If you’re looking for a seafaring celebration that never ends, you’ll be surprised — and delighted — by a new documentary called Dream Boat, where five men around the world who come to party and end up facing themselves.
Dream Boat could have been an empty and vapid affair skimming the surfaace of what life looks like if you’re a hunky and horny guy between 25 and 35 whose life revolves around turning down anyone who’s not as buff, handsome or socially hip as you. Certainly the visuals of the film directed by Tristan Ferland Milewski are packed fore and aft with beautful men having the time of their lives — even if some of them are too wasted to know it half the time. And not only are the men beautiful, but the ship as often seen gliding through the blue waters of the Atlantic is depicted as an idyllic voyage where the only bumps are the ones the boys on the boat bounce and grind against nightly.
But in delving deeper, Milewski finds a panoply of gay men, some of whom fit the hypermasculine Adonis archetype to a tee, while others dance on the sidelines hoping that someone somewhere in this literal sea of humanity will somehow notice them for what makes them unique and worthy of attention.
There’s an exile from Palestine reveling in how his move to Belgium has finally landed him a life where the police actually protect gay men from harrassment rather than providing its source. A wheelchair-bound Frenchman and his partner make the most of their vacation by spending little time fretting about the past and soaking up the sun and energy swirling around them. An Indian man now living in Dubai finds that sex is easier to come by than affection, and at the center of it all is what you’d think is everybody’s ideal of physical perfection — a Polish immigrant now living in England who wants to be seen as more than a commodity. He’s met every possible criteria for desirability, but he wonders aloud if the cruise isn’t just an empty exercise in preening, hooking up and getting blasted.
While all those stories are not particularly party compatible, they add a multi-dimensionality that gives the film soul and resonance far beyond the pleasures of watching men in next to nothing dance the night away in neon, fetish wear, drag and skimpy swimsuits. Also be aware that unlike the recent Tom of Finland biopic, Dream Boat shows men doing what men will in such environs. It’s not gratuitious, but to leave sex out of a movie where men go to sea to play? Well, that boat won’t float.
Last modified: December 8, 2017