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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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09/19/2006 Archived Entry: "DVD: The Conrad Boys"

The Conrad Boys
Director: Justin Lo
Studio: Newport Films

Review by Logan

There's only one reason to watch the film: actor Nick Bartzen. Nick plays supporting character Jordan Rivers, a wrong-side-of-the-tracks hottie who is also the main love interest of the film. His cute, squinty, perfect smile steals the show, although there wasn't that much to steal.

While I respect the attempt at a coming of age story, I was left wondering how the main character Charlie (played by Lo) grows and what choices he ends up making. I would have loved to see any one of the various plot lines developed more fully. Instead, it felt like very little had been resolved at the end of the movie. Even worse, it seemed that Charlie hadn't grown or changed much as a result of his experiences.

Some of the various plot lines have the potential to be powerful by themselves. Instead, each is lost in the resulting hodgepodge of themes. The Conrad Boys could have a been a striking movie about first gay love, with the good boy/bad boy elements. It could have been a story about a gay son rejecting his father because of previous abandonment issues, and a potential reconciliation. I would have also enjoyed a movie about a boy coming out to himself, his recently returned father, and his younger brother/ward.

This is the movie I wanted to see: Charlie's faces his internal struggle with giving up a promising Columbia college career to raise his younger brother. Upon his father returning after a six year absence, Charlie then has a choice of letting his father raise his brother and relieving the weight of the world from his young shoulders. In this choice Charlie also has two possibilities open: he can go to Columbia and move away with his first love Jordan. Charlie would then face one final dilemma: would he stay and reconnect with the father figure he never got to know, or would he pursue his dreams and his love?

The Conrad Boys is cute enough, and worth watching for Nick "Eye Candy" Bartzen. Most of the dialogue is stilted and the actors don't seem to open up into the emotional depths a gay angst film offers up so readily. Also, except for the one quickie j/o scene, the film lacks any sexual tension or release. Come on now. If you're going to make a movie about a 19 year old and 22 year old gay couple and have it seem at all based in reality, there has to be sex. Lots of it. Also, that's a movie I would have enjoyed a whole lot more!

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