Boys (1996) / Drama
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug content
Running Time: 86 min.
Cast: Lukas Haas, Winona Ryder, John C. Reilly, James LeGros, Skeet Ulrich, Chris Cooper, Catherine Keener, Jessica Harper, Spencer Vrooman, Charlie Hofheimer
Director: Stacy Cochran
Screenplay: Stacy Cochran
Review published February 16, 2003
Ryder (Little Women, Reality Bites) is Patty Vare, who has been getting visits from the local police regarding her knowledge about the whereabouts of a stolen car and a missing baseball player. Not wanting to deal with it, she takes off on a horse, gets in an accident, and wakes up in the dorm room of a boys school where she meets the boys who found her. One of the boys, John (Haas, Witness), becomes enamored of Patty, and the feeling seems mutual, with the two running off to the local fair to gallivant. However, Patty's past threatens to catch up to her, while John's future may be diminishing by throwing his education, friends and family's wishes away for the girl he just met.
This oddity is based on a short story by James Salter entitled, "Twenty Minutes," which is coincidentally the amount of time it took for me to declare Boys a bad film. Nothing in the ensuing 66 minutes did anything to change my mind, although it is so bizarrely executed, I couldn't change the channel until it managed to go somewhere interesting. Then I saw credits rolling.
The original story was about a girl horse-rider who gets in an accident and recounts the details of her life in the final twenty minutes of her existence. Boys has the the girl, the horse and the accident, but other than that, no similarities. So what's it really about? Well....It's some sort of romance...or maybe it's a coming-of-age story, or...well, it's really a mystery...er, well, actually it's a family drama...I think. Hell, I really don't know what the intent of Boys is, but I suspect writer-director Stacy Cochran (My New Gun, Drop Back Ten) may be the only one with any clue as to what she was trying to make. Based on the end result of the film, I'm not entirely sure about that.
Even die-hard fans of the stars will probably refuse to add this to their collection. I recommend never to bother trying to find out for yourself.
©2003 Vince Leo