The Houseboy

"Very Good"

The Houseboy Review


The Houseboy is badly served by both its title and its poster. While it's certainly frank in discussing issues of sex, it's not the exercise in soft-core porn that its marketing implies. Anything to attract an audience, I suppose. In reality, the film is a character study of a very lost young man looking for love and answers in all the wrong places.

Young Ricky (Nick May), all of 20 years old, has stumbled into a weird relationship with not one but two older men (Damian Fuentes, Tom Merlino). Although the two are a committed couple, they have added Ricky to the mix for fun, but now, as Christmas vacation approaches, the novelty is wearing off. Ricky overhears them discussing how they'll dump him when they return from their vacation. Until then, Ricky, who doesn't technically live with them but has all but moved into their Queens apartment, will housesit. Feigning ignorance, Ricky sees them off and then starts to stew in his own lonely misery.

To combat that loneliness, Ricky starts cruising the streets of Queens and, even worse, sits himself down in front of Craigslist and begins lining up a series of humiliating and potentially dangerous hookups. One guy arrives and recalls being at the apartment a week earlier with one of Ricky's friends. Another shows up, does the deed, and then rattles off a litany of verbal abuse. A third guy, clearly drug-addled, calls up a few of his friends and turns the apartment into an all-night crystal meth and sex orgy that Ricky warily observes from the sidelines, getting involved only to comfort one tweaking teen he finds weeping in the bathtub. At Ricky's lowest point, he finds himself on his knees in front of some fat-middle-aged guy in a skanky kitchen in some forgotten corner of the city. It ain't pretty.

Salvation comes in the form of the sweet-natured Blake (Blake Young-Fountain), a well-adjusted young gay man Ricky encounters on a park bench. Blake is smart, funny, kind, and not the kind of boy to kiss on the first date. As Ricky continues to work through his demons of loneliness, self-hatred, and estrangement from his family, he finds himself gravitating toward Blake while realizing that his self-destructive behavior isn't going to get him anywhere but dead.

It's a credit to writer/director Spencer Schilly that all of this is handled with notable realism and restraint. His indictment of the Internet as a tool for meaningful social connection is especially trenchant. If you've ever wondered just how pitiful the people who rely on Craigslist for hook-ups are, now you know. At least when you pick up a guy on a park bench you can see his face and take a stab at a conversation.

Who needs a hug?



The Houseboy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 81 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 11th November 2007

Production compaines: TLA Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Spencer Schilly

Producer: Derek Curl

Starring: Nick May as Ricky, Blake Young-Fountain as Blake, Damián Fuentes as Dominic, Tom Merlino as Simon, Matthew Sandager as Cokehead

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.