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With: Elliot Gould, Sara Gilbert, Jon Polito, Alexis Arquette, Joelle Carter, Guillermo Diaz, Jennifer Esposito
Written by: David Fourier, Jason Gould, Bradley Rust Gray, Lane Janger, Christopher B. Landon
Directed by: Gregory Cooke, David Fourier, Jason Gould, Bradley Rust Gray, Lane Janger
MPAA Rating:
Language: English, French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 79
Date: 11/16/2000

Boys Life 3 (2000)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Life is Short

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

"Best of" collections usually do not live up to that title. A certain percentage of any collection of short films is bound to be made up of clunkers. I therefore did not have my hopes high for Strand Releasing's Boys Life 3, a collection of gay short films, which opens today at the Castro Theater. But I found myself pleasantly surprised as three of the five films proved excellent, one of middling quality, and only one a clunker.

The collection begins with the amazing Majorettes in Space, which the Castro has unspooled on its own from time to time. It's a six-minute stream-of-consciousness wonder that somehow connects majorettes, the Pope, gay and straight love, and AIDS. It's hilarious and poignant and it's over before you even know what hit you.

hITCH is the 19-minute odyssey of two scuzzy hitchhikers in a Volkswagen van and their ambiguously gay relationship. The film begins nicely, without over-explaining anything. But as it ends we find we still don't have any real information. The movie's central event is supposed to ooze significance, but it's too ambiguous and too distant to have much effect.

Inside Out is a 30-minute film pared down from a former feature film. It's written and directed by Jason Gould, the son of Elliot Gould. Father Elliot appears, seemingly as himself, in one scene. Young Jason is a lost, confused soul who attends group therapy for children of celebrities. He's also on the run from a sleazy, overweight paparazzi (the great Joe Polito), and suffering that particular hell of blind dating. Inside Out is overwritten and overplayed and not really that funny. But its autobiographical nature holds one's interest nonetheless.

Here the series picks up steam with Lane Janger's excellent Just One Time, recently re-made as a feature. I haven't seen the feature, but I can't imagine it being any more revealing or funny than this 8-minute short. In it Guillermo Diaz goads his girlfriend (Joelle Carter) into having sex with another woman for his pleasure, but she comes up with an interesting counter-offer.

The last film is the touching $30 in which a father sends his closeted gay teenage son (Erik MacArthur) to have sex with a hooker (Sara Gilbert). The scenario is old-fashioned, but the quality of acting and writing make it seem fresh and new. Indeed, the acting here puts the thespians in the other four shorts to shame. The movie's 20 minutes speed by with heartwarming pleasantness.

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