A must watch coming-of-age and identity exploration feature film, premiering at Perth Festival.

This endearing Irish comedy-drama film takes a look at an lovable friendship that develops between two closeted queer kids.

Set in Ireland during the mid 90’s, the film stars Fionn O’Shea as 'Eddie', and Lola Pettigrew as 'Amber'. These two not-so-popular teenagers form an alliance to fake a relationship in order to stop the rumours about their sexuality.

Eddie and Amber holding hands

Dating Amber beautifully explores this platonic relationship which serves as a safe place for both characters. It was heartwarming to watch the teens take moments for themselves, getting away from the small town talk and exploring their identity.

This nostalgic film showed the awkward and honest truth about the highs and lows of teenage life. Being a queer teenager in rural Ireland in the 90s would not have been easy by any means, and yet this film beautifully combines the humour of awkward teens with a few moments of sad truth. On the autobiographical nature of Dating Amber and it’s inspiration, Irish writer and director David Frayne is quoted by The Queer Review as saying:

‚ÄėThose kind of absurd moments are really sad as well, and I think the comedy and the tragedy go together. The moments when you feel the most empathy for Eddie are those sad moments.‚ÄĚ

Dating Amber is making its premiere to Western Australia thanks to LotteryWest Films. It offers an interesting perspective on coming-out, with the leads deciding to address their queer identies in different ways. What comes from this is a few laughs, and a lot of cringe-worthy scenes, and an excellent movie. Many of the ideas within the movie are directly from Frayne’s personal experiences, with Frayne saying:

‚ÄúUnfortunately all the embarrassing things really did happen.‚ÄĚ

Freyne’s feature debut as a writer-director was for the zombie movie The Cured, starring Ellen Page. His second feature Dating Amber is a lot closer to home, with Freyne saying to The Queer Review

‚ÄėIt‚Äôs my story...or at least as autobiographical as it will ever get‚Äô.
scene from Dating Amber

Dating Amber is an uplifting and humorous film which carefully explores queerness in a rural landscape, the discovering and acceptance of your own identity, and the desire to hide one's true self to fit societal expectations. It is an eccentric love story unlike any other.

Dating Amber will be available at Perth Festival with LotteryWest Films. Due to current restrictions, LotteryWest films will return from February 15th.  

Feb 10, 2021

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