The Boys in the Band (2020)
October 2, 2020 12:44 PM - Subscribe
New York, 1968. At a birthday party, a surprise guest and a drunken game leave seven gay friends reckoning with unspoken feelings and buried truths. Based on the groundbreaking 1968 play by Mart Crowley, starring the cast from a 2018 Broadway revival production including Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Zachary Quinto and others.
Mart Crowley’s 1968 off-Broadway hit—and 1970 film—were groundbreaking moments for gay representation. For the first time, gay men were presented in a slice-of-life piece that treated them as fully formed individuals rather than tokens meant to represent an entire culture. Crowley’s script benefits from being written more than a decade before the HIV/AIDS pandemic would steal an entire generation of the community (including much of the original Boys cast) and color gay stories for 20 years. At the start of both versions of the film, a character explains that his psychiatrist had to cancel their appointment because of “a virus or something. He said he was just too sick.” Fifteen years later, that line would have foreshadowed the tragedy ahead for the doctor, but here it’s a throwaway line used to explain a party guest’s early arrival. That perhaps encapsulates the importance of Boys In The Band: It’s about gay men just being.