Boy Meets Boy
Directed: Daniel Sanchez Lopez
Written by: Daniel Sanchez Lopez, and Hannah Renton
Starring: Matthew James Morrison and Alexandros Koutsoulis
A journey to find yourself
Harry (Matthew James Morrison) is on a weekender in Berlin. His plans don’t extend beyond partying and hooking up with a different guy each night. He’s a devout fan of Ginder and tinder, sighting his preference is in using apps over conventional dating. Shortly before he is due to return to England, he meets Johannes (Alexandros Koutsoulis).
Johannes is arguably Harry’s polar opposite. He relishes in the one to one conversations and communication and rallies against apps like Grindr and the culture around them.
The seemingly odd pair spend the day together, trying to fit in as much of Berlin as they can. Boy Meets Boy is a feature film about a chance encounter. Filmed in a sort of mumblecore style- the contrast between these two characters elevates this from another indie file about two people, to a success of the genre. Whilst I found Harry to be a little on the unlikeable side, they highlight the differing views and opinions of these characters brilliantly. Harry and Johannes often engage in pseudo-philosophical debates of what love and connection truly is. They try to pin down their opinions on love, how it grows or settles over the years. And try to determine who is right.
Call me old fashioned
Johannes is refreshingly romantic, and Harry may roll his eyes at the sentimentality, but Johannes is resolute in his standpoint. The experiences the pair share as they navigate the beautiful city of Berlin will not be soon forgotten by either of them. There is a connection from these characters that maybe they’ve been missing, or that they needed to wake themselves up a bit. The easy banter and teasing suggest a more emotional connection than the purely physical one that Harry is often trying to initiate. They challenge each other’s idea of romance and connection.
Boy Meets Boy challenges many aspects of queer culture and holds it up for scrutiny. Whilst this is not the start of a great romance, it is the start of something. They’ve each learned from one another, but we don’t see how these new outlooks are then used. We don’t see either of them act on any new epiphanies or go at life with a whole new outlook. But their meeting has done, what many great holiday romances do, left a lasting impression.
The sights and sounds of Berlin
Fans of character-heavy, natural filmmaking will really enjoy the chemistry between the leads and the signs and sounds of Berlin. It is a simplistic, stylishly natural file that proposes interesting points of view. It will have you questioning your own thoughts and expectations of love.