Boys Life 3

2000, NR, 79 min. Directed by Gregory Cooke, Lane Janger, Jason Gould, Bradley Dust Gray, David Fourier. Starring Jason Herman, Drew Wood, Jon Polito, Elliott Gould, Jennifer Esposito, Sara Gilbert, Guillermo Diaz, Alexis Arquette.

REVIEWED By Marrit Ingman, Fri., April 20, 2001

The five short films that comprise Boys Life 3 aren't going to set the world on fire, but together, they make for a solid enough third entry in this series of gay-themed compilations. As with the previous two collections, the short films are an indie grab bag: There's an earnest two-character coming-out drama (1999's “$30”), a bouncy Hollywood farce (1996's “Inside Out”), an erotic set-piece with two modelish stars (1999's “Hitch”), an urban slice-of-life (1998's “Just One Time”). Then there's a welcome wild card -- 1996's French-language “Majorettes in Space,” a dryly funny six-minute sex-ed parody that juxtaposes stock footage and a set-up of three generic characters with laconic narration. (Describing the Vatican's anti-condom stance, the commentator intones, over photos and footage of the Popemobile, “But let us note that Jean-Paul is partial to Polish vodka.”) It's the most experimental selection, the most political, and probably the best; for the record, it's also the only one that features a tumescent member (those Europeans!). Of the other films, “Inside Out” is the most technically accomplished, if the least risky. It has a budget, a Tinseltown pedigree (writer-director-star Jason Gould is the son of Barbra Streisand and Elliott Gould, who appears briefly), co-stars with cult cachet (drag performer and thespian scion Alexis Arquette, famous former abusee Christina Crawford), a frothy camp tone, Scientology satire, and a jejune romantic-comedy storyline. (It's a bit hard to accept that the cute, bumbling son of celebrities would have to look for love in West Hollywood and would instead find Platonic companionship with sweaty, corpulent paparazzo Jon Polito, but whatever.) “$30” has the most contrived set-up -- a sensitive gay teen (Erik MacArthur) visits the sympathetic prostitute entrusted with his deflowering (Sara Gilbert) -- but it's acted honestly and directed with restraint. “Just One Time” is a seven-minute, one-joke relationship comedy with a gay twist intended to poke holes in Every (Straight) Man's Fantasy. (A theatrical-length version of the story seems to have gotten stuck in the festival circuit in perpetuity.) The ostensible object of the proposed menage a trois, Jennifer Esposito, makes one hope (okay, makes me hope) for a Girls Life, but the film doesn't leave much of an impression otherwise, though it snagged an aGLIFF award in 1998.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Boys Life 3, Gregory Cooke, Lane Janger, Jason Gould, Bradley Dust Gray, David Fourier, Jason Herman, Drew Wood, Jon Polito, Elliott Gould, Jennifer Esposito, Sara Gilbert, Guillermo Diaz, Alexis Arquette

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