It's hard to buy the nonchalance of the homosexual experimentation that takes place between two teenage best friends in this Spanish coming-of-age fable "Nico and Dani," which takes place over a few weeks of summer in a seaside town near Barcelona.
The problem has nothing to do with the performances of Jordi Vilches and Fernando Ramallo, the two brilliantly ingenuous young actors in the title roles. It has nothing to do with the circumstances of the initiation of their libidos -- they're 15-year-old boys with time on their hands and partners (initially girls) at their disposal.
But when they start...errr...manually pleasuring each other, completely out of the blue, the viewer gets mentally yanked right out of the story by involuntary attempts to figure out what signals were missed that indicated these kids were so free with each other. I don't know about you, but nobody I knew -- gay or straight -- did this sort of thing with their pals when I was 15.
Continue reading: Nico & Dani Review
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.