MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

This strange love story leaves the viewer wondering what's it all about. John Baker, Jr. (Lukas Haas) is a very unhappy senior at a prestigious boys school in the Northeast. When John rescues Patty Vare (Winona Ryder), a 25-year-old woman found unconscious after falling off her horse, his life changes. For some mysterious reason, she does not want medical attention or to return to her home. More mysterious, however, is John's decision to take her back to the dorm, determined to keep her presence a secret. He finds out just how impossible that is - his schoolmates are as gossipy and nosy as any women's sewing bee. He falls in love, she tries to discourage him, then they ride off into the sunset together in a stolen car. Patty lives in a big house but the only family seems to be a brother and sister-in-law. No mention is made of a job or if anyone lives with her. BOYS is based on a short story, but when stretched into a full length movie, small gaps become gaping holes in the boring, senseless plot.

The only thing Patty and John have in common is their unhappiness. He hates his father, who has a short temper and propensity for swearing at his son. From flashbacks, it looks like Patty spends her evenings in dark, sleazy clubs drinking heavily. She encourages John to sneak away and spend an evening at the county fair, and they wander away from the crowd and have sex under a tree. He and his buddies are disrespectful toward their teachers in the classroom, and smoke in the dorms. Patty does realize she has to face her fears and reports a tragedy to the police. Lovesick John makes a feeble attempt to graduate, but decides he's mature enough to quit school and runaway with Patty. The boys in the dorm speak many crudities, profanities and obscenities. One of the 12-year-olds says the only f-word. Some rough-housing in the dorm, a car crash, and the body of a drowned man are not gratuitous. This film is targeted for teenagers, but its thumb-nosing at tradition, disrespect for authority and foul language are disheartening.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (17) times - Mild 9, Moderate 8

Obscene Language: Several (6) times - F-word 1, s-word 5, other 1

Profanity: Many (14) times - Regular 13 (GD, J, C, G), Exclamatory 1

Violence: Few times - Moderate (rough-housing in dorm, car crash, view of drowned man, boy slams hand into wall, man slaps son, teenager steals car)

Sex: Once, no nudity

Nudity: None; Near nudity - woman removes blouse and shown in underwear

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: School boys make crude references to sex

Drugs: Many times (boy in dorm takes drugs, drinking in club)

Other: Father verbally abusive to son; disrespect for authority; car stolen

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers

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