“Boy Erased” review
The plot: Jared, the son of a small-town Baptist pastor must overcome the fallout after being outed as gay to his parents. His father and mother struggle to reconcile their love for their son with their beliefs. Fearing a loss of family, friends and community, he is pressured into attending a conversion therapy program. While there, Jared comes into conflict with its leader and begins his journey to finding his own voice and accepting his true self.
For us, this movie hit close to home and very far away from home at the same time. That’s what we loved about it.
Many of us (not just in the South) can relate to growing up in a town that is small in size…and small in mind. And to an extent, we think that almost everyone can relate to being 18 years old, struggling to find your identity while everyone is simultaneously trying to define you, telling you what to do and who you should be. Everyone goes through that journey, but not everyone goes through it as the gay son of a Baptist preacher. Even so, the film remains deeply relatable and treats the main character’s experience with care. It had us empathizing with him the whole way, even though it was very different than our personal lives—which we think is the exact purpose of stories like this.
At points the story is cruel and solemn, but it’s real. You might feel the temptation to avert your eyes at certain scenes, but you can’t, because this is something that real kids today live through.
With recent, more triumphing movies like “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” “Love, Simon” or even “Call Me By Your Name,” it can be hard to remember that not all coming out stories end with acceptance or reconciliation, even in 2018.
“Boy Erased” is the kind of story that needs to keep being told until we live in a world where everyone is accepted for who they are.
For more on “Boy Erased,” listen to the full podcast episode above. Watch the trailer below and see the movie in theaters now. And if you like this movie and want to hear more about the story, check out the podcast, “UnErased.”
We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema—we’re Cinebuds. This week on the podcast, we’re talking about the powerful and true story of “Boy Erased,” which is showing now in Milwaukee at the Oriental Theater.
Read more and listen to the podcast episode to hear what we loved (and didn’t love) about “Boy Erased.”