Rarely does a film I’ve never heard of come around and absolutely delight me as much as Dating Amber did.
Writer-director David Freyne has created what I, frankly, consider to be one of the most beautiful, relatable films of 2020.
Made in Ireland, Dating Amber follows two students relentlessly bullied for being gay — though neither of them has ever come out of the closet. So when lesbian Amber asks Eddie, a meek, shy young man, to be her fake boyfriend, it seems they can help each other.
Though Amber is upfront about her sexuality with Eddie, he still can’t accept his own, and thus the sham relationship begins to take on more meaning for him as they dive further in.
The bullying stops and the two make a fine pair – but neither is being particularly honest – leading to complications. Eddie is terrified to tell his military father, and Amber is worried about what her late father would have thought.
Both have their own struggles, but together they try to be there for each other. It’s a beautiful friendship and the leads, Fionn O’Shea and Lola Petticrew, sell it perfectly.
They are absolutely fantastic, and they work together seamlessly. Add in a surprisingly effective performance from Barry Ward as Eddie’s dad, and this is a film that has more surprises than you could have ever imagined.
It’s an under-the-radar smash that I pray finds an audience, because in these difficult times, a movie that manages to hold its audience’s heart like this deserves all the fans it can get.