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Movie Reviews

Nico and Dani  

Directed by: Cesc Gay

There have been a slew of gay-themed films over the last several years dealing with teens' sexual explorations, i.e. "Edge of Seventeen", "Wild Reeds", "Beautiful Thing", etc. Although "Nico and Dani" is a well-paced and likable Spanish film, it's really nothing that we haven't seen before.

It's summer break and Nico (Jordi Vilches) is going to spend several weeks with his childhood friend Dani (Fernando Ramallo). Dani's parents are away on a trip, so they can pretty much do whatever they want, and being teenagers, what better way to spend the summer than going to the beach, drinking booze and going out to parties. The boys have been best friends for a long time, and they can confide in each other about anything, that is until things get a bit complicated. They meet two girls, Elena and Berta. Elena likes Nico, Nico likes Elena, Berta likes Dani, but Dani likes Nico. The two friends begin to drift apart as Nico spends more and more time with Elena, and Dani is left behind.

"Nico and Dani" is really well-paced. Things just happen as they come along, like those summer vacations we had when we were younger. Everything seems to be genuine in this film, and this has to be credited to the excellent young cast. They all exhibited that sincere innocence as they discover love and sex. I also liked the fact that not everything is conveniently resolved in the end. These kids have their whole lives ahead of them, and the film gives us the feeling that they will look back at this summer with lots of memories and lessons learned in life. The screenplay for the film, though not highly original, is quite gratifying. I wish I could say the same for the other gay-themed films released over the years. Just because they have good-looking guys on the screen, that does not mean that they can forego on a decent script.

"Nico and Dani" does not delve into the characters into any great depth, but the film is still quite enjoyable and poignant. I would also just like to recommend Andre Techine's excellent French film "Wild Reeds" (1995), with a more complicated and intelligent look into the same subject.

The film is not rated, but there are scenes of sexuality and some nudity.


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