By Jeff Walsh
"The Houseboy" opens with three guys curled up in bed. Two are a couple, and third, younger guy is the extra they keep around to have fun with. Nick is going to watch the house while the couple goes to visit their families over Christmas. As they are leaving, one of them mentions that after the holidays, it might be time to get a newer, younger model in the new year.
Nick is bored alone and starts hooking up with strangers, both online and people he meets while walking around. All of the experiences are empty, devoid of the intimacy and caring he desires, but are exactly what he agreed to before the encounters.
He starts telling his tricks that he's going to kill himself on Christmas and let the couple find him dead when they return home. Rather than empathy, his tricks just want to continue getting dressed and out of there. Who could blame them?
The whole premise, despite having no direct connection, reminded of me of every ex-gay story you hear. "I was doing drugs, having anonymous sex, non-stop partying, but I wasn't happy…" as though any of those things has anything to do with being gay.
There is one guy that Nick meets who's his own age, seems to have his life together, knows what he wants, is out to his family, the whole deal. When Nick gets him home and tries to make a move, the guy tells him he needs to take him on a proper date before anything could ever happen.
The movie stacks the deck pretty heavy. Nick came out to his religious mother who won't accept him. His boyfriends are using him for his youth. His tricks only want anonymous sex with the person they agreed to have anonymous sex with. No one wants Nick for Nick, but since he only keeps hooking up and talking about suicide all the time, he is kind of a downer. It’s not too easy for the audience to root for him either.
Will someone stop Nick from killing himself in time? Will he take a chance with the guy he can't go all the way with? I know the answers, but in case there's someone who wants to see this DVD, I'll let you find those things out on your own, but I really think you should try to find something better to do with your time.