If you're looking for the hardest cringe of your life, then this movie is it. Produced by heterosexual actor Ben Stiller, the movie is about a young man realizing he’s gay at the ripe age of 18. Though Stiller had the help of gay director Craig Johnson, the plot just didn’t add up and wasn’t realistic.
The plot of "Alex Strangelove" makes light of what is usually a very trying situation for teenagers figuring out their sexuality. It almost glorifies the process of coming out, which isn't to say that coming out shouldn't be easy, but that just isn't realistic for many people who have come out.
"Alex Strangelove” depicts the life of clearly gay Alex Truelove who needs the help of Elliot, a graduated openly gay man, to figure out he’s gay. Not that this isn’t the case for some people, but Alex has no idea whatsoever he is gay until he meets Elliot. He has a long-time girlfriend who has no idea that he’s gay even after he refuses to have sex with her and calls her his friend in front of Elliot, who he has a massive crush on. As soon as he comes out, his girlfriend is perfectly fine with it and sets him up with Elliot, as if she is fine with everything immediately. The movie is just not realistic and the acting is laughable.
It was a late night in New Orleans when I decided to watch “Alex Strangelove,” but it was an even later night when I finished it the next day. That’s right, it took me two days to watch this movie that’s only an hour and a half long. I couldn’t take it all in one night because the acting was too bad and the plot was too unrealistic for one sitting. I ended up watching it with a gay friend of mine who solidified my uneasy feelings toward the representation of what it’s like to actually be gay. He told me coming out isn’t as easy as they portrayed it and that they almost glorified the hard and scary experience of coming out. They made coming out look easy. And though it should be, it usually isn't.
The night him and his clueless girlfriend were supposed to lose their virginities, he couldn't do it, so they broke up and he went to have sex with another girl. It is just an unnecessary plot point and extremely uncomfortable to watch. In fact, there is too many straight sex scenes in this movie and not a single gay sex scene which makes no sense, considering this movie is catered to a gay audience.
He came out when the movie had just under five minutes left, which gave us no time to comprehend his crazy, wordless coming out, which the entire movie was built upon. He simply made out with Elliot and his friends just smiled and had no further questions. This may be the ideal way to come out, but it isn’t like that for many people. Many people have years between realizing that they're gay and coming out, and these years can be very lonely and depressing.
Alex had minutes of realizing he was gay and coming out, which is great for him, but it’s not what most people experience. The movie was supposed to be about representing the life of a closeted gay teenager, but instead, it showed the utopian version of what it’s like to come out.