Dating Amber (2020) Review
Dating Amber is an Irish comedy-drama that follows two closeted teenagers who fake a relationship.
Written and directed by David Freyne, Dating Amber tells the story of two teenagers who struggle to hide their sexual orientation in their small time town. Set in mid 90s Ireland, Eddie and Amber, played respectively by Fionn O'Shea and Lola Petticrew, pretend to be in a relationship at school in order to escape ridicule and bullying from peers and parents.
Throughout the film, they both endure the stigma that comes with being homosexual in a religious Irish community. Along the way, they learn to come to terms with their sexual identities and feel happy in themselves. Dating Amber is truly a coming-of-age drama that shows how claustrophobic it it can be for many gay youngsters, and highlights the heartache of growing up.
Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, Dating Amber is a refreshing coming-of-age film
The two leads are brilliant in showing three-dimensional characters that you grow to love. It’s amazing to see their friendship develop and they have incredible chemistry. You want them both to be happy and find their place in life. O’Shea and Petticrew work so well in presenting well-rounded characters that are charming and heartfelt. They aren’t perfect characters, as they can be selfish and make mistakes, but they are definitely relatable.
Freyne creates versatile and excellent characters that are fully believable. You feel how confined the characters are in this small town, how held back they are by 'traditional' values. O’Shea’s parents are trapped in a dead-end marriage as they are bound by their religious town’s views. Everyone is just so unhappy and you can feel how much they want to break out.
The soundtrack is filled with nostalgic and passionate music that fits the tone so well. Through the highs, the music is uplifting and makes you feel inspired, with the lows more sombre and melancholic. Dating Amber provides a score that fits right into the 1995 setting without feeling too pretentious.
Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, Dating Amber is a refreshing coming-of-age film that represents the struggles of realising your sexual identity and being happy with yourself. From friendships to first love, this film has it all. You’ll want to do yourself a favour and check out this marvellous movie.
Dating Amber is available on Amazon Prime.