6.6/10
996
14 user 33 critic

House of Boys (2009)

Unrated | | Drama, Music, 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:

Jean-Claude Schlim

Writers:

Jean-Claude Schlim (screenplay), Christian Thiry (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Luxembourg | Germany

Release Date:

29 July 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dom chlopców See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Black and White (still photographs) (archive footage)| Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(2009-2011) Audience Award at various LGBT International Festivals in Brussels, Rio, Melbourne, Durban. See more »

Quotes

Emma: Young people fall in love.
Madame: No chance.
Emma: Heart before reason.
Madame: Against the house rules.
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 »

Alternate Versions

An extended version of the film (121 minutes) features more explicit material cut from the 117 minute theatrical release, including a short orgy scene between extras in a dark room, and a brief shot of Jake masturbating in front of a client. It also includes more scenes with Frank and Carol traveling in Morocco. See more »

Connections

References Puckman (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Für mich soll's rote Rosen regnen
Written and composed by Hildegard Knef, Hans Hammerschmid
Courtesy of Musik-Edition Europaton / Peter Schaeffers
Performed by Udo Kier
Mr Kier's voice: recorded at Studio City Sound, Studio City CA
Engineer Ben Harrington
Instrumental music: recorded at WPA Studios, Luxembourg by Christoph Simon
Mixed by Christoph Simon and Gast Waltzing
Arranged by Gast Waltzing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cliché-ridden and Filled with Demeaning Stereotypes
29 September 2014 | by SuraditSee 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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