Fionn O’Shea and Lola Petticrew shine in David Freyne’s new LGBTQ+ coming-of-age film, Dating Amber. Taking place in Ireland in 1995, two closeted teens, Eddie (O’Shea) and Amber (Petticrew), are outcasts of their fellow peers. Feeling the pressure to fit in with the suffocating heteronormative structure, the two devise a plan to enter into a fake relationship with one another to avoid suspicion about their sexualities. 

After his role in Normal People, O’Shea continues to impress with his performance in Dating Amber as he plays a gay teen who has yet to come to terms with his own sexuality, in denial and fearful of judgement. O’Shea’s acting is subdued, more is said in his silence than anything else; whilst Petticrew’s acting is equally impressive, truly showing her ability to deliver her dialogue in a way that is comedic but also wrought with emotion. Both characters are layered, and although the film falls into almost too many clichés, it can be overlooked because of the uniqueness O’Shea and Petticrew bring. These two strong forces come together beautifully, making their on-screen friendship completely believable.

In the forefront of this romantic-comedy is also societal commentary. This comes in many forms, such as newspaper headlines, opinions on divorce, and most notably, a sex education video shown at school that has a heavy focus on keeping religion in sex, as well as an unsurprising emphasis on heterosexuality. It’s shown in a comedic light, but highlights the harsh reality and guilt many people in the LGBTQ+ community face.

Dating Amber tells the story of two young adults finding love in one another, thus discovering their own sexualities and love for themselves, and this feels special in its own way. The storyline itself is simple, yet the execution of the film is refreshing and the ending will certainly leave a lasting impact.


Available to watch on: Amazon Prime Video


CAST: Fionn O’Shea, Lola Petticrew, Barry Ward, Sharon Horgan, Simone Kirby

DIRECTOR: David Freyne

WRITER: David Freyne

SYNOPSIS: Two closeted teens decide to enter into a fake relationship in order to avoid suspicion about their sexualities from their family and peers.