When Boys Fly

Ladymol's Review

An excellent documentary about a group of gay men preparing for and attending The White Party.

The men are a great mix: some very inexperienced and shy, some old party hands. Drugs are freely available and taken, and the film is as much about drugs (and their dangers) as it is about the gay lifestyle.

At one point, one of the partygoers says, ĎItís raining men,í and that just about sums this film up. Itís like watching a real life QaF: the friends, the party going, the fears, the loneliness, the humour and, of course, the bodies.

Most interesting of the group to me was Todd, a thirty something beautiful man who had only just come out from a traditional het marriage with children. Naturally, he felt as if heíd missed out on twenty years of fun, and he was determined to have it now, much to the chagrin of his very young boyfriend. They broke up during the making of the film, and it was remarkably affecting.

The filming within the party itself was great: a sea of writhing male flesh, but the film makers never lose their detachment, able to see the excesses along with the genuine fun.

If youíre interested at all in the gay lifestyle, I highly recommend this film.

Cerisaye's Review

Well, this wasnít what I expected.† A documentary about the circuit party, it uses a small group of characters to make a story thatís rather good, reflecting their different backgrounds and expectations, personalising an event thatís so big it had me goggle-eyed.

Tone the party animal says heís taking friendís advice so he isnít going to do drugs and get messy. Disarming Tone is treated sympathetically so I wanted him to have fun and stay safe.† Cute motherís boy Brandon is a real sweetie whoís afraid his determination not to take drugs means heíll not find the friendship and sense of belonging heís looking for at the party.† Heís nervous, and endearingly keeps calling his mother to tell her whatís going on.† Then thereís Todd, thirty something and recently out, catching up on missed adolescence, trailing a string of under 21 year old boys, including poor Jon, whoís got the misfortune to be in love with a man who wants to have it all.† And thereís a lonesome gym bunny who was so unmemorable I canít think of his name.

I actually enjoyed this film.† Itís fun to look at beautiful men as they get ready for a weekend of non-stop partying.† But it also makes serious points about why these parties are necessary to the gay community, and what happens once the guys return home to the problems many are trying to escape.

Thereís conspicuous consumption of drugs, but the film doesnít gloss over the dangers, without being judgemental.

I enjoyed the updates, telling what happened to the boys after the film was made and what they thought about it.† Itís a cautionary tale, and Tone has learned his lesson the hard way.† Brandon left the party having decided what he needed was to find a group of gay friends like those he met there.† Heís found love, and a new career, and I just wanted to eat him all up.

If youíre looking for sex thereís little on offer, and not much nudity, for the camera mostly shies away from that aspect of the party. However if youíre aware of the famous White Party and want to know what itís about, I recommend this entertaining and informative film, that celebrates rather than exploits its participants.