a film by George O'Donnell
2009 | 97 mins | US
›› College Boys Live
an eye-opening insight into the reality of College Boys Live.
College Boys Live by George O'Donnell Okay, let’s talk about sex. For unlike its online namesake, this eye-opening insight into the day-to-day activities of the residents of a big gay brother styled twink house, is surprisingly low on nudity, let alone sex. Indeed what explicit nudity there is, is of the blink-and-you-miss it variety. What is on clear view however are the exposed emotions of the College Boys Live, contracted as they are to chat to their clients for two hours, five nights a week and put it this way, folk do not pay good money to see the boys just talking.

For in exchange for food and board, these young men give up their privacy, along with what little modesty they had in the first place, courtesy of a mandatory last half hour of nude chat time, during which what the boys get up to, is up to them. No answers on a postcard needed here. A statement that equally applies to the fact that stories of broken homes and tormented homophobic childhoods are sadly, all too commonplace. Yet this is far from being your typical shelter. Rather this is a house of voyeurism, fitted with a series of live webcams and the guarantee that even at off-peak times, somebody will be watching you. That the boys love the adoration they receive, being literally turned overnight into internet stars, underlines a childhood in which love and affection for many will have been in limited supply.

College Boys Live by George O'Donnell Yet their shelf life is short. As twice a year website owner Zac Adams, together with his long-term partner Jonathan are on the lookout for a new set of roommates, auditions that in this case saw eighteen-year-old Chuck, twenty-year-old JC and twenty-two-year-old Tim become the latest CBL residents. And it is their life stories that form the mainstay of this work, as we follow these new recruits from moving into the house full of enthusiasm, to leaving it having hopefully gained something from the experience.

Only if all this reads like the at times compelling, often tragic drama of a day-time soap, one that here even has its own Dynasty styled catfight, then for Zac the reality of life hit home when he found himself facing the wrath of the local Homeowner’s Association, united in their disapproval over the activities being net streamed at the end of their Orlando family suburb. Taken to court for running a business in a residential area, an urgent relocation was called for, one that saw Sherri Anderson more than happy to secure a deal to speed Zac and the boys moving in. Only and as with any good soap, stay tuned for the cliff-hanger ending.

True, ventures of this nature cannot help but provoke strong reactions, as Big Brother themed houses, whether pornographic or not, raise the issue of exploitation for viewing figures and / or paid subscriptions. Yet what is apparent on viewing this frank and somewhat disturbing work, is that the issues raised present a far more complex picture of human life, than what you may expect to see. Namely a group of young gay men united in their desire for family, friendship and acceptance and who come to see in Zac and Jonathan parental figures hitherto missing from their fractured lives. That the result makes for a fascinating fly-on-the-wall look at the raw reality of living in a house that is permanently on view to the outside world, goes without saying. And yet what does it actually say of the boys, the management, if not the members themselves and of society in general?

Gay Visibility - overt, big gay brother style. 
Nudity - blink-and-you-miss it. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue
Zac Adams ... Website Owner / Resident
Jonathan ... Zac’s Boyfriend / Resident
Chuck ... Resident
JC ... Resident
Tim ... Resident
Charlie ... Member of College Boys Live

Dedicated to John Waters.
Alicia ... Chuck’s Sister
Georgie ... Billy’s (aka JC’s) Mother
Kevin ... JC’s boyfriend #1
Sean ... JC’s boyfriend #2 / Resident
Michael Towers ... President, Homeowner’s Association
Sherri Anderson ... Previous Home Owner
Louise Walker ... Home Owner
Ron Walker ... Home Owner’s son
official websites: www.collegeboyslive.com | collegeboyslivemovie.com
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #276
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