Login

Boyfriends Review

Image for Boyfriends

★★★★★

Produced by two Brits on the standard British microbudget, this improvised gay wordfest is another quasi-documentary consideration of what's wrong with modern relationships.

Three male couples converge on a seaside cottage for an Easter weekend of recriminations, reminiscences and rumpy-pumpy. Paul (Dreyfus) and Ben (Sands) are on the verge of splitting after five years, Matt (Michael Unwin) and Owen (Andrew Ableson) are on the verge of shaking up after three months and Will (David Coffey) and Adam (Darren Petrucci) are on the verge of who-knows-what after a one-night stand.

They're a touchy bunch and only the younger Adam's uncomplicated, working-class chirpiness cuts through their neuroses. When they're not interrogating each other, they wander through the woods, prepare potato salad or mollycoddle the houseplants. Despite a clutch of bed-swapping episodes, there's little for flesh-fetishists to feed on here.

The film does occasionally stray into the realms of the twee, but overall rookie directors Hunter and Hunsinger sidestep financial constraints by concentrating on chinwagging and characterisation which is neither yawn-inducing nor alienating for the straight viewer. However, in avoiding pat solutions to the conflict, resting between permanent partnerdom and a more freelance approach, the final lap brings a hasty - and all too confusing - rearrangement of loyalties.

Nevertheless the ability of the ensemble cast of barely-knowns to create drama queens to care about makes this comically challenged answer to Peter's Friends a fairly enticing prospect.

More from Empire