The Conrad Boys

he Conrad Boys, written and directed by Justin Lo, is a coming-of-age story involving three members of the Conrad family–Jewish father Doug (played by Barry Shay), nineteen-year-old Charlie (played by Justin Lo), and ten-year-old Ben (played by Boo Boo Stewart). When the film begins, Charlie has been accepted into Columbia University, but soon his Chinese mother Suzie (played by Lauren Xerxes) dies. Since father Doug left the family six years ago, Charlie is now head of household and must defer plans for college to work as a waiter at a restaurant while caring for Ben, who becomes withdrawn after his mother’s death. One day a handsome drifter, Jordan (played by Nick Bartzen) comes into the restaurant, befriends Charlie, and charms his way into staying at Charlie’s home because he realizes that Charlie is sexually attracted to him. The situation is further complicated by the return of Doug, who tries to reconnect with his sons and even threatens legal action to take custody of Ben. Charlie, who distrusts his father, then agrees that Ben can visit his father at least once each week, and in time Ben goes more often to see his dad. While Doug and Ben are getting along nicely, since Doug is evidently a changed man, Jordan kisses his way into Charlie’s good graces. Ultimately, Doug meets Charlie at Charlie’s house, but Jordan punches Doug to keep him away. And then someone out of Jordan’s past threatens to kill him if he does not cough up money (because Jordan stole his car while in México). Charlie, desperate, asks his father to help. Several other challenges emerge and are handled satisfactorily. By the end of the film, the problems are sorted out, though not in an entirely expected manner. MH

Scroll to Top