Last night, PJ and I watched the 2005 Israeli movie Good Boys, written and directed by Yair Hochner. It stars Daniel Efrat as Menni and Yuval Raz as Tal, two prostitutes in Tel Aviv who meet and then are hired to have sex together while their John watches. They then spend the night together, and both men feel that they’ve made a special connection to one another. They agree to meet up again the next evening; the movie follows their efforts to do so.

Here’s a trailer, of sorts:

Menni is clearly the more successful prostitute: he’s cuter that Tal and he dresses better, and the sign of his success is that he has regular clients rather than works the streets. But he still has problems, not the least of which is the appearance of a female prostitute he once slept with, resulting in a child. While Menni identifies as gay and has little interest in raising his daughter, he feels some need to make sure the two of them are safe.

Tal, on the other hand, lives hand to mouth and is constantly on the lookout for easy money. He’s not as cute as Menni and therefore takes more risks with his clients. Consequently, he’s in more danger as he works the streets.

Just before they’re supposed to meet up, Menni and Tal each meet another man. Menni runs into a younger hustler who has been beaten up. He befriends him and offers him a place to stay. The two then embark on a mini-quest to return Menni’s daughter to her mother or her parents. Tal picks up a trick in the bar just when he’s supposed to be meeting Menni. The trick turns out to be bad news, and film cuts back and forth between Menni’s efforts to find his daughter’s mother and Tal and Tal’s efforts to end his “date.”

Overall, this is an interesting, provocative movie. It seems to depict prostitution rather realistically — it doesn’t romanticize these men’s lives or work. The leads are both excellent in their parts, and I think we come to care for them and whether they’re going to make it or not. The movie is only about 75 minutes long, making it a short, but well-made little movie. It’s another good example of Israeli queer cinema.

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