Oh Boys

Oh Boys

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A short and sweet film about what men might become — if we let them.

We enter a gym, locker room, parking lot, wrestling ring, and office. Each environment throbs with testosterone and conflict appears imminent. Two lowrider drivers vie the last available parking spot. Locker room denizens aggressively snap their towels as they prepare to haze their friend. A wrestler takes his frustration out on a defenseless grappling doll. Office bros size each other up over a firm, uncomfortable handshake. Two muscle-bound men get territorial over a piece of equipment at the gym.

However, just as each confrontation is about to explode into aggression, an alternative fantasy arrives. The gym-goers erupt into joyful laughter as the space transforms from a macho man-zone into an adult playground. The office bros begin massaging each other tenderly. The wrestler snuggles his grappling doll like a long-lost security blanket. The two drivers bounce their vehicles with boundless delight. The locker room teammate we thought would be hazed receives two adorable towel animals instead.

But just as the men’s joy is about to hit its peak, one of the gym-goers catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror and realizes that something’s terribly wrong. This isn’t how men act, he thinks. The whole fantasy collapses when he panics and lashes out at the others, shouting at them to “get a grip.” The film concludes as each man registers the sad reality that societal rules of masculinity will never allow him to truly be himself.

Directed by Martina Magorin (USA)

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