Boy Erased

boy_erased_r3_20180606_11_R15 Nicole Kidman stars as Nancy and Lucas Hedges as Jared in Joel Edgerton’s BOY ERASED, a Focus Features release. Credit: Focus Features

In today’s ultra-politically correct/uber-politically charged climate, it’s no surprise that Hollywood was chomping at the bit to produce Garrard Conley’s 2016 childhood memoir, Boy Erased. The book/now movie tells the story of a young man, played by Lucas Hedges (Manchester By the Sea, Ladybird), who is the son of a Baptist preacher (Russell Crowe), and how he is forced into a church-supported gay conversion therapy program after a falling out with his parents (Nicole Kidman plays the mother) over coming out as gay. The film, even though it’s given the Hollywood treatment, does its best to be neutral and stay with the source material. Of course, conservative critics of the film have launched boilerplate criticisms, saying things like “this is a typical Christianity-is-evil, sodomy-is-good movie.” But the political left has shit all over itself as well. Some progressives charged the movie with “not enough folks of color,” while others have claimed the movie’s conversion therapy scenes weren’t horrific/dramatic enough. You can’t change a memoir to make it more multicultural or lie to make the conversion therapy scenes worse/more dramatic than they actually were after the fact. Well you can, but then it’s not a memoir – it’s just fiction. Entertaining standouts in the movie include Joel Edgerton and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) who play over-the-top characters who work for the conversion program. BTW, I snuck a Chick-fil-A sandwich into this screening just to be an asshole and make myself laugh.

[R]