Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
“Boys” is a low-rent, dumbed-down version of “Before Sunrise,” with a rent-a-plot substituting for clever dialogue. It goes to excruciating lengths to explain why a teenage boy and a slightly older girl would meet and spend most of the night together, and then it gives them nothing of any interest to say.
This is a waste of the talents of Winona Ryder, who can and has played the most intelligent of movie characters (see “The Age of Innocence” and “Little Women”), and of Lukas Haas, who has never played a character quite this shallow, even in his juvenile roles (see his work as the curious young man in “Rambling Rose”).
In “Before Sunrise” (1995), you will recall, two young people met on a train, began to talk, liked each other, and decided to spend a day and night walking around Vienna. As they walked, they talked, and we grew to know them. The whole plot structure--the train, the deadline of a flight the next day--was simply a setup for their conversation, and treated with the casualness it deserved. The point of the movie was the smart dialogue, written by Richard Linklater and acted by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.
“Boys” gives us another setup, drenched in melodrama, coincidence, flashbacks and drama, and thinks we should care about it.