BOY MEETS BOY

★★

'WEEKEND' IT IS NOT

MELBOURNE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
By Jess Fenton
23rd November 2021

We've seen it countless times. It's one of my favourite genres - if you can call it a genre. Two people meet. There's a connection. And for a few fleeting hours, they enjoy each other's company - yes, maybe even fall in love - and then they must part ways. They've known it from the beginning, but that doesn't make it any easier. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke wrote the book on it. They turned it into a successful trilogy and even received Oscar nominations for their incredible work. But for a simple concept, it's incredibly hard to pull off well. You have to keep people engaged using nothing but dialogue and chemistry. There's no plot. No action. Just conversation and human connection. In the queer cinema world, it was Andrew Haigh's sensational 'Weekend' that picked up the mantel, and now we're forced to suffer the copycats.

'BOY MEETS BOY' TRAILER

'Boy Meets Boy' sees Harry (Matthew James Morrison), a London doctor, holidaying in Berlin when he meets local dancer Johannes (Alexandros Koutsoulis) at a club one night, and the pair hook up. Their attraction is instant. With Harry needing to kill a few hours until his journey home and Johannes having his credit card stolen, with no money and nothing to do, the pair decide to whittle away the day in each other's company until it's time to say goodbye. They visit an internet cafe for Harry's boarding pass, a police station when Johannes' bike is also stolen, they commit a dine and dash, and of course, wander the marvellous streets and parks of Berlin.

Conversation is rather perfunctory and inorganic, with the topics forcefully provocative.

The conversation bounces between general interests, dating apps, favourite sexual practices and a religious debate with some poor unsuspecting Mormons - anything to keep it interesting. And while these boys are very handsome and have a degree of chemistry, the content of said conversation is rather perfunctory and inorganic, with the topics forcefully provocative because the film can't sustain engagement based on its setting and actors alone.

Watching 'Boy Meets Boy' truly highlights how difficult and special films like this are... when done well. Unfortunately, 'Boy Meets Boy' never reaches its goal. Morrison and Koutsoulis are cute and capable on their own, but the screenplay and direction sadly never get the project over the line.

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