|Roberto Aguire and Robin Williams|
In an early scene in this study of a closeted married man, the main character, banker Nolan Mack (Robin Williams), talks pleasantly to two clients who have just taken out a loan: a gay male couple who have just bought a house and are looking forward to a future together. Nolan has much less to look forward to; he realized he was gay at 12 -- he is now 60 -- and has repressed it, marrying his wife, Joy (Kathy Baker), whom he sincerely loves but feels no true passion for. Driving along the boulevard one night he nearly runs over Leo (Roberto Aguire), a hustler who expects sex for cash but finds himself in the odd position of having a new friend who tries hard to help him. Meanwhile, Nolan's growing feelings for Leo begin to jeopardize not only his relationship with his wife, but his job and promotion at the bank. Boulevard is far from a perfect film -- we learn too little about Leo, and don't get enough of Joy's side of things -- but it is an absorbing look at the lives of homosexual men who make one choice in life and live to regret it with each new day and the ever-changing attitudes toward gay relationships. The performances are wonderful, not only from the three leads, but also from Henry Haggard as Nolan's boss; Bob Odenkirk as Nolan's understanding best friend; and Giles Matthey in an almost over-the-top turn as Leo's nasty and violent pimp. The film gets points for not having an unrealistic or cop-out ending, and it is also good that the hustler is a pleasant-looking individual but not a super-hot Hollywood-style hunk.
Verdict: Interesting look at the lives of older gay men who are nearly left behind. ***.