The Boys in the Band saw the day in 1968 on Broadway. Written by Mart Crowley, it present to the public a group of homosexual men, gathered in a New-York apartment to celebrate a birthday party. Huge shock at a time where society hasn’t faced the tragedy of AIDS and the empowerment of the LGBTQ+ community, it seems this play was one of the impulses for Stonewall’s riots one year later.
Shot like a movie for the first time in 1970, The Boys in the Band is updated in 2018, in Broadway again by Joe Mantello. With some very famous gay actors such as Jim Parson, the young Charlie Carver, or Matt Bomer, the adaptation knows a tremendous success. Nominated in two categories at the 2019 Tony Awards, it wins the Best Play Renewal. This is enough for Netflix to grab its wallet and adapt again this dramatic comedy, in front of a camera and far away from a stage this time.
And it’s amazing, to say the least. Even if you may need a few minutes to be fully occupied by the movie, the energy that emerges will cheer up even the most dubious viewer. The characters are unique and wonderfully played, the music plunges us in a rather pleasant nostalgia and we discover with emotion the fight of these gay men, trying to fully live in a society trapped in prejudices. Unfortunately still very accurate, subjects such as religion and homosexuality or the search for identity are dealt with remarkably, not too lightly, and not too dramatically. And to top all of that, Joe Mantello offers us some very original and beautiful camera movements, conveying the impression of being in the middle of the party. A movie to watch absolutely.