Dream Boy (movie)

Movie: Dream Boy
Director: James Bolton
Released: 2008
Writers: Adapted from the 1995 novel Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley and James Bolton.
Stars: Stephan Bender and Maximillian Roeg.
Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

A guest review by NathanV

Dream Boy follows the story of Nathan (what an excellent name for a lead character, I might add) as his family moves to the rural South. Nathan is intelligent and shy, but manages to strike up a relationship with his neighbour/bus driver/fellow school student Roy. Although Roy has a girlfriend and is Christian (like Nathan’s family), Nathan and Roy begin a romantic relationship after some after school tutoring sessions that Nathan provides. Additionally, it is clear that there is something quite unsavoury about the relationship between Nathan and his father.

James Bolton has made several other small gay themed films including Growing Up and I’m Fine and Eban and Charlie. He adapted the film from Jim Grimsley’s novel of the same name, Dream Boy. Jim Grimsley’s Dream Boy was the recipient of the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Book Award for Literature.

Dream Boy is a gay movie that has an excellent quality of production and the score, though mostly solo guitar and hollow, is still well recorded. In that respect, this film is a rare gem amongst the throngs of poorly made gay movies. However, the movie itself lacks in a few regards. The action of the film follows an obvious story arc, and allows you to see exactly where this film is going before you get there. Mostly though, the movie falls just short of being truly interesting and that’s a real shame, because one could see how this story, from such an excellent book, could have been an excellent movie. Moreover, there is something else about this movie that I really disliked, and this is more of a personal thing, but I hated the “ambiguous” ending. I won’t elaborate on it, because that would ruin the plot. That is not to say that I hate ambiguous endings, it is just that I dislike this ambiguous ending.

So is this a bad movie? Not at all. In fact, in the legions of truly terrible LGBT movies, it’s a great movie. However, in the grand scheme of things, it’s just an ok movie. If you’re out looking to rent a gay movie and you see this one on the racks, it is still a good decision.

Three stars out of five.



  • It sounds kind of like quite a few books. Not great but not bad and entertaining enough at the time. I have seen a music video with clips from that movie though, I recognize the actors.

    Ambiguous endings I’m not so sure about. Great review.

  • @Wave: I’m glad you read the book. Other people should do that too! Thanks Wave!

    @Sloan Parker: I agree, it’s good to know what you’re in for. I was all excited for R.E.D. in theatres, but someone told me that there isn’t nearly as much Helen Mirren as I want there to be, so now I’ve ben able to come to terms with that so I won’t be disappointed.

  • Appreciate the review, Nathan. I’ve seen this film mentioned elsewhere but didn’t know what to expect. I think I’ll keep it on my list, but I’m glad to have read an opinion going into it. Sometimes knowing something is just an OK film (or book) actually makes watching it a more pleasant experience than going into it expecting it to be something amazing.

  • Like Larissa I’m intrigued. What I love is the honesty of your review, what moved you (the score – the music) and what didn’t (the predictability of the plot).

    I read the book by Jim Grimsley years ago and I was hoping for a much better film production from such a poignant story. However the film is still probably worth seeing.

    Thank you for this review Nathan.

    • @Larissa: It’s definitely not a bad movie, so I’m sure you’ll still enjoy it. Like I said, it’s actually a good quality gay movie.


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“I’m a music major that plays the bassoon on a semi-regular basis. I doubt that I would enjoy a long walk on the beach. I play too many video games and watch quite a few more movies than I have the time for. I am perfectly willing to end a sentence with a preposition. See previous sentence. This year I’m the events co-ordinator for the Rainbow Reels Queer Film Festival and am excited and terrified by the impending responsibility. Should I grow up, I sincerely hope to be disreputable, or at the very least, have obtained some mild notoriety.”
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