The best gay films to look forward to in 2020
The gay twenties have rolled in, everyone! I mean back in the 1920s, it was gay because happy. Now with 20gayteen and 20biteen over with, the gay 20s have taken on a very different meaning in the 2020s.
With the start of the decade, it’s time to find out which LGBT+ films will be worth checking out for the year. From a Hallmark-ish style romcom courtesy of Freeform to an adaptation of a Broadway musical, here are the best gay films to look forward to in 2020.
The Thing About Harry (Freeform, Feb. 15)
Do you enjoy the slight formulaic Hallmark-style movies but are tired of the forced hetero-romance? Freeform has your back with its Valentine’s Day made for TV movie, The Thing About Harry. Oh, do you want some good romance road trip vibes mixed with high school enemies slowly falling for each other? Yeah. That’s pretty much what The Thing About Harry will give you.
The Thing About Harry follows Sam (Jake Borelli) as a neurotic and intelligent young gay man who “combines a scathing wit with an overly idealistic worldview”. In high school, Sam came out as gay, which took a lot of courage in small town Missouri. Not helping things was Harry (Niko Terho), who went to high school with Sam and came out later. Stuck together as they head back to Missouri, the duo find themselves on one interesting road trip.
Also in the film is Karamo Brown (Queer Eye), Peter Paige (Queer as Folk), and Britt Baron (GLOW). The Thing About Harry will air on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 8/7c on Freeform.
We’ve praised Francis Lee’s gorgeously shot God’s Own Country as one of the best LGBT+ films of the 2010s. Now the director is back with Ammonite, which is a period film that follows the affair of famed British paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and wealthy socialite (and wife of the man who funded her latest expedition), Charlotte (Saorise Ronan).
Anning’s living relatives have since criticized the film, saying that her sexuality has never been confirmed.
Lee responded by saying, “After seeing queer history be routinely ‘straightened’ throughout culture, and given a historical figure where there is no evidence whatsoever of a heterosexual relationship, is it not permissible to view that person within another context? As a working class, queer filmmaker, I continually explore the themes of class, gender, sexuality within my work, treating my truthful characters with utter respect and I hope giving them authentic respectful lives and relationships they deserve.”
Currently, there is no set release date for Ammonite, but it will be out sometime in 2020.
Happiest Season (Nov. 20)
Listen it’s not a list of gay films unless we’re talking about something involving Kristen Stewart. Yes. One is coming out this year. Happiest Season follows Stewart and Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate) as a happy couple who go spend the holidays with Davis’ character’s family. Stewart’s character would like to propose to her girlfriend over the festivities.
Except, record scratch, Davis isn’t out to her conservative parents who think that she and Stewart are just a couple of gals being pals. Co-written by Mary Holland and Clea DuVall (Veep) and with DuVall directing, this promises to be a holiday comedy that makes for a good antidote to all the heteronormative romances that come out that time of year.
The Boys in the Band (Netflix)
One of two LGBT+ films based on Broadway shows coming from Ryan Murphy to Netflix this year, The Boys in the Band reunites the cast of the 2018 revival of the play for a film version. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Matt Bomer (The Sinner), Zachary Quinto (NOS4A2), and Andrew Rannells (A Simple Favor) being the big names attached to the film, but the whole 2018 cast has reunited for the Netflix adaptation, directed by Joe Mantello (who directed the 2018 stage version).
The Boys in the Band follows a group of gay friends who have come together to celebrate the birthday of Harold (Quinto). When Michael’s (Parsons) former college roommate Alan (Brian Hutchinson) turns up to talk with Michael about something, the party takes a turn. The Boys in the Band was made in 1968 and had film adaptation in 1970. The 2018 revival and 2020 film are notable for having a cast of only openly gay actors.
The Boys in the Band will come out later in 2020 on Netflix.
The Prom (Netflix)
The second of Ryan Murphy’s LGBT+ film adaptations of Broadway shows is the musical The Prom. Also directed by Murphy, The Prom follows a group of Broadway performers (Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells) who decide to find a charity cause in order to raise their profiles. They find it in lesbian teenager Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman), who is not allowed to go to prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana DeBose).
The Prom was nominated for several Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It did win the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. It’s also noted for having the first openly gay kiss on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when the cast performed on it.
Kerry Washington (Scandal), Keegan-Michael Key (Green Eggs & Ham), and Awkwafina (Awkwafina is Nora from Queens) round out the cast. The Prom will also land on Netflix in 2020 (hopefully during prom season).
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (Feb. 7)
We can only hope that Birds of Prey will be a superior film over the 2016 super disappointment known as Suicide Squad. Fresh off a break-up from the Joker (Jared Leto), Harley (Margot Robbie) is attempting to move on when the villainous Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) falls into her orbit in a bid to take his revenge. So, you ask, how does this make it an LGBT+ film?
Harley is bisexual in comics (currently in a relationship with Poison Ivy). Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) is in the film, who is an openly lesbian character and was engaged to Batwoman/Kate Kane for a time in comics. Also, apparently, Black Mask and his serial killing henchman Victor (Chris Messina), is reportedly going to be “coded as gay”. So there is a lot of LGBT+ coding going on there. Dammit, we deserve it.
The Eternals (Nov. 6)
We talked about DC, now let’s talk Marvel. The Eternals will feature the first openly gay superhero in a Marvel film. With fans begging for greater diversity in race, gender, and sexuality for years from the MCU, it’s another positive step forward. The Eternals follows an immortal and superpowered offshoot of humanity, who live in the shadows and fight against beings known as Deviants.
According to people who have seen footage of The Eternals from Brazil’s Comic-Con, the gay character will be Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry). Reportedly, footage showed Phastos holding hands with another unnamed male character and accompanied by two children. Phastos is the technological genius of the group, creating their weapons. Another LGBT connection is Angelina Jolie’s involvement as she is bisexual.