6.6/10
904
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.

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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
Gintare Parulyte ...
Rita
Sascha Ley ...
Frank's Mother
Chris McHallem ...
Frank's Father
Natalie Slevin ...
Amanda
Kelly Jake ...
Boyd (as Jack Kelly)
...
Jake
...
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

American author Laura Albert penned a draft of the screenplay in 2005. See more »

Quotes

Madame: How's my new boy doing?
Emma: Pulling at the reins to dance. I think he's a fast learner.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Every year, approximately 2.5 million new HIV infections are registered.

The fight against AIDS is far from being over. See more »

Connections

Features Imitation of Life (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Done
Music and Lyrics by Anselme Pau and Rick Dulin
Performed by Liba
©Nylon Records / Delux Productions
Courtesy of Equinox Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cliché-ridden and Filled with Demeaning Stereotypes
29 September 2014 | by (Thailand) – See all my reviews

There are many good, in some cases excellent, movies about the AIDS crisis, including recent films like The Normal Heart and Angels in America, and earlier work such as And the Band Played On. House of Boys is not one of the good ones. Another reviewer suggested anyone disliking this movie must be a homophobe. To the contrary, anyone who thinks this qualifies as a good gay-themed movie must have a fairly low opinion of what a well done gay-themed movie can be. Admittedly there has become some degree of fatigue for gay films that trade off the AIDS crisis, but again, referencing the two recent films mentioned above, when done well they are still well-received.

In this film there were too many terribly clichéd personalities. ranging from the world-weary aging "madame" of the House of Boys, to the straight woman rescued by said madame, to the somewhat mysterious wealthy American customer, to the assortment of boys working in the club and of course, to the film's very own Little Nell, the wide-eyed naïf, Justin … and nearly all of them with his or her own unsuitable or overdone accent.

With all this heavy traffic distracting us, it was impossible for us to develop any emotional attachment to any individual, least of all the annoying Justin. In fact, most of the characters' development depended more on our familiarity with their recognizable cliché than anything revealed in the story-line.

At times it seemed like a Dickensian soap opera, heavily over-dramatic and replete with all the trappings, including someone in the snow-covered street singing like an urchin beggar from Scrooge or Nicholas Nickelby. Unlike something written by Dickens, however, none of the characters in this story was very well developed nor did they engender much empathy or sympathy.

The actor playing Justin was a poor choice. He lacked talent, charisma or the sort of good looks that might have made us feel some emotional attachment to him. Most of the other actors were fairly good, but the whole enterprise just never came together. Towards the end, when the tears are flowing on screen, I doubt many were shed by anyone watching the movie. And the subject at hand really should produce tears with little effort. I guess it's a matter of distinction that this movie managed to render the whole HIV crisis as well as the death & love loss experienced by its lead characters, as something banal.

There are far better choices for moving, emotionally-draining and inspiring tales from this period in the gay community. You can give this one a miss.


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