Dating Amber

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Dating Amber
Dating Amber poster.jpg
UK & Ireland poster
Directed byDavid Freyne
Produced by
  • Rachael O'Kane
  • John Keville
CinematographyRuairí O'Brien
Release date
  • 4 June 2020 (2020-06-04)

Dating Amber (originally titled Beards) is an Irish comedy-drama film directed by David Freyne. The film features two closeted teenagers in 1990s Ireland who decide to start a fake relationship.

It was released on Prime Video UK on 4 June 2020 with a theatrical release intended to come later the same year, which was ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Plot Summary[edit]

Distraught over persistent homophobic abuse, outsiders Eddie and Amber decide to hide their sexuality from the rural Irish town in which they live by pretending to be a heterosexual couple. Amber wants to escape a life overshadowed by the suicide of her father to lead a lesbian punk life-style in a more liberal environment. She is saving money to move to London by surreptitiously renting out caravans to teenage couples in need of some privacy on a park her mother runs. Eddie is not so confident of his sexuality and intends to follow his insensitive and often absent father into the Irish Army.

On trips to Dublin the "couple" begin to absorb its gay culture. Eddie is seen passionately kissing another man in a gay bar by someone from his home town. This causes Eddie to panic and attack the witnesses to his kiss. Meanwhile Amber begins an affair with Sarah, a girl she meets in Dublin.

Amber comes out to her Mum who meets Sarah and understands that her daughter wants and needs to be with her girlfriend. Amber is then outed to the town through the local priest. Initially Eddie can't accept that his pretence with Amber is over but then tries to establish a heterosexual relationship with schoolmate Tracey prior to joining the army. When he is due to enlist Amber appears at the barracks and offers him her savings to help him escape living a lie. He finally accepts his sexuality and the money to buy a train ticket to another life.


David Freyne directed the film with Rachael O'Kane and John Keville of Atomic 80 producing in co-production with Belgian company Wrong Men. The film received funding and production support from Screen Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Will Clarke, Andy Mayson, and Mike Runagall of Altitude, Dearbhla Regan of Screen Ireland, and Rory Dungan of Wildcard executive produced. Principal photography took place in summer 2019.[1][2]


Wildcard was in charge of local distribution rights and Altitude handled UK and other international distribution; this announcement came with a first look promotional image.[3] It was announced along with a trailer in May 2020 that the film would premiere on Prime Video UK that June before a later Irish theatrical release on 3 July.[4]

Samuel Goldwyn Films acquired the North American rights.[5] The company released a trailer for the film in September. Dating Amber was showcased at the Canadian Inside Out Film and Video Festival in October.[6] The film was available in North America digitally and on-demand from 13 November.[7]


Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 96% based on 48 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Dating Amber colors outside the rom-com lines to tell a sweetly poignant story about friendship and self-acceptance."[8]


  1. ^ Abbatescianni, Davide (1 August 2019). "David Freyne's comedy Dating Amber in post-production". Cineuropa. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  2. ^ "David Freyne's 'Dating Amber' to debut on Amazon Prime Video in June". Screen Daily. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  3. ^ Grater, Tom (29 July 2019). "Altitude boards Irish comedy 'Beards' with Fionn O'Shea, Sharon Horgan (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  4. ^ Finnan, Sarah (15 May 2020). "WATCH: First look at new Irish movie Dating Amber". Lovin Dublin. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  5. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (4 August 2020). "Samuel Goldwyn Acquires David Freyne's LGBTQ+ Teen Comedy 'Dating Amber'". Deadline. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  6. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (9 September 2020). "Inside Out LGBT Film Festival to Feature 'The Boys in the Band', 'The Obituary of Tunde Johnson', 'Cowboys' and More for Virtual Edition". Deadline. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Irish coming out comedy 'Dating Amber' heads to the US". RTÉ. 5 August 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Dating Amber (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 March 2021.

External links[edit]