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Title Boyfriends Year 1996
Director Tom Hunsinger,
Neil Hunter
Writer Tom Hunsinger,
Neil Hunter
Country UK Language English
Cast James Dreyfus, Mark Sands, Andrew Ableson, Michael Urwin, David Coffey, Darren Petrucci, Michael McGrath, Russell Higgs, Derek Jacobi (narrator)
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Back to top Synopsis

At the seaside in his country cottage Paul (James Dreyfus) and his lover Ben (Mark Sands) invite two friends to join them for a pleasant gay weekend at Easter.

Will (David Coffey) is a social worker who brings his latest trick, a whorish 20-year-old former client named Adam (Darren Petrucci). Goody-goody Matt (Michael Unwin) brings his boyfriend of three months, the promiscuous, distracted Owen (Andrew Ableson). Amidst all the cooking, cleaning, and nature walks, each of these three couples see their relationships, where they exist at all, unraveling before their eyes.

Will cons the reluctant Adam into coming by telling the younger man, "It'll give you a chance to see a group of well-adjusted homosexual men." Adam's life-lesson, however, doesn't quite materialize because these men are anything but well-adjusted.

Aggressive, bitchy Paul is distressed at the death of his brother, and spends much of his time haranguing Ben, who retreats into long silences broken by spells of talking to his plants, which he believes are being systematically murdered by Paul. "I bet Paul gave you something nasty, did he?" he whispers to one shriveled specimen. "Did Paul give you something?"

Matt tries to choreograph a picture-book romance with the reluctant Owen, overpowering him with love and elaborate, beautifully arranged meals. Owen's response? "You've no idea what it's like being loved by Matt," he complains to a friend of Matt's whom he's "shagged" in a woodland tryst. "It's like being smothered by a huge bear. That's what our sex was — me trying to breathe."

Will and Adam are on even shakier ground than the others, having spent only a night together before arriving at the cottage. Will's a hopeless romantic, but Adam is faithful to his own code of one-night-stands-only. An ingratiating fuckhound who tries to screw his way through the group, he blithely swaps beds with the frustrated Will in order to facilitate his amours.

Like Randy Becker in "Love!Valour!Compassion!" or Robert La Tourneaux in "Boys in the band", he's a working-class outsider disliked by his more bourgeois patrons and irrationally blamed for their problems. A drunken Paul complains about him: "You know there are two 't's in 'settee' and he doesn't use either of them!" In a typical scene, Adam tries to initiate a three-way with Matt and Owen. When Matt's chilliness ends the lovemaking, Adam simply shrugs and runs off to bed Ben, who's vulnerable after a breakup with Paul.

Back to top Gay Interest

This insightful and vastly entertaining comedy-drama, depicting three troubled gay male couples, is both knowingly funny and unflinchingly on-target.

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