Thursday, June 3, 2021

NewFest Pride: Boy Meets Boy

Boy Meets Boy
Directed by Daniel Sanchez Lopez
Ticket Information

There is something about traveling and being in a different place that helps people to lose their inhibitions. Actions don’t seem permanent and decisions aren’t consequential, and there may be a desire to do things that wouldn’t otherwise feel right or recommended since they won’t be remembered or impactful upon returning home. Intentions aren’t everything, however, and the strength of a connection formed under those circumstances may still be momentous and enduring. Not wanting to depart from that feeling is understandable, and, in moments of desperation, those who know they have little time away left may do everything possible to preserve it while they can.

Harry (Matthew James Morrison) is in Berlin and has been enjoying himself over the course of the past two days. Just as he is about to leave to head back home to England, he meets Johannes (Alexis Koutsoulis) at a club. The two begin speaking and quickly learn a good deal about one another, unpacking their experiences as gay men, citizens of the world, and strangers destined never to see each other again once Harry heads to the airport.

This is a revitalizing freshness to this film and its casual nature, one that introduces Harry and Johannes and allows the audience to accompany them on their whirlwind tour of Berlin and each other’s personalities. Their conversations are almost entirely one-on-one, though one early moment in which Harry chats up a missionary who also happens to be British reveals a good deal about their conflicting perspectives and how they perceive themselves. Neither is the clear protagonist, and instead this is equally about how energized they feel by the other’s presence, both for the curious visitor and the more grounded local.

The effectiveness of this film, which runs just seventy-five minutes, is enhanced considerably by the performances from Morrison and Koutsoulis. There’s something inherently natural and accessible about their approach to the characters, which invites those watching in to their worlds, showing both how they present themselves to strangers and how they reveal their inner thoughts through body language and speech patterns. This is in many ways a simple story that is conveyed by its direct title, but this film doesn’t stop at the surface level, allowing its protagonists to discover far more about each other than they expect in this rich and rewarding film that makes a sincere impact even with its brief running time.


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