Two young men walk the streets of Berlin, slowly falling in love throughout the day, but their love comes with an expiration date. Boy Meets Boy is an interesting story despite its simplicity, taking inspiration from the likes of Before Sunset—a high bar to surpass. However, unfortunately, the film's attempt isn't so admirable.
Boy Meets Boy hosts some beautiful imagery with lovely camera work from Hanna Marie Biørnstad, simple yet eye-catching costumes and excellent work from colourist Agustin Melfi. However, in a story so low-scale and dialogue-heavy, visuals only go so far.
The movie starts on the right foot, seemingly setting up interesting character traits that will later impact the story. Yet, everything the film works to build is instantly forgotten and even contradicted later in the narrative. The quick introduction and onslaught of messy details set a precedent for the rest of its runtime, with moments and conversations coming and going with little or no impact on the rest of the story.
In gentle stories such as this, the narrative becomes reliant on dialogue, so creating a solid script is important. However, Boy Meets Boy presents nothing new nor says anything of note about old topics. Such banal writing leads to an end product that is boring and makes even a short runtime of only 75 minutes feel long. An interesting cast might have saved it, but Alexandros Koutsoulis and Matthew James Morrison's leading performances lack charisma. The direction from Daniel Sánchez López adds nothing to the pair's on-screen chemistry, bringing very little enjoyment to their relationship.
In spite of its incredibly short runtime, Boy Meets Boy is a sluggish and boring take on a simple idea. Among the great loves of queer cinema, Harry and Johannes come nowhere close to memorable.
My First Summer will screen as part of the 2021 BFI Flare Festival on March 17th 2021