DARE follows three very different teenagers through the last semester of high school.
There are Alexa (Emmy Rossum), the overachieving good girl who longs to break out of
her shell; Ben (Ashley Springer), the melancholy outsider confused about his sexuality;
and Johnny (Zach Gilford), the rich kid who has everything, including good looks, but
hides behind his bad boy persona. This unlikely trio fall into each other's lives and each
otherís arms, making a last ditch effort to shake things up before they actually have to
start living as adults. Director Adam Salky and writer David Brind takes us into some
uncharted territory with fresh eyes and matter-of-fact authority. Sweet and sexy donít
always go together, but they work beautifully in this instance because the sexuality of
the film is cleverly woven into the fabric of the story. You can ask why the kids are in
such a hurry to experience adult feelings, especially when their parents, comically
enough, are afraid to get in the way. All is answered in the nuanced performances of
this exceptional cast. They capture perfectly a generation with nothing to rebel against
except their self imposed inhibitions. By being keenly perceptive, director Salky stacks
up countless priceless moments in crafting teen romance with a decidedly modern spin.
In DARE, the kids do what they need to do to become the adults they should.
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