Dating Amber review – witty Irish coming-of-age yarn | Comedy films

The appearance of an enjoyably naff sex education video delivered by a nun suggests early on that this coming-of-age film set in rural Kildare in 1995 might be more Derry Girls than Normal People. Eddie (Fionn O’Shea, who also stars in Normal People) is training for the army, but harbours a secret crush on one of his male teachers. Amber (Lola Petticrew) likes girls and dreams of opening “an anarchist bookshop with franchise potential”. The closeted teenagers reluctantly agree to be each other’s beards.

A romcom-like montage celebrates their platonic friendship as it blossoms. The odd couple ride bikes, read zines and take a bus to Dublin, where a drag queen dressed as Dolly Parton appears as a glowing apparition. As Amber becomes more comfortable with her queerness, the taciturn Eddie retreats inwards. Their parallel journeys dispense with a one-size-fits-all coming-out narrative and are handled with a lightness of touch by Irish writer and director David Freyne (who made the zombie movie The Cured, starring Ellen Page).

Source: The Guardian

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