The Boys in the Band presents a new gay narrative

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features and A&E Editor

5/5 Globes


When a Broadway play gets made into a movie, it gives audiences who didn’t get to see it on Broadway the chance to watch the play. That’s the opportunity that fans were given with the new Netflix original, “The Boys in the Band.” 

“The Boys in the Band” first premiered as an off-Broadway play in 1968. From there, it had a Broadway revival in 2018. Now the 2018 revival cast fronts the Netflix movie released on Sept. 30. 

The movie is a representation of gay men in New York City in 1968. Eight gay men gather for a birthday party where plenty of drama occurs, especially once the host’s straight college roommate shows up.

The movie is all about understanding the many struggles of the gay community while simultaneously showing life lessons to those who aren’t gay as well. It’s truly a piece in which everyone gains something from watching it.

The movie opens with each cast member going through their daily life. The audience gets a glimpse of each character’s personality as well as a bit of their story. However, it isn’t until the characters come together that the audience begins to understand each character and the plot further. 

There isn’t a way to directly describe the plot—in fact, at times it’s a bit all over the place—but that’s what makes the movie seem so much like real life. Real life is confusing and messy, much like how the movie is. Even if the mess left at the end of the movie seems to be a fictional extreme.

But, in general, Michael (Jim Parsons) is the host of the party and, in the beginning, seems to be the most put together. But he’s neurotic, and throughout the movie he becomes more and more hateful, reflecting his own self hatred. He represents the part of one’s self that they don’t want to recognize. 

Alan (Brian Hutchison) is Michael’s old college roommate. He comes crying to Michael on the night of the party and insists on seeing him. Even though he later tells Michael that he doesn’t need to see him anymore, he still shows up anyways and brings homophobia to the party of gay men. He holds with him a secret which can be interpreted in many different ways throughout the movie. 

One of the best parts about the movie is that there are many points that are left up to the interpretation of the watcher. This gives each person a different experience as well as a different meaning every time it’s seen. One person may take the movie as a symbol of how self hatred affects a person’s life and another may see as an empowering gay movie. It’s so much more than just a movie, it’s a lesson about life. 

Besides the outstanding way the movie is written and even filmed, the cast is really what makes this movie as good as it is. Each actor truly embodies their character to the point where it seems like that’s who they are in real life, even though it isn’t. From Jim Parsons, to Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, and more, the cast has some big names within it and they don’t disappoint. The actors take the audience inside the movie, into their lives and into the deep confines of their brain to present such a strong, moving piece of film. 

It’s a cast full of gay men which truly brings forth an LGBTQ+ narrative that is so often washed out by straight actors portraying gay men. It’s finally a standout film for the LGBTQ+ community and shows the raw story of what it’s like to be gay. It’s not sugar coated, it’s real and it may be hard for some to view or understand, but it’s a true representation for once. It even covers race issues and so many other topics that deserve to be heard by big Hollywood movies. 

Overall, the film is one that everyone should watch at least once, no matter their sexual orientation, race, or any other defining feature. It’s one of the few movies out there that doesn’t cover up real life through fiction. The movie provides an outlet for gay voices to be heard as well as a self-learning experience for those who watch it. 

This is one of those movies that can change the way people see themselves and create a comfort for those who are lost. It’s truly a superb film with an amazing cast that creates an everlasting emotional effect after viewing.