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’90s Gay Teen Finds Solace in a Drag Queen in Sweet Flick Dating Amber

’90s Gay Teen Finds Solace in a Drag Queen in Sweet Flick Dating Amber

Dating Amber

In an exclusive clip, gay teen Eddie and his pretend girlfriend, Amber (a lesbian), experience a gay bar together for the first time. 

Being queer in a small town in the '90s was no small feat. And in filmmaker David Freyne's sweet semi-autographical film Dating Amber, a teenage gay boy and a lesbian in a small Ireland town pretend to date so that they can hide their queerness long enough to make it through high school unscathed.

Along the way, they find love and a community in their trips to Dublin's gay bars. In the exclusive clip below, Eddie (Normal People's Fionn O'Shea) seeks solace from a drag queen in a gay bar while his pretend girlfriend, Amber (Lola Petticrew), attempts to declare her straightness to a cute girl.

"Dating Amber is as autobiographical as I'm ever going to get. It's a comedy about growing up queer in a small town in the '90s. But more than that, it is about that first great love (albeit platonic) that helps shape who you are to be," Freyne tells The Advocate. "It's the joyous and hopeful queer comedy that I wished I had growing up. Eddie and Amber mean more to me than any characters I have ever created, and I can't wait to share them with everyone."

Dating Amber

Lola Petticrew and Fionn O'Shea

In press materials for the film, Freyne shouted out to all of the young LGBTQ+ people who felt represented by the movie since it was released on streaming in the United Kingdom earlier this year:

"The film is my love letter to all those kids who felt different and needed to escape in order to be themselves. But while I was making this deeply personal story, I never realised how much it would resonate with kids now. The outpouring of love, not just from older people but teenagers, has been phenomenal. We may have come a long way but we still live in a straight world. These queer kids, struggling to come to terms with their gender and sexuality, are still everywhere. They are in every small town across Ireland, just as they are in America. They are there today just as much as they were there in the past. And they deserve to see their stories shaped by love and laughter. They deserve their Superbad and Lady Bird."

On the scene with the drag queen, Freyne says, "I really wanted to capture that incredible mix of fear and excitement that comes with going into a gay club for the very first time. All the nervousness and exhilaration of discovering this queer world."

"We shot it all in one take and just followed Eddie and Amber's baby gay faces as they took it all in. Then Eddie discovers this glorious drag fairy godmother lip-synching to Brenda Lee -- a maternal figure to hug him and tell him that it will be all right," Freyne says. "It's a beautiful and dreamlike scene because when you are young, discovering this world feels like a dream."

From Samuel Goldwyn Films, Dating Amber is available on VOD and digital on November 10.

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