Boys Review

A teenager dreads his upcoming term at an all-male boarding school until he meets an enigmatic older woman.

by Emma Cochrane |
Published on
Release Date:

10 May 1996

Running Time:

86 minutes



Original Title:


This romantic fluff has been languishing in a vault for two years. And with good reason.

This bland tale focuses on 17-year-old delinquent John Baker Jnr. (a staggeringly unappealing Haas) who is looking for an excuse to be kicked out of school. Considering the place is stocked with a group of tie-wearing, long-haired, grunge rejects who insist on addressing each other as "dude", you can hardly blame him. And luckily, an "excuse" literally lands at his feet when a mysterious older woman, Patty Vare (Ryder), is thrown from her horse and he is called to the rescue. Together the duo take on the world, baffling an assortment of dopey cops, distressed parents and unsympathetic teachers.

Their romance shifts uneasily between horribly unconvincing and downright embarrassing, with Haas dividing his time between drooling with lust at his newly found object of desire and making comments of such crass stupidity it's a wonder he's made it this far through school. Ryder does dazed and confused with trademark aplomb but any nuances of character are left to be conveyed by the amount of make-up she's wearing - trowelled on when she's playing the tart, scraped off when she's playing the damsel in distress. Being several inches shorter than Haas and looking all of 12 makes her the least convincing older woman in cinema history.

Winona's undeniable charm alone is not enough to carry the movie, which, with only the romance and Patty's mysteriousness to hang a plot on, grinds to a halt long before its mercifully short running time is up. Should be deservedly ignored.
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