BOYS LIFE 3 various writers and directors. A Mongrel Media release. 79 minutes. Opens Friday (January 26). Rating: NN
boys life 3 is the third anthol-ogy in a popular series of gay-themed short films. It's also the first to feature a semi-recognizable name -- Jason Gould, son of Elliot Gould and Barbra Streisand. These two selling points create expectations that this grab-bag collection can't quite meet.Gould's segment, Inside Out, is one of the lamest in the bunch. He turns his own life into a sitcom, then makes it worse by casting himself and his dad as... himself and his dad. The protagonist, Aaron, is the son of a pair of celebrities and is dogged by a tabloid report that has him married to a male model.
In between yelling self-pityingly at a photographer camped outside his house, he also dates a cute boy, looks into Scientology and attends a support group for children of celebrities run by Christina Crawford (Joan's daughter, not Cindy's sister, in case you're wondering).
The support group banter is fairly clever, but it gets barely a minute of screen time. The rest of the short is as listless as Gould himself.
Bad acting mars two other shorts as well. Just One Time (Lane Janger) centres around a guy's request for a threesome with his girlfriend. He wants another woman to join them, but a gay neighbour with a crush on him has another idea. The whole episode is structured like a bad joke told by a smirking comic.
hITCH (Bradley Rust Gray) is marginally better. It has the intriguing premise of a gay man and straight man on a road trip, both figuring out their sexuality by badgering the other about his. But, aside from a few moony looks, the actors bring little life to the threadbare story.
The two shorts that bookend the collection the real highlights. Gregory Cooke's $30 is a sweet and accomplished first film, starring Sara Gilbert as a hooker who befriends a reluctant teen sent by his father to lose his virginity.
Majorettes In Space (David Fourier) is six minutes of brilliant social commentary. It's pitched as a mock instructional video, with Monty Pythonesque cartoon flourishes and zigzag narration that somehow connects gays, straights, cosmonauts and the pope in a surprisingly affecting way. If only all the shorts were this jam-packed.KIM LINEKIN