It’s hard to call anything a blessing during this horrible period, but if I could call anything one it’d be the fact it’s given me the opportunity to catch some interesting, lower-budget indie fare that’d I’d have probably missed if the cinemas (and normal life) was still our reality.
Case in point: Dating Amber. Available to watch with an Amazon Prime subscription since the start of June, David Freyne’s Irish coming-of-age dramedy has stolen my heart and leads the way as my favourite film during lockdown.
Dating Amber follows two frustrated teens living in 90s Ireland – Eddie (Fionn O’Shea) and Amber (Lola Petticrew) – who become each other’s beard to cover-up their own sexuality. Like throwing Sing Street, The Inbetweeners & Love, Simon into a multi-purpose blender and Dating Amber – shifting from cock jokes, teenage caravan humping to tender moments in a gay bar – is what you get.
It is funny and silly, particularly if you’re game for lots of juvenile sex gags (ala Jay from The Inbetweeners), but it’s the central pairing of O’Shea and Petticrew that catches the eye. They simultaneously captured – and at times, broke – my little northern heart through the trials and tribulations of not just trying to figure out how to be gay teens in a conservative nation, but what on earth they’re going to do with the rest of their lives.
I giggled, I cried and I was utterly engrossed in both the story and most definitely the characters. This isn’t just my favourite film of lockdown, it’s one of my favourite films of 2020. Do yourself a favour: watch it.