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Will Krupp

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I’m not sure I could bring myself to watch it again though!
Well, I wrote that because I realized that didn't SEEM like I liked it, lol. Let's just say I liked it well enough as a memorial to the stage performances but with reservations. I'll definitely watch it again (I mean, Matt Bomer's shower scene ALONE is worth a second look and the one thing that was definitely improved from the backside only shot we got onstage!)
 

JohnMor

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I thought it was very good, but not great. The Friedkin film was much deeper and sharper, I thought. These performances, while enjoyable, felt more “surface” to me. Also, the film recreates many aspects of Friedkin’s version from the opening montage to many of the costume choices, which only serves to make the comparisons even more prominent. Mantello opens it up briefly a couple of times, whch I think is a mistake, partucularly the closing montage which adds nothing to the story and actually takes away the power and sadness of the ending. But then Parsons didn’t have the gravitas to pull off the final scene like Kenneth Nelson did. Oevrall, it was enjoyable and I’d give it a solid B-.
 

Stephen_J_H

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Have to admit I preferred both Kenneth Nelson and Leonard Frey’s performances in the original and dont think The actors matched them in the new version, especially Parsons who I found pitched it too hysterically for my taste.
Fiddler on the Roof takes on a very different tone if you've seen Boys in the Band.
 
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Mark-W

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Ryan Murphy also produced the stage show and pretty much has carte blanche (not to mention plenty of 'fuck you' money) to provide programming for Netflix. Seeing as it's near and dear to his heart, I think he just wanted a chance to preserve the 2018 Broadway performances on film. As much as Murphy gets on my nerves, I have to admit that I'm glad he has the chance and I'm glad he's in love with Broadway. I'm looking forward to what he's going to do with THE PROM (another one I was lucky enough to see in its closing weekend) when it premiers December (though I think, in that case, the original cast has all been chucked for "Big" names.)

While I'm glad it's here and I'm glad we have it, I think still prefer Friedkin's original movie as the "teller" of their story. I've only seen this one once so that may change, but right now I don't believe it will. Maybe I'm just used to the original film, but it feels like this one has been slowed down and opened up perhaps a little more than necessary, as we have too many chances to get out of the claustrophobia of the apartment towards the end and the feeling of manic desperation and tension is lessened as a result.

I also found it strange that the jokes didn't seem to "land" all that well in the first part of the story. One of the great things about the show is that it's so much fun until it isn't. Without the early "highs" the "lows" don't seem as seismic.

I think we're willing to suspend our disbelief when watching a stage play far more than we are when watching a movie and I think there's a certain amount of "playing safe" going on here. As I mentioned, the highs aren't as high and the lows don't seem as low as they were in either the 1970 movie nor the 2018 Broadway revival. I'll watch it again because I DID enjoy what they did with it but I think, as a movie, that all of the marquee names may get in the way of the story AS a "story." I always KNOW I'm watching movie star Zachary Quinto playing Harold, while I believed Leonard Frey WAS Harold, for example. None of this bothered me while watching it onstage (I was too star struck!) but it's more noticeable due to the intimacy of film.

Which brings me to Parsons' Michael on film. Let me start by saying that I LOVE Jim Parsons and I love that he always did Broadway during his BIG BANG hiatuses. HIs stage Michael (and Kenneth Nelson's 1970 film Michael) was played with barely concealed bitterness and a building rage (once he starts drinking) that is always threatening to escape and shatter his veneer. As the evening progresses, we just want him to stop as we know he'll regret the things he says and does but we also know he can't help himself. For some reason, a lot of that seems as though it's been "filed down" (for lack of a better term) here and Michael's actions feel much more deliberate and "thought out." Watching this movie is the first time I've ever judged Michael as an irredeemably evil queen and I don't think that was the intent. Since Joe Mantello also directed the Broadway play and Parsons played it so well at the Booth I'm not sure why there's a subtle change here but it's definitely a different feel and it alters the character (at least for me.)

Anyway, I DID like it! :)

Really wonderful, by the way, is the short BOYS IN THE BAND: SOMETHING PERSONAL promo piece that accompanies it on Netflix. It's a 30 minute behind the scenes doc on the making of the movie and follows Mart Crowley around during filming. It was really touching!
Really wonderful, by the way, is the short BOYS IN THE BAND: SOMETHING PERSONAL promo piece that accompanies it on Netflix. It's a 30 minute behind the scenes doc on the making of the movie and follows Mart Crowley around during filming. It was really touching!

Will, I went to look for this after you mentioned it, It is wonderful. The moments when Crowley shows the real-life inspirations for the characters really clicked for me. The funny thing is, I found them all so beautiful!
How I did not recall that Crowley is the inspiration for Michael?
Now I do want to go back and watch the dancer Harold is based on for his few moments with Streisand. Wow. I think I have a new retro crush.
 
