Beach Rats is not the sequel to Mallrats. No, that was supposed to be called Mallbrats, but got cancelled, because Kevin Smith never does the things we actually want him to do anymore.
Instead of people hanging around the mall, just chilling, doing drugs, talking about pop culture, this film is about people hanging around beaches, mostly chilling, doing some drugs, and talking about, well, drugs and stupid stuff mostly. But hey, they are both set in the same state!
Oh, and this film is not a comedy, it is definitely a regular drama, with some intense moments in there. There is vulgarity as well, but on a whole new level.
Now I just hope someone turns the two films into one cohesive picture somehow.
Don’t worry, you get to see many dudes without pants as well.
Frankie (Harris Dickinson) is a bit of a confused early 20-something boy. He already has the unfortunate circumstances of living poor, on the Jersey shore. He doesn’t have a lot of smarts, but he does understand drugs. His dad (Neal Huff) is dying of the cancer and taking his time doing so, but it allows him to get some pills. His mom (Kate Hodge) doesn’t want him hanging out with his loser friends, who are always up to no good. And Frankie also likes to chat up older dudes on the internet for the two d’s – dicks and drugs.
Oh yeah, Frankie is living a closeted life, ashamed by it, knowing his family, his friends, everyone will shun him. He is already jobless and still at home, he would get thrown out in a heartbeat.
But a local girl, Simone (Madeline Weinstein, not related to the famous ones), is for whatever into his goofy head. And he is able to use family issues and drugs why he has problems getting erect around her. so they begin to date. Everyone needs a good beard.
And most of the film is him hanging out, dealing with his family, dealing with the girl, making poor choices, and experiencing his desires anyway possible.
Featuring a lot of people who won’t matter, including these people: Anton Selyaninov, David Ivanov, Frank Hajak, Harrison Sheehan, and Nicole Flyus.
Beards can distract others when you’re thinking about penises.
While watching this film, I went and found out who was the director. It was Eliza Hittman. That didn’t surprise me because I knew her, or that I expected a very specific director, I just didn’t expect a her.
For a woman to dive so well into the psyche of a young male, pretending to be tough and dumb, while hiding his sexuality, I mean, I just naturally assumed a gay man was making this film. Maybe something pseudo-biographical. I am not saying it is odd when someone of a different gender directs a movie clearly not in their focus area, because it happens a lot. Usually it is just a male director, trying to do a female centric film, and just being incredibly wrong. Then the film doesn’t sell well, and they say people don’t see women movies. But now I am ranting on a different topic.
What I am really getting at is that Eliza Hittman Hittman might secretly be a gay twenty something Jersey shore boy. An extreme case of living in the closet.
Beach Rats feels very personal, very real. It also had a lot of subtle tension near the end. I was really worried that the worst sorts of disaster would occur. My mind got more carried away with the possibilities, thankfully far more than the film took the scenes. There was a lot of potential for just terrible ending after terrible ending. I mean terrible in that the circumstances were terrible, not that the ending was bad.
Dickinson does a really good first time lead performance. I can only say real and personal so many times, but it fits here too. This could have been a documentary about some young adults in New Jersey and I would have believed it.
Beach Rats was made for a very niche audience. It will have aspects that make a lot of people uncomfortable. But it is good that it fills such a niche, because this niche is hugely underrepresented still ii film.
3 out of 4.