It is a little shocking to see this movie in 2017. The desperate situation that the writer/director creates for her character as entertainment is so dark and frankly, cruel, that it offends me as someone who lived/lives with that desperation. Frankie is a typical street kid from Brooklyn in many ways. He and his crew don't have much to do, so they go to Coney Island and take prescription drugs to create mild entertainment. He's atypical in that he's capable of being pleasant and respectful, when necessary. He's also gay in a world designed for straight bros, and he lives out that part of his life on a hook-up chat website. This set-up is straight from a gay 1990's movie, when the AIDS epidemic was winding down and being gay was scary - queer films reflected that back then. Like those tragic movies of yesteryear, Frankie becomes more and more isolated by his choices and actions. He finds himself alienated from his friends, his family, his straight girlfriend, his potential boyfriends and himself. And then the movie ends. The writer/director is a straight woman whose artistic decisions amount to having a character put in a glass box that is slowly filling with water just to see what happens. It's cruel. I think the problem is that as gayness is more socially acceptable as a topic for film, straight people feel empowered to tell those stories but their conception of gayness is from the 1990's. "Brokeback Mountain", "Moonlight" and "Beach Rats" are all straight people's assessments of gay life, and man are they bleak.
An aimless teenager on the outer edges of Brooklyn struggles to escape his bleak home life and navigate questions of self-identity, as he balances his time between his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend, and older men he meets online.
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November 09, 2017 at 07:17 PM