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Beach Rats

USA, English, 95 mins

  • Director: Eliza Hittman
  • Writer: Eliza Hittman
  • Producer: Brad Becker-Parton; Philipp Engelhorn

CGiii Comment

The darling at Sundance and a firm favourite on the festival circuit...

Have you ever heard the one about the Emperor walking stark bollock naked down the boulevard?!? Well, similarly, Beach Rats shows the bollocks and little else!

Eliza Hittman has made a film about a subject she knows absolutely nothing about...closeted male homosexuality!!!

Given that a filmmaker should offer some insight into a subject that - in general - the audience know nothing about...she may know a thing or two about Brooklyn...as for the boy-on-boy (or, in this case, boy-on-man) stuff...nada!

Because...this boy only sleeps with older men...because, he is less likely to bump into them in his somewhat meagre social circle!!! C'mon...if he were bonking the 'daddies' as a way to get out of his doldrum-life...then, yeah, we could accept that. With that face and that body, he could easily screw his way to solvency. He wouldn't be the first...and, most definitely, not the last.

Our review sofa inhabitants were howling and hollering at the screen...and continued, throughout, to do so...

The manscaping scene...it was unanimous, not in a million years would this boy clip his pubes for a fleeting grindr-esque hookup. Yes...quite possibly and probably, if he was meeting a Wall Street hunk at the Four Seasons with the principal aim of getting into his bankroll!

As goodlooking as Harris Dickinson is... he has one expression for every emotion, dour...and, given that he is rarely off the screen, that expression becomes as flat as the rest of the film. But, hey, with a face and body like he has...who needs a personality?!? Trophies glitter and gleam but do little else! However, a film needs a little bit more...oomph, in the character department.

As for the rest of the characters...his three mates...again, nada. We get to know nothing about them. There was a glimmer of something...two fleeting shots of the 'little one' that suggested he might be in a similar situation...but, alas, nothing came of it.

Not surprising considering nothing really happens in the entire film...homosexual hookups, handball and harried heterosexuality are the key [mismanaged] ingredients, interspersed with great big dollops of irrelevance. In other words...padding...c'mon, the length of your finger determines your sexuality!?!

As for the ending, if you feel nothing for Frankie throughout (mainly due to the director not developing the character)...you will most definitely feel something for Frankie by the end. Repulsion, revulsion...brought on by an implausible and concocted finale...there is no way he would go back!!!

Hush now, review sofa, it's over...quelll your disdain...it's only a film!!! It could have been something else entirely...good...but, it's not.


The(ir) Blurb...

The followup to Hittman’s acclaimed debut, It Felt Like Love, sees an aimless Brooklyn teen navigate the boundaries of his identity as he bounces between delinquent friends, a potential girlfriend and older men he’s met online.

Cast & Characters

Harris Dickinson as Frankie;
Kate Hodge as Donna;
Madeline Weinstein as Simone;
Nicole Flyus as Carla;
Frank Hakaj as Nick;
Neal Huff;
David Ivanov as Alexei;
Erik Potempa as Michael;
Anton Selyaninov as Jesse;
Harrison Sheehan

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