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Will Krupp

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On a side note and unrelated to anything concerning quality, I thought Parsons made a mistake when quoting Bette Davis early in the film. His "queen doing Bette Davis" routine has him saying "I love cheap sentiment." When I went back and re-watched the Friedkin film, however, I was struck that Kenneth Nelson misquotes the line in the exact same way. It had/has to be intentional but is there a joke in the misquote that I'm not getting? The line from ALL ABOUT EVE (in the car) is actually Margo saying "I DETEST cheap sentiment." Why the change?
 
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Rob W

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It's almost impossible to get out from under the shadow of the 1970 film, and there were times when I was watching this it seemed like it was an attempt to replicate Gus van Sant's shot-by-shot recreation of Psycho. I was surprised the opening scenes showing the boys pre-party were so obviously cribbed from Friedkin's film, but since Mart Crowley worked on the screenplays for both I guess he can do what he wants. I saw this on stage and thought Parsons' final breakdown worked far better in the film than it did on the night I saw it in person. No offense to Zachary Quinto, but he had an impossible pair of shoes to fill, especially since Harold gets some of the best lines in the show. I laughed out loud in the post-party scene revealing where the boys finished their evenings; when we saw Larry and Hank they were still sitting on the bed in pretty much the same position we had seen them a good half-hour ago. In real life they would have been either still whooping it up or enjoying their post-coital cigarettes by then.
 

Mark-P

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On a side note and unrelated to anything concerning quality, I thought Parsons made a mistake when quoting Bette Davis early in the film. His "queen doing Bette Davis" routine has him saying "I love cheap sentiment." When I went back and re-watched the Friedkin film, however, I was struck that Kenneth Nelson misquotes the line in the exact same way. It had/has to be intentional but is there a joke in the misquote that I'm not getting? The line from ALL ABOUT EVE (in the car) is actually Margo saying "I DETEST cheap sentiment." Why the change?
Pretty sure that would be intentional, after all it is exactly the opposite in meaning. Crowley probably intended for the character to use the Davis impersonation of a famous line and purposely alter it to express his own personal opinion of sentiment. I wouldn't be surprised if prior to writing the play Crowley had heard or used the altered line himself in social situations.
 
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Mark-P

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Just finished The Boys in the Band and I have zero complaints. I loved every minute of it, and found it to be completely equal to the original movie. All the actors felt natural to the roles (with one exception). My mind accepted them all as if they had originated the roles (again with one exception) and I didn’t mentally compare then to the 1970 cast.

PS: And by the way Will, Michael’s Bette Davis line was “I ADORE cheap sentiment“ not ”love”.
 
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Will Krupp

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All the actors felt natural to the roles (with one exception). My mind accepted them all as if they had originated the roles (again with one acception)
Well now you gotta tell us WHO! :oops:

PS: And by the way Will, Michael’s Bette Davis line was “I ADORE cheap sentiment“ not ”love”.
Whoopsie!!
 
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Mark-P

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Well now you gotta tell us WHO! :oops:
I thought that would be obvious. :blush: The only one where I wasn’t able to purge my memory of the earlier performances of course was for the character of Harold. Leonard Frey’s acid-tonged, almost dead-pan delivery was so quintessential, that I couldn’t help buy think of him when hearing Zachary Quinto’s much more subdued take on the role. By no means am I criticizing Zachary. His performance is wonderful. Viewers who have never seen the 1970 film shouldn’t have that issue. It’s just when I first saw the original film on TV in 1982, Leonard Frey’s Harold was seared into my brain in a way that is permanent. :)
 

Will Krupp

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By no means am I criticizing Zachary. His performance is wonderful.
You know it's interesting you say that. The friend I went to the stage show with was utterly unimpressed with Quinto as Harold BUT he admitted after seeing the movie that he thought the proximity of the camera to the performance made it wonderful.
 

cinemiracle

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I thought that would be obvious. :blush: The only one where I wasn’t able to purge my memory of the earlier performances of course was for the character of Harold. Leonard Frey’s acid-tonged, almost dead-pan delivery was so quintessential, that I couldn’t help buy think of him when hearing Zachary Quinto’s much more subdued take on the role. By no means am I criticizing Zachary. His performance is wonderful. Viewers who have never seen the 1970 film shouldn’t have that issue. It’s just when I first saw the original film on TV in 1982, Leonard Frey’s Harold was seared into my brain in a way that is permanent. :)
I always wondered why such a despicable character would have any friends ,let alone have a birthday party.
 

Mark-P

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I always wondered why such a despicable character would have any friends ,let alone have a birthday party.
Watch The Boys in the Band: Something Special documentary on Netflix. You’ll see that the real Harold had many Hollywood friends who adored him including Natalie Wood and Barbra Streisand.
 
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ptb2020

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Just watched the 1970 version and I have to say the remake really pales in comparison, especially in the two main performances, with Leonard Frey simply magnificent. I also thought the beautiful Robert La Tourneaux a far more attractive and amusing Cowboy than Charlie Carver. Keeping the film in the confined space of the apartment during the climax made the drama far more effective too. I don’t think Parsons did as good a job as Kenneth Nelson either, and while looking gorgeous Matt Bomer is more like window dressing than character in his portrayal.
 
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