Handsome Devil (2016)

handsome-devil-poster-small

  • Directed by John Butler
  • Starring Fionn O’Shea, Nicholas Galitzine, Andrew Scott
  • Written by John Butler
  • Comedy, Queer
  • Rated PG-13
  • 95 mins.
  • 2 June 2017

Synopsis

When a young outcast becomes roommates with the newest rugby star at a boarding school where rugby is the most popular thing at school, both their lives change in a big way.

How’s the Story?

I really didn’t expect this to go the way it did! I was under the impression going in that this was a romance and I thought the two boys were going to fall in love, but (spoiler alert) they don’t! And it’s actually fantastic of a direction to take it. I loooove the way this film uses friendship between two very different boys to show them finding a way to lift each other up in a period of life where kids are cruel and insecurity is crushing.

How’s the Acting?

The acting is pretty good. There’s nothing outstanding but there’s nothing bad. I particularly liked the performance of Conor. He was kind of bland but I could feel that it was on purpose. He was a boy trying to hard to not be himself that he became very blank and empty and only had flashes of personality here and there, and the performance really portrayed that well. It’s a hard character to play and this kid did it very well.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

The writing and directing is good but not great. There are so many things that I feel were either unnecessary or underdeveloped. I feel like Andrew Scott’s character was a good idea that didn’t really get fleshed out as well as he should’ve been. It worked, just not to the full potential. And there was so much time spent on the music for it to just fall away in the third act and be ignored for the rest of it. It was kind of just sloppily handled.

Nothing was bad, but there were a few flaws that drag the movie down just a bit.

How’s the Cinematography?

It’s okay. I like some of the things done in the bedroom with the “Berlin Wall” quite a lot, and there are some fun things that go on here and there, but overall, it’s mostly just pretty average.

Is It Worth Watching?

I think that even if you aren’t always seeking out good queer films like I do, this is a good film to give a shot. It’s new on Netflix (in the US at least), it’s a light, fun watch, and it’s a very moving example of boyhood friendship. I am so pleased that they went with friendship rather than a romance in this movie, because it’s just something so unique and moving.

I feel like I saw a very unique film and I can only recommend it to everybody. It’s not going to change your life, but it will put a smile on your face and warm your heart. Absolutely what a Netflix night movie should do.

My Rating: 7/10

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About J. Chelsea Williford

Student at Middle Georgia State University, writer, pop culture lover.
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