An provocative exposé of the Dark side of a mans Social Media Obsession. 


By: Elise Guimoyas
Review of the short film Trophy Boy that premiered at the Cannes film festival. Filmed in New York and written by Anthony Johnston is a haunting exposé of the dark side, and the repercussions of, the millennial’s social media obsession. It is a riches-to-rags unraveling, showing the dangers of linking your self-worth to Facebook likes.  This short marks the directorial debut of British actor, director and creator of ‘Trophy Boy’  Emrhys Cooper (James). The movie features actors as Donal Brophy (Tom) and also writer Anthony Johnston (Andy).


James, a self-proclaimed influencer, believes that he is an important figure due to the number of followers he has on his social media accounts. With everyday posts he makes people believe that his life is a dream. Everything changes when his much older boyfriend, on who he was financially dependent, breaks up with him. He is devastated, and must now face reality. With the help of his sex-addicted friend, Andy, he’s going on a journey to find his true identity.

This journey doesn’t go as he expected. From one party to another, James takes a wrong path and ultimately ends up alienating himself further from reality.

The 12 minutes of the film shows perfectly how we can make our life look so glamorous and cool on social media, when in reality everything isn’t so glamorous at all. It shows that people are lonely and want to be liked by others. They are afraid of peoples opinions. Unfortunately this is the generation we live in, social media influences our lives.  The contrast of the fake life of James on social media and his loneliness in the real life, with his only friend Andy,  shows how dangerous social media can be and that it’s important to know that there is a ‘normal’ life besides the image you show on social media.

The appealing character of Andy, who’s drugs and sex addict, is trying to share his problems with his friend James. But he’s to selfish to think about other people’s problems. The friendship they had, changes when in the end James finds himself alone, with only his followers left as ‘friends’.

Trophy Boy was screened during the last Cannes Short Film Corner at the Palais in the 18th of May, 2018.

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