Rating: (4 out of 5) Saturday, 10/18/2008, 9:00 PM Feature presentation, $10 at Lincoln Theatre
ANOTHER IN A LINE of Pedro Almodovar-inspired over-the-top comedic romps with strong Spanish women at its core, Boystown is like Pleasantville taken to an absurdist gay extreme, where youthful ambition and pristine beauty trump aging naturally, with grace. It succeeds by the sheer will of its drive to be entertaining, and by actors who play their part. Famous Spanish film actress Rosa Maria Sarda, who starred in Almodovar’s All About My Mother, steals the show as the especially hilarious Mila, doting mother of a budding gay detective, while Carlos Fuentes portrays Rey with just the right measure of irresistible immaturity, a sexy and sweet, grown-up boy.
Rey is a wolf cub partnered to Leo, the bear, whose urban neighborhood is getting younger, gayer and prettier by the day, as old women who were born there die there — all murdered by a strapping young real-estate agent with a dangerous distaste for the old and the ugly. Rey and Leo get ensnared in this murder mystery, which is funnier and more whimsical than it has any right to be.
Director Juan Flahn has more experience as a writer for Spanish TV, and the movie, which Flahn also co-wrote, wears a bit as it goes, stretching too much, and then wrapping up in a hurry. But the film passes through a gay bathhouse on its way to a resolution, in a twist both comical and sexy. And did I mention the overbearing mothers? They only add to the drama and the delight – at one point, Rey’s mother insults Leo, saying he’s a ”a queer with an ass like the Japanese flag.” It’s just one of many absurdist, or at least acerbic, comments that will have you in stitches.
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