Critic Reviews



Based on 23 critic reviews provided by
The result is a sophisticated, tart-tongued revival, and a gayed-up “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” that surmounts the challenges faced by stage-to-screen adaptations, specifically the utter confinement to a single space.
To run the fool’s errand of divorcing the film from a political context and examine it merely qualitatively, Joe Mantello’s starry-eyed stab at the material is thrilling, an exciting cobbling together of consummate performers delivering acid dipped quips and making the Greenwich Village apartment the film is set in a both dramatically and cinematically elastic playground.
It is all unexpectedly potent, particularly in the absurdity and petulance and pain that Parsons crams into his performance. It’s a strange, compelling dose of unhappiness.
Strongly acted and effectively staged, The Boys In The Band has lost little of its impact in the five decades since its first debut, and is a fitting tribute to its creator Mart Crowley, who died in March.
Mantello is the first to tell people he hasn’t had a lot of experience directing movies (his last feature was the 1997 adaptation of his Broadway hit Love! Valour! Compassion!), yet his version of Boys fights its stage roots far more than Friedkin’s film.
Despite all these challenges, the performances that Mantello wrings make the 2020 effort worth everyone’s trouble.
What holds the movie together, apart from Quinto’s dreamy geek mystique and delectable delivery of every line, is the tormented passion that Jim Parsons brings to it.
The Boys in the Band in many ways is dated and formulaic. But it's also very much alive, an invaluable record of the destructive force of societal rejection, even in a bastion of liberal acceptance like New York City. Despite its flaws, this consistently engaging film provides a vital window for young queer audiences into the difficult lives of their forebears.
Slant Magazine
This new Boys in the Band is a Matryoshka doll of period piecery, a flashback of a flashback of a flashback.
Whether or not you think Crowley’s very of-its-moment piece still has something to say to audiences of the 21st century, it’s a play that deserves better than this waxwork karaoke.

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