Boys Life 2 (1997)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age, Gay & Lesbian Films  |   Run Time - 74 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Brian J. Dillard

This collection of gay-themed short films gets better as it goes along. Opener Must Be the Music chronicles the nightlife hi-jinks of a group of callow pretty boys; like its protagonists, the film is nice-looking but ultimately shallow and immature. Nunzio's Second Cousin features an intriguing premise and compelling performances from Vincent D'Onofrio and Eileen Brennan, but a too-pat ending puts the brakes on its considerable dramatic momentum. Alkali, Iowa proves both stylish and emotionally resonant, its elliptical storytelling and restrained performances resolving into a film of uncommon depth. Different films end the theatrical and home-video versions of Boys Life 2, but each provides a rousing finish. Trevor, the tragicomic tale of a chubby pubescent with a love hangover, won a 1995 Oscar for Best Live-Action Short. The DadShuttle, meanwhile, elicits taut drama and lingering melancholy from a simple premise, a pair of strong performances, and dialogue that lives up to its obvious inspiration: Harold Pinter.