While every major city has a “boystown” popular among its gay citizens and visitors, the city under examination in TLA Releasing’s new DVD(available tomorrow) Boystown (Chuecatown) is Madrid, Spain. Such “gayborhoods” can be so lucrative that some, as this comedy-suspense film by Juan Flahn reveals, would even kill to speed development on.
It isn’t beneath real estate agent Victor (played by the very hot Pablo Puyol) to wack old ladies and seduce committed gay partners in order to secure apartments for demanding, upwardly-mobile gay tenants in Madrid’s Chueca district. The vulnerable partners are bear Leo (Pepon Nieto) and his cub Rey (Carlos Fuentes). Their long-time relationship becomes strained when Rey’s mother unexpectedly moves into their building, providing Victor just the opening he needs and thrusting them all into his murderous plot.
The well-written Boystown is suspenseful and funny by turns. It also serves as an intelligent critique of the forces that often unite to exploit a neighborhood’s gentrification, embodied here by Victor and the bitchy mayor of Madrid. The high point of Boystown, though, is the wonderful Rosa Maria Sardà (previously seen in numerous Pedro Almodóvar movies) as the neurotic police detective investigating Chueca’s growing number of murders. She is smart and resourceful, both as a detective and as the mother of a grown gay son bursting out of his closet.
If you’re a gay man or couple thinking of buying a place in your local boystown, you’d do well to watch Boystown … as well as check your potential future neighborhood’s police log.
Watch the trailer here.
Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.