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.
Surprisingly, Harris Dickinson the actor who plays Frankie in the film was actually too fit to play the role before filming began. "I got there and, without sounding arrogant, director Eliza Hittman told me that I was a bit too in shape," he recalled. "She told me to kind of eat what I wanted for a bit, because it wouldn't be right. Frankie is amongst a community of people where going to the beach and having your top off is such a big part of summer, so there's pressure to work out, but also they're not quite hitting the mark in terms of being in top-notch shape. They'll do, like, chest and arms." See more »
When we hear the father's voice on the answering machine he says the phone number beginning with a 941 area code. This is an area code for Florida. But the story takes place in New York. See more »
Two girls can make out and it's hot, but when two guys make out, it's gay.
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Frankie (Harris Dickinson) is in his late teens and lives at his Brooklyn home with his family. He also lives a double life: he hangs out and does drugs with three macho friends while also living a closeted life of arranging sexual encounters with men (mostly middle-aged) on the Internet.
While "Beach Rats" has a standard tone in its coming-of-age storyline, it can be given credit to going where most films dare not go: its man-to-man encounters are upfront. While this is courageous and rare, the movie suffers like many other recent ones including "Good Time" above: the main character is unlikeable.
Franikie's gradual descent into drug dependence might have elicited sympathy but he lacks soul and character whether he's drugging with his friends, having secretive sex with men, trying to go "straight" with a young woman close to his age, or in the few encounters he has with his family.
Some characters in smaller roles do show glimpses of depth but these moments are too few and far between. Director/writer Eliza Hittman uses a cool, distant approach to the characters but as the characters themselves are also cool and distant, there is an empty feeling by the end. - dbamateurcritic
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