Dating Amber

Movie review by
Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media
Dating Amber Movie Poster Image
Sweet but crude coming-of-age comedy ponders teen sexuality.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 92 minutes

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Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

A coming-of-age tale about accepting yourself and learning to never be ashamed of who you are. Characters grow to become proud of themselves through courage, teamwork, and friendship. Some bullying including of a homophobic nature.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both Eddie and Amber are positive representations of teenagers, as they're intelligent and compassionate, despite their flaws. Their mothers are empathetic, understanding, and supportive. A considerate teacher also represents a positive role model. Eddie and Amber's peers at school are portrayed as ignorant, cruel, and homophobic.

Violence

A character unknowingly cycles into an army training session, narrowly avoiding being shot at. They also have a knife pulled on them by their father as part of their training regime. In the periphery we see two people fight in a cafe, with one putting the other in a headlock. There is a brawl in a nightclub when a bouncer has to eject a character for starting a fight with someone. There is also a tame fight between two students in the corridor when one is wrestled to the ground. Reference to suicide and physical abuse.

Sex

While nothing graphic is seen, sex is alluded to and discussed throughout -- often in graphic detail. In the background of a scene we see someone masturbating their partner in a movie theater. We see the same act undertaken between different characters, again in public but this time on a park bench. The camera lingers only on the receiver's face. There is a sex scene between two characters, who lie in bed naked but the duvet covers them both. One performs oral sex on the other, again the camera remains on the character's face throughout. Kissing.

Language

Consistent swearing and use of homophobic language. "F--k" is extremely common and sometimes used in a very aggressive way -- even from parents in front of their children. Other words include "s--t," "p---y," "c--k," "slut," and "pr--k." The hate language consists of the words "f--got," "bender," "lezza," and "dyke" as derogatory comments about characters' sexuality. A television report compares homosexuality to bestiality.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

School children are seen smoking cigarettes. Teens drink alcohol and one returns home to their parents house in an inebriated state. A character is pressured into taking ecstasy. Characters are seen experiencing the effects of the drug at a nightclub.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dating Amber is a charming coming-of-age comedy that is, at its core, about two gay teenagers learning to accept who they are and be proud of themselves in the process. Set in Ireland, teens Eddie (Fionn O'Shea) and Amber (Lola Petticrew) face much adversary to their lifestyle choices. Fellow students are nasty to them, but their mothers are kind and supportive. The language is very strong throughout, not just swear words but also homophobic slurs, used in a derogatory fashion, such as "f--got" and "lezza."  Sex is also discussed in graphic terms. Sex scenes include masturbation and oral sex, but it's not explicit -- the camera focussing on the face rather than anywhere else -- and there is no nudity. The teenage characters drink and smoke. In one scene, Eddie and Amber take ecstasy -- the latter pressuring the former into taking it -- though it is not necessarily encouraged as they have regretful experiences. Despite some of its cruder elements, this movie maintains a positive, optimistic outlook on the lead characters and their respective futures.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byerinirose July 6, 2020

Good movie

This movie is really good but its not one for young kids.

What's the story?

DATING AMBER tells the story of Eddie (Fionn O'Shea) and Amber (Lola Petticrew) two outsiders at school who are bullied as their peers believe them to both be gay. So they hatch a plan, if they pretend to be in a straight relationship, maybe their classmates will leave them alone. But how long can this secret last?

Is it any good?

This is a sweet and moving tale, full of the distinctive Irish charm and wit that so often illuminates cinema. The premise is comparable to that of Easy A, and the tone to that of Sex Education, so it doesn't feel in any way unique, but it's been executed in an accomplished manner. Tonally a triumph, it blends the heart with the comedy in a satisfying way.

Although Dating Amber follows a familiar beat, it remains endearingly rather than tedious or repetitive. The two lead performances are simply brilliant, with newcomer Petticrew in particular stealing the show. The sincere, sympathetic character of Eddie is also a real testament to O'Shea, whose previous work includes another Irish hit Normal People

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the portrayal of sexuality in Dating Amber. Why do Eddie and Amber feel they need to pretend to be something they are not? How did the homophobic slurs in the movie make you feel? Discuss homophobic attitudes and what can be done to counter them.

  • Discuss the strong language used in the movie. Does it seem necessary or excessive? What does it contribute to the movie?

  • The characters discuss sex openly in front of their parents. Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships. Why is it important to have an open dialogue?

  • How are drinking and drug use portrayed? Are there consequences? Why is that important?

  • Eddie and Amber have a teacher they respect. Do you have a teacher you look up to and admire? If so, why?

Movie details

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