Alex Strangelove

Virginity.

I know none of you whores actually remembers those early days when your genitals were dusty in the corners from disuse, but if you’re aching for a refresher, Alex Strangelove (actual name: Alex Truelove, which is worse) is a teenage boy who can’t wait to lose his to his high school girlfriend, Claire. Except it keeps not happening, and not because Claire is shutting things down. In fact, it’s Claire that reveals to their friends that she’s been attempting to de-virginize him for a year, and Alex keeps shying away. Alex is no alpha male; he’s smart and sensitive and vaguely neurotic. But he’s also 100% sure he wants to fuck Claire.

Except not. And especially not after he meets a very cute boy at a party that he can’t get out of his head.

Alex Strangelove is about a boy coming to grips with his sexuality, which may or may not involve actual sex. The love triangle between Alex (Daniel Doheny) and Claire (Madeline Weinstein, no relation to the monster) and Elliott (Antonio Marziale) feels very simplealex-strangelove-e1523976102143 and pure and wholesome and innocent. It’s funny how when you’re a teenager yourself, everything feels like drama, but watching it as a grown-ass woman, I realize how exceedingly easy it all is, and I just want to make them all grilled cheeses and tell them to just enjoy this. Finding yourself is a magical time, if not always an easy one. But Alex’s coming out isn’t going to be traumatic. His friends want nothing more than for him to be happy. I hope that is increasingly the case in 2018 but I know it’s still far from universal. It sucks that for some people, a certain amount of bravery is still required in simply claiming your truth and identity.

Which is why this movie feels particularly important to share right now, in June, the month of Pride. Gay, or straight, or anything in between, owning who you are is a twisty path. And even if you’ll be met with nothing but acceptance and open arms, it can be scary to slap a minority label on yourself and show it to the world. This movie is not a particularly good movie, to be honest, but it’s the kind that feels true to the time. It’s no John Hughes – but if you’ve recently rewatched almost any John Hughes, you’ll agree that those movies haven’t aged very well: racist, homophobic, sexist…we can’t really excuse that shit anymore. Those movies are dinosaurs. And if this isn’t quite a replacement for the classics, it’s a step in a gayer direction.

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10 thoughts on “Alex Strangelove

  1. Christopher

    Every day I think about how easily the gains made by LGBT people in the US could be completely rolled back. After all it was just fifteen years ago that, in some parts of the country, sex between two men was still a crime. Think about that: a teen coming out now could have been born at a time when he could be arrested for being gay. And we have a president who’s surrounded himself with people who are openly hostile to LGBT rights.
    Even if this flick isn’t great the fact that we’re seeing so many stories like it makes it harder for those who want to turn back the clock.

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  2. mydangblog

    This reminds me of a great young adult novel called “Will Grayson Will Grayson” by John Green and David Levithan. The plot is different than this film but the vibe is kind of the same.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Liz A.

    It does seem to be easier today to come out. There seems to be more acceptance at the high school level, although not so much in middle school.

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  4. Lavanya

    Love the beginning. And it’s true. There are many who don’t get accepted the same way when they talk openly about their sexuality. Especially in India where I live. Here’s hoping one day people will become more aware.

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