6.6/10
991
14 user 33 critic

House of Boys (2009)

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

Quotes

Emma: It's hard not to like the boy.
Madame: He certainly has the right attitude.
See more »

Crazy Credits

for Frankie (1967-1995) 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

Features Imitation of Life (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Wake Up
Composed by Laurent Garnier, Performed by Laurent Garnier
© Basic Groove
© Wagram Music (Original Master Recording owner)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprising Depth
29 April 2015 | by ericthesnowkingSee 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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