For all of us who are seeking to add some more LGBTQ+ representation into our movie watchlists, here are four of our favorite LGBTQ+ love stories.
1) The Way He Looks
The Brazilian entry for best foreign film at the 87th Academy Awards, The Way He Looks centers around a blind teen named Leonardo ( Ghilherme Lobo) who, along with his best friend Giovana (Tess Amorim) is searching for independence and love. When new student Gabriel (FábioAudi) transfers to their school, Leonardo finds himself more confused than ever. The Way He Looks beautifully delves into high stakes all or nothing situations and puts bravery, and love on the line. The film captures how innocent and fragile love can be, and leaves us with an endearing tale of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and friendship.
2) Happiest Season
Directed by Clea DuVall, Hulu's Happiest Season tells the story of Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), a couple visiting Harper’s hometown for Christmas where Abby is secretly planning to propose. The issue? Harper hasn’t come out to her picture-perfect family, and rather, has told them that is Abby is her orphaned roommate. Though it seems that everyone, including her sister Sloane (Alison Brie) have some secrets of their own. Happiest Season is the DEFINITION of the perfect Christmas movie with an amazing balance between lighthearted humor and the emotional turmoil that comes with a dysfunctional family.
3) Alex Strangelove
Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny) is about to lose his virginity to his best friend turned girlfriend Claire (Madeline Weinstein). Alex has everything going for him, a bright future ahead of him, and things have never been simpler. Then he meets Elliot (Antonio Marziale), an openly gay teenager who causes Alex to question everything. Alex Strangelove works to and accomplishes capturing the struggle of denial and accepting yourself. Daniel Doheny brings a welcome innocence to the role of Alex, and the relationship between Elliot and Alex is enough to make us want an after-the-ever-after style sequel.
4) The Half of It
Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) is a straight-A student in Squahamish, Washington. She staffs the town’s train station and makes money writing papers for her less than likeable classmates. When Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer), a sausage making football player asks for Ellie’s help in writing a love letter to fellow student Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire) Ellie realizes her A’s might be a little straighter than she is. The Half of It makes it clear from the very beginning that this is not a love story, or a story where everyone gets what they want in the end anyway. The friendship between Ellie and Paul is easily what makes this film as special as it and shows that love stories don’t always have to be romantic. Squahamish, a highly religious town, is the backbone to an otherwise lighthearted film about friendship and sexual identity, a place where everyone feels stuck and those who question God would never publicly say so. The Half of It is a master class on the innocence of friendship, the bond between family, old and new, and a gentle nudge to those who combat homosexuality with religion.
These are some of our favorite LGBTQ+ love stories, each one different and special in their own way, but all worth the watch.