Showing on Amazon Prime Video.
Dating Amber, written and directed by David Freyne, shares the story of Eddie and Amber two kids coming to the end of their school lives in 90’s Ireland who while trying to come to terms with their sexuality decide that the best way to deal with it is to have a pretend straight relationship.
There’s is a lot to like in this film, it has warmth and humour, especially a recreation of a 90’s sex education video! And dips into some of the angst, difficulties and youthful optimism of kids heading into their after school futures.
In Fionn O’Shea and Lola Petticrew’s, Eddie and the titular Amber we have two interesting central characters, Eddie from a military family but one that is breaking down, struggles to admit his sexuality and tries to fight it, looking to do the things that are expected of him. Amber is much more confident, she knows who she is and how she’ll get there, with an enterprising streak that sees her renting time in a caravan to horny teenagers! However, her home life is equally difficult as her and her mum come to terms with the early difficult death of her father.
All that said, ultimately it did fall a little flat for me, it didn’t quite engage me in the way it perhaps should and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. Perhaps in its 90 minute running time it’s because we only get to examine everything at a superficial level, we never really delve into the struggle of the two central characters or those around them and I suppose because of that I never really become truly invested in them.
Which is a pity, as there is a lot to like about Dating Amber, warm, humorous, nice performances all around but it didn’t quite click. But I’d say enough to enjoy to make it a worthwhile way to pass 90 minutes.