film note: Boulevard

Boulevard
Directed by Dito Montiel
88 min, USA, 2015

Robin Williams is more or less convincing as a pathetic 60-year-old bank-loan officer who’s been suppressing his homosexuality since he was 12. (Because he fell in love with a cute boy in Speedos on vacation? No, because his dad…did something to him on a beach, that one time — an episode he chooses to confront Dad with on his death bed in a nursing home. Of course.) But it’s less about what he does, than it is about what he doesn’t — act like Robin Williams. So he does give a certain amount of dignity to this limp character, and boy, does he need it. I mean, all Nolan wants is a hug, right? Come on.

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When Nolan finally comes out to his wife, played by tough-nut Kathy Baker, after botching a promotion by chasing after a street hustler (as you do), she delivers the film’s only forceful lines: “Don’t goddamn accommodate me!” and that’s something we can yell right back at this contrived, timid, inauthentic, often insulting, wannabe-weepie.

Except for the presence of a gay couple getting a loan approved for a house, this could have been made by any unconsciously homophobic but liberal Hollywood hack in the 90s. Ugh.

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