Craig Johnson’s Alex Strangelove, a new gay teen romance attempts to portray the struggles of the LGBT+ community in a funny yet thought provoking manner, much like ‘Love, Simon’ earlier this year, but it’s far from perfect.
The plot revolves around Alex Truelove, a high school kid whose plan to lose his virginity to his girlfriend Claire goes awry when he finds himself drawn to Elliott, a charming gay kid, and his struggle as he questions his sexual orientation. It’s like a raunchier but not quite as adorable sidekick to ‘Love, Simon’, and definitely doesn’t live up to that level of quality.
We don’t get much time to discover Elliott’s character, and his relationship with our protagonist doesn’t get the screen time it deserves, leading to a lack of depth. Moreover, most of the humour in the film feels forced, which is evident through a rather odd subplot involving a psychotropic frog.
Nevertheless, Daniel Doheny’s portrayal of a teen confused about his sexuality is worth a watch. Some of the other characters seem annoying and aren’t very well-crafted, especially Dell who isn’t quite the comic relief he’s intended to be.
The first half of the movie which focuses on how Alex plans on losing his virginity to Claire, feels stretched and repetitive after a while. It’s only after Elliott is introduced that the plot really starts building up. But even then, the movie doesn’t leave you wanting more.
After ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and ‘Love, Simon’ this year, Alex Strangelove doesn’t seem to have anything special about it. But give it a try if you are bored and want to watch something light hearted this Pride Month, just don’t expect too much from it.