boy culture, TLA Releasing, 2007
Boy Culture is a sassy, smart, and sexy drama that offers up a sharp and often biting critique of contemporary gay male culture. Starring Derek Magyar, Derryl Stephens, and Jonathon Trent the film is the latest major release from writer and director Q. Allan Brocka (Eating Out). As of late, Brocka has turned into a queer King Midas of sorts as it seems any gay project he touches magically turns into gold. Boy Culture is no exception.
Based on the novel by Matthew Rettenmund, Boy Culture follows the main character X (Magyar): a savvy and cynical gay-hustler who narrates the drama as it unfolds. Living with him are his roommates Andrew (Stephens), who he refers to as “boyfriend material” and Joey (Trent), a spectacularly disillusioned 17 year old living rent free. When X’s newest client Gregory (Bachau) starts to break down his hard exterior, romance between the three boys starts to show through the cracks.
One of the major highlights throughout the film is X’s narration. As the movie progresses it evolves into a social commentary and scathing critique of North American gay male culture. In one notable scene at the gay club, X remarks on the mating habits of the gay male and concludes: “If gay guys stopped spending so much time hooking up, we’d have fucking da Vincis everywhere.”
Magyar's portrayal of the enigmatic X is excellent. Magyar saves the potentially unlikable character by deflating X's ego with his insecure nature. As Andrews, Stephens -(Noah’s Arc) proves that he is more than a pretty face—and body. Trent is hilarious in his portrayal of the young and naïve Joey. When he accidentally overdoes on GHB his only defense is that “people blackout everyday.” Bachau is charmingly intellectual as Gregory, who turns X’s critiques upon himself.
In Boy Culture, Brocka once again demonstrates his complete understanding of the audience he is writing and directing for. In Rettenmund’s book he found the perfect character in which he could project his creative voice. Aside from the hustling part, X and Brocka are not so different: they are sharp and witty storytellers who both have excellent insights into the lives around them. Featuring interviews with the cast members as well as director, there is no reason why this DVD shouldn’t be in your collection.