...
Jake
Emma Griffiths Malin ...
Carol (as Emma Griffiths-Malin)
...
Young Hippy Boy (as Elias Comfort)
Roya Zargar ...
Young Hippy Girl (as Roja Zargar)
Marco Wirges ...
Bouncer 1
David Imper ...
Bouncer 2
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Storyline

A glamorous, colourful coming-of-age story that follows the dramatic journey of Frank, a high school kid in 1984, through an exciting world of sex and music, where his deep new passion is suddenly turned into a struggle for courage facing a new disease - the "gay cancer" - and becomes deep, true love in the expectancy of his friend's horrible death and beyond. Written by Jean-Claude Schlim & Christian Thiry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Make Love Your Goal

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Release Date:

29 July 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dom chlopców  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

(still photographs) (archive footage)|
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(2009) Luxembourg Film Prize: Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. See more »

Quotes

Madame: You sick?
Jake: Just happy, sir.
Madame: Don't you "sir" me.
Jake: Okay, ma'am.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the first years of the epidemic, AIDS would kill an estimated 5,000 people worldwide.

After 25 years, the death toll now stands at over 25 million, making AIDS one of the most devastating epidemics in recorded history. See more »

Connections

Features The Eurovision Song Contest (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria / Away in a Manger
Music by Franz Schubert
Performed by San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
Arranged by Tony MacIntosh
Courtesy of Golden Gate Performing Arts Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprising Depth
29 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The first ten minutes of this film might lead you to believe that it is little more than a campy celebration of homo-eroticism; however, this could not be further from the truth. House of Boys follows the story of Frank, a young man who runs away from home in order to pursue a liberated lifestyle in Amsterdam. After being abandoned by by a friend, Frank wanders into the gay strip club/brothel the House of Boys, where he is offered a job. As Frank gets to know the rest of the performers and their stories, this reviewer finds that the audience will get more than what they bargain for as Frank starts to learn about the World in its troubles.

Unlike a number of gay themed films, director Jean-Claude Schlim took great care that his actors performances did not come off as inauthentic or wooden. As the film progresses, the characters introduced continually strike the audience as authentic, likable, and sympathetic. The audience is allotted ample opportunity to become invested in the arcs of several of the key characters and appreciate the growth they reach at the end, with one exception.

Especially impressive is Schlim's use of set design to convey the change in tone within the film. Initially, the sets ((particularly the House of boys itself)) are loud , elaborate, and colorful. As the film progresses, however, the audience sees less of this and makes way for more plain, fading surroundings such as the hospital at the end of Act III.

One point of criticism is the arc of Emma. The end of her arc, while satisfying, did not have enough set up to provide adequate pay off to the audience. The film would be just as strong without the scene attempting to conclude her arc.

Nonetheless, every cast member gives solid performances that provide adequate depth and sympathy for their character. Despite dealing with sexually charged themes, the film is never pornographic and expresses the sexuality of the characters tastefully. In the end, it appears to this reviewer that the frilly titles and campy opening were intentionally misleading. The depth of House of Boys is more than skin deep.


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