The first of the inevitable “Children of Moonlight” films, Beach Rats is barely a shadow of its Best Picture winning forebear in every conceivable way.
The low-budget feature from Eliza Hittman follows wayward Brooklyn teen Frankie (Harris Dickinson) as he navigates his homosexuality amid a social group that disapproves of such behavior.
Though there’s plenty of honesty and raw emotion to his journey, the work is hampered by unlikable characters cast-wide and an absence of new ideas on the screenwriting, acting and directing fronts.
Whereas its more approachable and likable gay cinema peer Closet Monster incorporated the unusual element of a talking hamster voiced by Isabella Rossellini, no such flourishes are present in Beach Rats, leaving little to recommend for viewers both familiar and unexposed to the subgenre.
Grade: C-minus. Rated R. Now playing at the Fine Arts Theatre