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Richard Linklater’s 'Boyhood' Left Out the Boy in Coming of Age Movie

Boyhood is such a drag.

By Rich MonettiPublished 7 years ago 4 min read
A Real Boy

Boyhood was 12 years in the making. Imagine embarking on a film project that adheres to the pace of real life, while actually holding onto all the actors through their own travails. Kudos are certainly warranted for Richard Linklater and a coming of age cast in for the long haul. Still, I hated this movie.

That’s not necessarily to say it’s bad. You might very well like Boyhood, but for my tastes, I was personally offended by the said “Boy.”

Admittedly, that’s pretty heavy, so partly we’re talking about jealously. In the face of drunken step fathers, a real father who suffers from latent manhood, constant movement and general uncertainty, Mason pretty much rolls with it.

In contrast, my neural net almost went critical mass last week, because I couldn’t copy and paste a picture into the body of an email. I think the baristas were about to call the EMTs as a preventive strike against the heart attack that was gesticulating in my chest.

Yes, I’m laying my weaknesses at the foot of this movie, but regardless, shouldn’t a film have an antagonist to drive the plot? Putting aside the two drunken stepfathers, the other 134 minutes made me feel it was 12 years in the watching. But you could probably work around this – time and travails serving as the driving force.

Melodramatic, Moody Artist is Too Much

So let’s get back to the boy. I’m an artist. I like to brood. Life is a tragedy. I’m in high school, and I’m trying to figure out the lens through which life should be viewed.

I so don’t relate. Here was my world view: I’m in high school. It sort of sucks. People all around me are looking to escape, but it does have one key component. There’s no responsibility, and I’m doing my homework as means to keep people off my back and put off the unknown as long as possible.

Otherwise, he’s going sulk in his darkroom. Excuse me, he had a much greater sense of what the future held with photography than I did trying to figure out what the hell trigonometry was used for. So stop whining and go take some photos at the football game.

An Actual Adolescent Boy

Boy, am I angry.

Of course, Mason likes a girl. He just likes to talk to her. The basic for all high school romance movies is very sweetly innocent. I can relate, but can you give me hint of the thermal nuclear explosion that lay in wait of every teenage boy’s pants?

Off to College for Drama Queen

The boy then goes to college. Again, he’s in search of a path for his talents and is quick to point out the error of his father’s praise in regards to winning photography contest. “I won the silver medal not the gold.”

Shut up please. The closest thing I had as a future indicator in the field of computer science was that I wrote a few programs in Basic my senior year. (And here I am now as a writer).

More importantly, he sleeps with the girl prior to the beginning college. Of course, she springs the inevitable other guy from her school on him. He’s mad.

Ok, but you know what, you got laid. I’m not even revealing how deep into my college career it took for that milestone to fall.

Still, I sound pretty soulless and certainly remember the heartache when walks back from class with the “computer girl” didn’t yield something more. Even so, I have no empathy for this kid.

The Meaning of Life - Really?

Maybe it’s the acting or the writing, but either way, I say let him suffer. And finally, he asks his dad after the downfall, what’s the meaning of it all and the answer to life.

Are you kidding? That’s what I’m asking now as I stare down the barrel of middle age and the ever-dwindling opportunities to discharge my own fairly potent thermal nuclear frustrations.

But back then, this was my interpretation. I’m now immersed among 4,000 girls. I actually got a fighting chance, and I’m going to do whatever it takes academically to keep coming back until they say otherwise.

Sorry, that’s how a real 18 year old drives the plot home and begins the coming of age process.


About the Creator

Rich Monetti

I am, I write.

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