After exhausting every Netflix series during lockdown, I randomly stumbled upon Dating Amber on Amazon Prime. The film follows two teenagers, Eddie and Amber, navigating their sexuality against the backdrop of 1990’s Ireland. Their fake relationship is the intended focus of the film but their friendship that develops arguably takes centre stage. It is so refreshing to watch this coming-of-age story that coincides with a coming-out story as it reflects the experiences of so many people.
It is an understatement to say that this film was a rollercoaster of emotions. The film is littered with comical moments that stand proudly against the heartfelt scenes. Perhaps this is what makes the film so poignantly beautiful, as the highs are heightened by the contrasting lows that are defined by the protagonists’ internalised homophobia.
It stars Fionn O’Shea, Lola Petticrew, and Sharon Horgan - an absolutely stellar cast bursting with talent. All three of these actors have previously helped in pushing Irish cinema into the mainstream. The success of Irish cinema, in the form of Normal People, who stars O’Shea, and Catastrophe, written and starred in by Horgan, notably excludes an LGBTQ+ narrative and Dating Amber beautifully fills this void.
So, if like me, you quickly made it through every film on Netflix during lockdown, I recommend giving this film a watch. It is cinematically beautiful and is a film that shares a more diverse narrative of life in 1990’s Ireland. For anyone wanting a modern and heartwarming coming-of-age story, Dating Amber is the perfect fit. Just make sure you have the tissues at the ready.