The Movie Waffler New Release Review [DVD/Digital] - BOY MEETS BOY | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [DVD/Digital] - BOY MEETS BOY

boy meets boy review
Two young men bond over the course of a day in Berlin.

Review by Benjamin Poole

Directed by: Daniel Sanchez Lopez

Starring: Matthew James Morrison, Alexandros Koutsoulis

boy meets boy poster

The very nature of narrative structure demands closure; a resolution of the conflicts and plot disruptions which have constituted the preceding storyline. In many films, this climax is signified by romantic/sexual promise, a hero getting the girl (reaffirming heteronormative values), the co-leads colluding with a conclusive kiss. In writer/director Daniel Sanchez Lopez’s (with script co-operation from Hannah Renton) Boy Meets Boy, however, the hour-and-change run time happens after a passionate snog at the end of the night on a Berlin dancefloor, as lonely strangers Harry (Matthew James Morrison) and Johannes (Alexis Koutsoulis) share a friendly kiss before entering the sunny dawn of a beautiful Berlin and then spending the rest of the day together. Ever wondered what happens after that climatic clinch? Meet Boy Meets Boy.

boy meets boy review

Boy Meets Boy doesn’t half remind me of a different film. I can’t put my finger on it. There are a couple (a man and a woman, that time) who are in another European town before sunrise before one of them is catching a train at sunrise and they only have a limited time before sunrise to make a romantic/spiritual connection. It will come to me, and probably to you while watching Boy Meets Boy if you are at all familiar with the film about a sunrise which came before this one.

A few odd Macguffins set the scene - Harry needs to print a boarding pass, Johannes’ wallet/bike gets stolen - but the meat of Boy Meets Boy consists of two nice gay lads simply wandering around Berlin chirpsing about this and that. The conversation has a patina of freshness though, as gay politics and social cultures are broached in a uniquely subtle manner, but this is essentially your lot: it should have really been called Boy Wanders Around With Boy. And, look, I’m not jealous or anything, but I’m unsure that a film about two attractive young people, leading a largely unproblematic life (there is refreshingly an absence of homophobia in the film, with even a couple of Watchtower peddlers coming off as sweet and open) in one of the best cities in the world, with luxury and cash at their disposal (Berlin ain’t for free) is what anyone needs during varied degrees of lockdown and quarantine. It’s like looking at the menu for a favourite restaurant which is shut.

boy meets boy review

An abiding issue is that the dialogue which constitutes Boy Meets Boy is full-on millennial: superficial and solipsistic gripes about the most elementary of topics. I had to laugh when Harry earnestly coats down the ‘biggest 100 companies’ who contribute to 70% of greenhouse gases. Um, mate, you’ve flown from Britain to Schoenfeld simply to get off with strangers - I mean fair play, but carbon dickprint much? There is a back and forth about work and doing what you want and following your bliss which is so naïve it borders on offensive for anyone who actually manages to hold down a job (i.e., everyone else).

There are moments, however, where the conversation does take intriguing left turns, such as when Johannes expounds his desire for a more ‘conservative’ homely lifestyle with his partner, and pleasingly pours scorn on the limited cliches of gay promiscuity. However, any conflict is glossed over with an awkward smile from one or the other before the tentative flirting begins anew.

boy meets boy review

Is it enough, these likeable young men coquettishly chatting around the capital of Germany? Just about, in the sense that this is an aspirational gay fairytale of sorts. However, perhaps fitting to this genre framework, there are annoying logical transgressions. For instance, Harry makes a point of saying how high they both are before reporting the stolen bike to the Polizei (he is on 2CB - oooh, fancy!). However, over the course of the following day neither of them seem remotely sweaty or come-down ish. And, about that day, not since Ferris Bueller discovered a time loop in downtown Chicago have young people managed to cram so much into a daytrip to the city. A pity then, that Boy Meets Boy doesn’t leave enough room for narrative stakes or dramatic urgency.

Boy Meets Boy is on UK DVD and Digital from September 6th.

2021 movie reviews