Sometimes, small is beautiful.
This touching and sexy short film makes the most of its rather traditional set-up (geeky gay fancies straight Adonis) and turns it into something rather wonderful.
The closest high school senior Ben gets to gorgeous jock Johnny is shining a spotlight on him during rehearsals for A Streetcar Named Desire (and there is something of the tremulous fragility of a Tennessee Williams heroine in Adam Fleming's touching portrayal of gay Ben.) On stage, playing Stanley Kowalski, Michael Cassidy's handsome but arrogant Johnny can't remember his lines.
A solution presents itself, as Ben offers to help him rehearse. It doesn't look promising, as it doesn't appear that Johnny's memory even extends as far as remembering Ben's name: "Light Boy" is the best he can do.
The rehearsal takes place poolside at Johnny's home - with refreshments courtesy of abandoned champagne from a recent party of his parents'. It's a bit corny to put the boys next to a pool - gee, I wonder if they'll strip off - but it works.
As they drink, run lines and chat their relationship develops. Saying any more would spoil it, but it is a testament to the skill of the screenwriter and the two young actors that each step along the way is handled with great appreciation for the many nuances and feints of adolescent male sexuality.
As Johnny, Cassidy is spectacularly charismatic - with a megawatt smile that could light up LA. (It's no surprise that he auditioned for Superman, and it's a wonder that Bryan Singer let him get away.)
Taking an age-old story and making it come alive, plaudits all round. Apparently, director Adam Salky hopes to turn Dare into a feature film. Let's hope he does.
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