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Alex Strangelove

USA, English, 99 mins

  • Director: Craig Johnson
  • Writer: Craig Johnson
  • Producer: Jared Goldman; Ben Stiller; Nicholas Weinstock

CGiii Comment

In all fairness, it starts off rather limp and - if truth be told - a little annoying...especially that 'Dell' character! Teenage boys...yuck!

But...be patient, the film takes an upward surge with the singing garden hose-pipe! And, Dell's character becomes increasingly more adorable - by the end, you just want to tweek his sweet little cheeks!

Obviously, comparisons will be made with Love, Simon - similar looking [gay] teenage boys looking for love and/or sex - however, Simon proclaimed his gayness in the opening minute...Alex, on the otherhand, is either in some kind of surreal denial...or, he hasn't got a clue. It's more likely he hasn't got a clue...being a straight 'A' student, with a steady girlfriend and somewhat awkward...his 'clue' comes in the form of a rather picturesque Elliot...a boy who could turn quite a few heads and hearts, regardless of sexuality!

This 'clue' gestates over the majority of the film...as the main focus is on the relationship between Alex and his [adorable] girlfriend...and, with increasingly difficultly and tension, the losing of his virginity...the 'clue' moves to his pants, the little man ain't working like he should do!

But, Alex is unable to put one and one together...and, toys with the idea that he might be bisexual - heavens above, sounds familiar, doesn't it? The bisexual stepping-stone to full-blown homosexuality!

The conflict grows between the lustless young couple...for they are [great] friends with no benefits other than companionship and a few kisses. It's an emotional realisation...beckoning the arrival of a steady stream of tears.

Alex Strangelove is a lovely film, oozing with warmth and charm...and, some - surprisingly - gritty dialogue. It's unashamedly positive, delivering a message of outright acceptance. If only life were so simple and this non-judgmental...this is - indeed - a fairytale...a look at how life might be for kids coming to terms with who they are.

It will leave you tear-stained and smiling.

Aaaw!


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny) is on a quest to lose his virginity, an event eagerly awaited by his patient girlfriend and cheered on with welcome advice by his rowdy friends. But Alex, a super gregarious dude, is oddly unmotivated. A magical house party featuring a lickable psychedelic frog and a lot of skittles throws Alex into the presence of Elliot (Antonio Marziale, Altered Carbon), a hunky college guy, who pegs Alex as gay and flirts hard. Alex is taken aback but after a series of setbacks on the girlfriend front he takes the plunge and learns some interesting new facts about himself.

The next steps are tough on Alex and form both the emotional core of the film and provide a teaching moment about how the 'coming out' film has evolved as society has changed in its attitude towards homosexuality. This material is deftly and cleverly handled by filmmaker Craig Johnson (Wilson, The Skeleton Twins). Energetic and idiosyncratic, Alex Strangelove ends up being both a smile-inducing charmer and a sly contemporary take on the John Hughes teen masterpieces of the 1980s, especially in its command of teen dialect and the social structures of high school life.

Cast & Characters

Joanna Adler as Holly Truelove;
Isabella Amara as Gretchen;
William Ragsdale as Ron Truelove;
Bj Gruber as Porno Dude;
Antonio Marziale as Elliott;
Ayden Mayeri as Hillary;
Madeline Weinstein as Claire;
Nik Dodani as Blake;
Daniel Zolghadri as Dell;
Annie Q. as Sophie Hicks;
Aidan Pierce Brennan as Young Alex;
Daniel Doheny as Alex;
David Fierro as Mr. Farber;
Khail Bryant as Vice President;
Sophie Faulkenberry as Sierra

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