We’ve talked about a few lovely films here, and I’m trying not to use the words ‘charming’ or ‘heartwarming’ to describe every one of them. Yet Handsome Devil by writer/director John Butler brings exactly those words to mind. It’s a coming of age movie, (we like those here in Ireland), staring Fionn O’Shea (whose also in the siege of Jadotville), as Ned. British actor Nicholas Galitzine does a good posh Irish accent as Conor, and Andrew Scott is in his element swapping hot priest for inspirational teacher.
Spoiler Free SynopsisNed is a music-obsessed misfit, who is made to change schools to attend an upper-class boarding school, where he sticks out like a sore digit. His roommate Conor is the polar opposite. He is a popular and gifted sportsman, who seems destined for greatness. The loner and the star athlete at this rugby-mad school form an unlikely friendship. At least, until others start to pay attention.
Will it catch my eye?I think Handsome Devil suffered a little from coming out around the same time as Sing Street. The initial plot is the same; boy forced to change school/ is a fish out of water/forms an unlikely friendship defying school authorities. In Sing Street it is middle class boy changes to working class school and clashes with school principal. In Handsome Devil, middle class boy goes to upper class school and is subjected to homophobic abuse from the sports department. Sing Streetwas a big hit here in Ireland and I think when Handsome Devil followed in its wake, some unfairly dismissed it as just another high school movie.
And while Sing Street is undoubtedly the superior movie, there still tonnes of fun to be had with Handsome Devil. Our two leads are engaging, likable, and mildly infuriating, as teens can be. Scott exudes charm and wisdom as the sarcastic but empathetic teacher.
It does have to be said that if we were to show this to a race of subterranean mole people , who had never been exposed to the human race, about 20 minutes in they’d say “ Oh right, what’s going to happen is…”
But it doesn’t matter. It’s not a movie to keep you guessing, it’s a movie to keep you feeling. And when that thing happens, that you knew was going to happen, it will still hit you right in the feels, nonetheless.
You might like this if you enjoyed
Sing Street, Love Simon