Sweetheart

Directed by Marley Morrison
Film Movement
2021
103 Minutes
United Kingdom
English
Comedy, Drama, Romance, LGBTQIA2S+, Coming of Age
Coming of Age, LGBTQIA2S+
Not Rated
DVD $11.98
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PPR $200.00
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DRL $499.00
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PPR+DRL $599.00
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Socially awkward lesbian teenager AJ begrudgingly joins her family on a seaside vacation. She finds herself constantly at odds with her painfully "normal" mother and older sister, neither of whom can understand why she doesn't smile more or "dress like a girl." Her anticipated "week of hell" takes an unexpected turn when Isla, a free-spirited and sun-loving lifeguard, catches her eye. Full to the brim with teen angst and romantic fumbling, Sweetheart wryly captures the bittersweet pangs of adolescent yearning, self-realization and personal connections, all against the hilarious ups and downs of the quintessential British family holiday. Praised as an "authentic account of the murky, counterintuitive waters of the queer adolescent experience" (Little White Lies), Marley Morrison’s feature debut is a surprisingly ebullient coming-of-age charmer not to be missed.

"SWEETHEART showcases a common story of a family that wants to be supportive without knowing the right way to support, and a young woman trying to figure out how she wants to exist in the world. [The film] would work well in a film course or a gender studies course, at a high school or college level. Recommended." - EMRO

"Media librarians who cater to adolescent audiences will want to add Sweetheart to their shelves and include it in their programming for young adults and related LGBTQ+ groups...AJ, with a vulnerable and bold performance from Nell Barlow, rightfully claims her place in the teen movie protagonist pantheon, making a little more room for queer girls alongside the likes of Lady Bird and Cher Horowitz....Libraries could use Sweetheart in programming for teens and for gay student groups, such as a Gay-Straight Alliance. It would fit in on a bill with teen romances like LOVE, SIMON, or coming-of-age stories like PARIAH or BOOKSMART." - Video Librarian

Cast

  • Nell Barlow
  • Ella-Rae Smith
  • Jo Hartley
  • Sophia Di Martino
  • Samuel Anderson
DVD Features

Cast and Crew Interviews

Bonus Short Film
Admit One
Directed by Emma Aikman
United States
English Language
8 minutes

It’s love at first sight at the movies when Piper falls for the girl working the concession stand, but before she can ask her out, she must survive a western shootout and an alien invasion in the theater lobby.

Discs: 1

  • Highest Rating
    "[A] nuanced performance by Barlow... making an impressive feature debut... in this universal, warm-hearted story "
    Amber Wilkinson, Screen Daily
  • Highest Rating
    "Quick-witted and understated, Sweetheart is a feel-good story that leaves everyone on a high."
    Hattie Collins, Vogue
  • Highest Rating
    "The endearing British indie “Sweetheart” announces the emergence of a major talent both in front of and behind the camera. For her debut feature, writer/director Marley Morrison has crafted a splendid showcase for her leading lady, Nell Barlow, who is a revelation in her first major screen role."
    Matt Fagerholm, RogerEbert.com
  • Highest Rating
    "Marley Morrison's feature debut Sweetheart is a sure-fire crowd pleaser that showcases a young filmmaker and cast with real promise."
    Matthew Anderson, CineVue
  • Highest Rating
    "The combination of Barlow's terrific central performance and a screenplay packed with wit and sensitivity makes this an incredibly charming coming-of-age comedy."
    Katherine McLaughlin, VODzilla.co
  • Highest Rating
    "A warm-hearted and tender exploration of young sexuality and the bonds which draw families together (but also pull them apart)."
    Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia
  • Highest Rating
    "This is the best British film you'll see this year."
    Ben Turner, The Pink Lens
  • Highest Rating
    "This is a breathtaking feature debut, and one of the most astute movies about adolescence in recent memory."
    Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
  • Highest Rating
    "Sweetheart is a hugely charming and fresh take on the well-trodden narrative, featuring a fantastically witty lead performance from Nell Barlow."
    Nicola Austin, We Have a Hulk
  • Highest Rating
    "Sweetheart has a lot of heart, and writer-director Morrison proves to be a vibrant new indie voice with a confident and established style that manages to make this familiar story feel fresh and new."
    Sara Clements, Exclaim!
  • Highest Rating
    "Sweetheart marks an authentic account of the murky, counterintuitive waters of the queer experience and eros in adolescence...."
    Marina Ashioti, Little White Lies
  • Highest Rating
    "One of the year’s best feature debuts."
    Donald Clarke, Irish Times
  • Highest Rating
    "The writer and director Marley Morrison... cannily observes details that feel specific to young people... to the film’s credit, the central relationship remains realistically drawn — a teenage courtship that’s marked by misunderstandings and mood swings. The characters aren’t always sweet, but they never feel phony."
    Teo Bugbee, The New York Times
  • Highest Rating
    "It’s an absolute charmer, an engaging, relatable LGBTQ-themed film with eccentric and likable characters."
    Randy Myers, Boston Herald

Gallery

Awards & Recognition

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