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The angst portrayed is pure adolescent angst, but it rings true in all three stories. Their sweetness and positivity make you feel good that you are gay. And those kinds of films are few and far between.
Good news! Both Boys Life and Boys Life 2 are now readily available on DVD as of September 1999.
"Pool Days" is about the awkwardness of adolescence, and the mutual attraction between an older man and a younger one. A story about experience and vulnerability!
"A Friend Of Dorothy" portrays a common dilemma many gay and bi-sexual people experience at some point in their life: the intense attraction towards someone whom is heterosexual. Sensitively examined, this story truly left me feeling moved!
"The Disco Years" shows another version of a no-win situation: getting involved with someone who is not only confused about their sexual orientation, but is also terrified of being exposed as anything other than straight! A very empowering story for those of us who have experienced betrayal at the hands of a sexually confused and frightened person!
While these three stories will appeal to anyone who has an iota of empathy towards others, they will psychologically empower those who consider themselves gay, bi-sexual or searching. Each story is uplifting in its own unique way!
Unfortunately they suffer from what afflicts much of modern gay cinema; recycled plots, too familiar devices (i have seen the "pool" setting way too many times in gay male films) and hackneyed scripts. Most egregious of all is "Dorothy" whose preposterous premise is that a cute young guy will have trouble getting laid in NYC due to a shortage of identifiable availabe gay guys in his vicinity.
In terms of cinema these shorts play like tacky little gay afterschool specials. Not a lot of imagination in their writing or execution; basically they follow a point-and-shoot, shot/reaction shot/master shot convention which becomes painfully dull after five or so minutes. There's hope for queer cinema in the works of Todd Haynes, Sadie Benning and the late, great Marlon Riggs...but not here. These films are incredibly middlebrow, singularly whitebread and their values basically pander to a gay bourgeois sensibility. Which is probably why they play so well at gay film festivals.