DATING AMBER

★★★★

GAY COMING-OF-AGE FILM SHINES WITH A UNIQUE SPIN ON A FAMILIAR TROPE

MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
By Chris dos Santos
15th February 2021

We've all seen the clichéd plot of "let's fake-date, but maybe we'll actually fall in love". It's a trope as old as the rom-com itself, in the past few decades playing out in '10 Things I Hate About You', 'Just Go with It' and 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before'. It's played out over and over on film, but we keep coming back to this effective trope. Now, 'Dating Amber' puts a queer spin on it.

Eddie (Fionn O'Shea, 'Handsome Devil', 'The Aftermath') and Amber (Lola Petticrew, 'A Bump Along the Way') are both working out their respective sexualities in 1990s Ireland. In an effort to put an end to speculation, they decide to date. But as the two spend more and more time together, they start to lose themselves in this lie in an effort to impress their family. So will their friendship and their queerness disappear in order to adhere to the norm?

'DATING AMBER' TRAILER

While 'Dating Amber' plays on familiar tropes, it's a delight to watch. The cast, comedy and setting combine into a beautiful coming-of-age story for audiences to delight in.

The film definitely has a 'Sex Education' aesthetic to it. From the set design to its humour, it feels like a distant cousin to the hit show, and the perfect companion piece to those craving its long-awaited third season.

While 'Dating Amber' plays on familiar tropes, it's a delight to watch. The cast, comedy and setting combine into a beautiful coming-of-age story for audiences to delight in.

Both Fionn O'Shea and Lola Petticrew shine in the lead roles, and the film is never one-sided with who you should be rooting for. Every mistake is lamented and each victory is celebrated, providing the film with its emotional weight. It's truly their film.

'Dating Amber' will tug those gay heartstrings and make you laugh along the way. It's a fabulous watch, offering a new voice in the ever-growing queer cinematic landscape.

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