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Review of Dare

Director Adam Salky guides us on a fascinating journey through the teenage lives of three characters whose lives impact each other profoundly. Alexa (straight) and Ben (emerging gay) are life-long best friends. They seemingly willfully abandon their “good kid” personas to bring a bit of spice into their respective lives and lose their oppressive virginity. The tool for their excursion into life’s more boisterous side is the school “bad boy,” Johnny.

It is here that we discover the films weakest link, as Johnny is not really the bad boy of his reputation, although nobody ever seems to notice that. Granted, he is a bit sassy in classes, but his major claim to fame is that he hosts some extravagant parties. To the extent that “bad” behavior occurs at these parties, that behavior is not really at the instigation of Johnny.

That is a simple flaw of the writing, because I can’t fault the performances of any of the young actors. They do well with the material they are given. Interestingly, though, it is this weakness of the film that gives it its greatest power as we ultimately learn that Johnny is the most vulnerable of all. He becomes the victim of the seductive pair, although he seems to be set free by the victimization while the pair remains trapped in an entirely predictable existence.

Dare dvd cover

Genre: Gay and bisexual themed comedy/drama

Director: Adam Salky

Language: English

Availability: DVD and streaming

99Gay-Men.us Rating: ***

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