Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Alex Strangelove

Summary: Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny) — and yes, that is his real name — is far from an average teenager, but at least he managed to bag a relationship with his high school crush Claire (Madeline Weinstein). But now that they’ve been together for a while, they decide that it’s time to have sex and while Alex has always wanted to do it, he starts getting neurotic about it like he does with most things. But when he goes to a party to unwind, he meets a gay theater kid named Elliot (Antonio Marziale) who he befriends, starts to hang out with more, and begins to develop… complicated feelings towards him. Having never considered the possibility of being queer before, Alex starts to panic as the planned sex date comes closer and closer, desperate to keep the girlfriend that he wants and also figure out who he truly is.

Review: Alex Strangelove, to my disappointment, was NOT a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Learning and Love the Bomb. However, it is extremely funny and well-written, so I can live with that. Seriously, this movie has some of the most clever and witty writing in a teen movie I’ve seen in a while and I’m not just talking about the dialogue. From start to finish, I had no clue where the plot was going which is so refreshing, I don’t even know what I’d compare it to.

Writer/director Craig Johnson has stated that this is based a lot on his own experiences of struggling with his sexuality in high school. That would definitely explain a lot because there are some things in this movie so off the wall and bizarre that I don’t think they could have been created from his imagination. The characters feel three-dimensional, almost like they were plucked from the real world. Everything Dell (Daniel Zolghadri), Alex’s douchey friend, does and says comes straight from the “can’t make this up” cabinet, including having an emotional scene that hits so close to home for most people that it hurts. Admittedly, I’m not sure how much was made up, if anything, but I will say this minor spoiler — I don’t remember the last time I saw someone lick a toad in a movie.

I only have two complaints, one being that the second half of the movie is a lot less funny and is filled with a number of people acting bitter and unkind. The other is that Alex… well, he’s kind of a jerk. It’s understandable to an extent, seeing as he’s grappling with massive changes in his identity, but he really flies off the handle way too easily easily and says some really callous stuff. Yeah, teenagers can be dumb, but I can see a lot of people being turned off by him.

I don’t want to write too much because this really is something to experience for yourself. It’s pretty much the exact opposite of The Kissing Booth — clever, enjoyable, and it has a subplot about a terminally ill mom that actually has bearing on the plot. On top of that, it’s also got a diverse cast that doesn’t fall into stereotypes, which is always nice. So what are you waiting for? Get to Netflix and embrace your inner strange.

Fun Tidbit: Doheny and Marziale have already had some experience working together, as they were both in an episode of Supernatural together, specifically the 2017 episode “The Memory Remains.” If you want to know their relationship there, you won’t find it from me because I’m eight seasons behind on Supernatural.

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