Hangin' with the Homeboys

Director: Joseph B. Vasquez
Screenwriters: Joseph B. Vasquez

Institute History

  • 1991 Sundance Film Festival


Friday night is hangin' out night for four young men in New York City. Like The Lords of Flatbush, Hangin' with the Homeboys is a slice of life that celebrates camaraderie. There is Willie, an angry young black man who feels racism has its hand in all his troubles, but continues looking for the good side of life. Johnny is the youngest of the group and Puerto Rican.

Smart and sincere, he sees no future in college and is totally preoccupied with his fantasies about a gorgeous brunette named Dada. Tom is an actor, although he rarely practices his craft. While he understands Willie's anger, he has resigned himself to the hard knocks life dishes out. Finny is actually Fernando, an Italian wannabe. He is the only homeboy with no visible means of support; he manages to survive on the contributions of food and money from the legion of girlfriends he has. They form a tight-knit group that sticks together, but not at the expense of their individuality.

The guys set out to find a good time, and spend the entire night finding it . . . and trouble. They crash a party, hit a bar, meet Lila and Luna, go dancing, and party until the sun comes up. What sets the film apart from others like it is the freshness of the characters. Writer/director Joseph Vasquez has assembled a cast which is made up primarily of Blacks and Hispanics in roles that are genuine and steer clear of media-imposed stereotypes. The four leads form an ensemble so full of life and humor that one revels in the pleasure of sharing their experiences. To its credit, the film is free of pretensions. There are no deep dark secrets that are suddenly revealed, or overwrought emotions to deal with. Vasquez wishes only to eloquently express the simple pleasures life has to offer, and leave the memories one can

— Alberto Garcia

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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