Rating: 4 out of 5.

Boy Meets Boy is a juicy new drama with crackling dialogue and two layered performances from Alexandros Koutsoulis and Matthew James Morrison. In both German and English, we follow passionate dancer and local courier Johannes (Koutsoulis) and free-spirit ER-doctor Harry (James) as they drift from place to place during Harry’s sole night in Berlin. Their casual flirtation evolves as the day progresses, and both men grow to understand one another on a philosophical level. A ticking clock element gives us just enough time to glimpse the powerful imprint of the duo on one another. Chemistry between the two is completely natural, with this relationship feeling fresh and new. 

After opening with an energetic dance showcasing Johannes and his biggest strength, we follow a day in his life as he returns to the club where he lost his wallet. At the club, Johannes meets Harry, an alluring stranger, and the two share a heavy makeout session on the dance floor. That’s only how their day together begins. They playfully go back and forth with a barrage of questioning: anal or oral? Sunrise or sunset? Each conversation opens up Johannes and Harry to each other. Johannes’ biggest dream is to become a father, while Harry has an addiction to sex and longs to find his true purpose in life. Their personalities clash as often as they click; each man has distinct and crystal-clear viewpoints. The simmering sexual tension easily carries the brief-but-captivating 75 minute runtime. 

Boy Meets Boy is my favorite film of 2021’s OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival: it’s a spicy, melancholy and meaningful examination of two characters profoundly affecting the other. It isn’t overly sexual, nor does it rely on trope-filled comedic asides. The backdrop of Berlin and its sweeping scope is a fitting setting to unfold the dialogue-heavy drama. 

With such a sharp focus on just Johannes and Harry, Alexandros Koutsoulis and Matthew James Morrison are able to mold their roles into flawed, complex and opinionated individuals. Director Daniel Sanchez Lopez, who wrote the screenplay with Hannah Renton, values honor and authenticity in dialogue above all else. I loved the simplicity of two young gay men hanging out and having realistic conversations with contrasting viewpoints.

Boy Meets Boy screened at the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, April 23rd – May 2nd.

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