Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 44 minutes
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“The Bronx Boys” is a 44-minute home movie masquerading as a documentary. This painless but unnecessary production features a reunion of fifteen 70-year-old men who met in kindergarten at Public School 80 in the Bronx, New York, back in 1936 and who remained friends for the course of their long lives. The aged guys came back to their one-time neighborhood to indulge in the games of their distant childhood: stickball, basketball, marbles, and other schoolyard pursuits. Their wives stand silently on the sidelines watching these shenanigans, although at one point the old broads form a chorus line to do a geriatric burlesque of a can-can.
Some of the men featured in “The Bronx Boys” enjoyed fascinating careers (including screenwriter John Herman Shane and Lenny Lauren, the older brother and business partner of Ralph Lauren). However, there is absolutely nothing even slightly interesting in any of the endless childhood anecdotes dished up here; the film lies flat and lifeless on what the poet R.S. Thomas described as the “pavement of the quotidian.” If anything, the Bronx Boys (as they fondly call themselves) might actually offer more truth in advertising if they called themselves the Bronx Bores.
One minor surprise here is the unlikely and unexplained presence of a cranky Carl Reiner as the nominal host of this film. Reiner clearly is not enjoying his time in this vanity production and watching him try to conceal his boredom provides the only hint of entertainment in this dreary little offering.
Posted on April 5, 2004 in Reviews by Phil Hall
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