You've got this precisely backwards. There's nothing embarrassing about “The Boys in The Band.” Dysfunctional gay “families” like that still exist and always will. More to the point Harold's climactic speech to a character Mart wrote that was inspired by the film's producer Dominick Dunne (who was Bi, and had an affair with Frederick Combs) is as powerful as ever. As for “Cruising” all I can say is BLOODY TOURIST!!!!!! An infinitely more insightful walk on the wild side can be found in Patrice Chereau's “L'Homme Bless.” Though set in a small town in France it's based on Chereau's adventures in he West Village in the 70's with Bernard-Marie Koltes. Does the fact that Chereau is actually gay work against him in your view?
What a bizarre and old fashioned approach to Friedkin's two gay-themed films! The author uses the terms “limp-wrist” and “pink faced” as pejoratives for the “shrill self-consciousness” of “The Boys in the Band” but seems to be very enthused with the “raw, explicit man-on-man action” on show in “Cruising”. As any queeny gay guy will tell you, there's more to being a man than chasing your dick around all day long, and such guys often show their “potency” by letting the kind of casual slander and stick found in this review just roll off their backs.