Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category

The 17 Romance Movies On Netflix With The Highest Rotten Tomatoes Scores (Decider)

June 24, 2018

Love discovering film lists online which include LGBT titles. Decider listed the 17 highest rated (on Rotten Tomatoes) romance movies currently streaming on Netflix. Included in the 17:
AWOL 
Carol
Pariah
The Way He Looks
Blue is the Warmest Color

That’s four lesbian films and one gay male feature! Also on the list are Reel Charlie perennial favorites:
Howards End
Amelie

See the complete list on Decider.

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Man in an Orange Shirt

June 19, 2018

PBS’ Masterpiece imports another outstanding British production, Man in an Orange Shirt available today on DVD and streaming. The film tells the love stories of two male couples, one post WWII and one in present day England. British novelist Patrick Gale wrote Man in an Orange Shirt. If you haven’t read any Gale, I suggest starting with Rough Music or The Facts of Life. Gale is a master of storytelling in multiple time periods. Man in an Orange Shirt focuses on love, but also exposes the destruction the closet can reap on gay people and their loved ones, particularly their opposite-sexed spouses. Michael and Thomas struggle to hold on to their love in an unforgiving 1940’s England. Michael marries Flora while Thomas faces the law. Michael’s grandson Adam meets Steve as they face modern-day challenges of open relationships and online hook-ups. For both couples, the closet and societal acceptance prove their biggest hurdles. Writing, production values, acting, directing all first-rate. The story is told in two parts starting as the war comes to an end and finishing in present time. Man in an Orange Shirt feels like something I will want to revisit in the very near future. Thrilled these stories are being written and produced for television. Lots of tears with ultimately one happy ending. 4 out of 5 for Man in an Orange Shirt.

Love, Simon

June 16, 2018

Ah, a new generation’s coming out film. Only this time the film goes from indy to wide theater release with celebrities renting out movie houses for kids and their parents to see the film. We can and need to enjoy the progress while continuing the fight for full equality for all. The Greg Berlanti adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s gorgeous YA (Young Adult) novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda lives up to the hype. Before you watch, read the book. Newly crowned, Love, Simon, Berlanti’s film captures the simple, every-teen existence of Simon Spier navigating high school and his uncertainty about coming out in his picture postcard life. Simon has an easy life. What he doesn’t understand is why he has to come out and no one else does. Love, Simon becomes accessible by striking a balance between the characters. Yes Simon is white and privileged and male, but his story is universal and his friends are straight and many shades other than white. I realize it can be frustrating seeing yourself only in supporting roles. So I’m not minimizing that issue. I’m simply saying there’s power in telling these coming out stories to a wider audience using images society is comfortable with… cis white males and then absolutely following that up with stories about women, people of color, gender non-conforming, etc. I thought Simon worked on many levels and part of that was the accessibility of this film to straight white America. I live in a town with very little diversity so I understand the importance of visibility. Simon also excels at accessibility because the story stays simple and easy-going. No one gets beat up or threatened. Simon doesn’t lose his family’s love. But there’s still drama and angst which fuels the teen drama in familiar ways. I absolutely enjoyed Love, Simon and understand why it got such love when it was released. It’s out on DVD and streaming. Love, Simon will make you happy we live in a world where progress has been made. There’s still tons of work to do, but it’s nice to be able to take a break and enjoy how far we’ve come. Love, Simon is a tender reminder of the good things the world has to offer LGBT kids today. 4 out of 5.

Queer as Folk: Season 5, The Final Season (take >3)

June 9, 2018

I laughed, I cried, I swooned, I moped when it ended. Click on the image below to see my updated review of the classic television series, Queer as Folk: Season 5: The Final Season.

Mamma Mia!

June 7, 2018

Full disclosure: I am a huge ABBA fan. Not sure how many people in my life actually know that. After sharing ABBA with my first love, Joe in the 1980’s and his dad Gordon, I’ve kept it under the radar all these years later. I’m not in the closet about ABBA, I’m simply discreet. I listen to them driving my car and belt out the words to their hits. As a result, I adored The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Muriel’s Wedding both of which featured original ABBA music prominently in their soundtracks as well as having characters wax romantically of their love for the Swedish pop band. So why have I never seen either the film or the play, Mamma Mia!? After trying to watch it this weekend, I can only now say instinct. What an awkward mix of actors who can’t belt out the songs appropriately, the thinnest of thinly veiled plots, and a trio of dull suitors for Meryl Streep’s character. All in all, a snooze fest. Best to either hire real singers or just do what Priscilla and Muriel did and play the damn original songs in all their kitschy pop glory. 2 out of 5 for Mamma Mia!. Next.

Happy Pride Month 2018

June 1, 2018

I mentioned in an earlier post this week I’ll be tweeting each day in June 2018 #pridereads focusing on the many aspects of LGBT literature. I’m really looking forward to the challenge. Follow me @reelcharlie

Also, three years ago in 2015, I watched a film or television series each day for 30 Days of Gay. From an earlier blog post,

In June 2015, I created 30 Days of Gay: one review each day for the 30 days of June, LGBT Pride Month. I reviewed classic LGBT films I love but had yet to review on Reel Charlie along with brand new films. The month-long project was a labor of love and so much fun! Please follow the 30 Days of Gay thread by clicking on the link below and navigating forward in the blog by clicking on the film title in the upper-right – begin the first navigation by clicking on the link below, then choosing Maurice:
30 Days of Gay

We have a lot of be thankful for and a whole more to fight for. Future generations will look back on our lives and wonder how we managed to do all we did to further equal rights for gender and sexuality. Keep on doing what you are doing, talk, march, donate, love, show up, just be your authentic self. Special thanks to all my beautiful allies who never cease to amaze me. Your support and love make my heart sing. Happy Pride everyone. XOXO. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a tea dance to find.

Queer as Folk: Season 4 (take >3)

May 27, 2018

Fall in love all over again with the cast of Queer as Folk as they navigate life in 2004. 14 years: so much has changed and yet in many ways we are still fighting the same battles. Click on the image below to read an updated review of Queer as Folk: Season 4.

 

After Forever: Season 1

May 25, 2018

Web series available on Amazon Prime Video, After Forever tells the story of Brian and Jason, a 50-something couple in New York City. I got very excited about this show for various reasons – I’m in the demographic of the previous sentence aside from the NYC and couple thing. Made it through two brief episodes but couldn’t go any further. After Forever lacked substance and wore its heart on its sleeve to the extreme. And one of the actors had trouble emoting naturally. Really wanted to love this. Damn. 2 out of 5. Next.

Riverdale: Season 2

May 24, 2018

Spoiler alert: What a crazy, messed up, hodgepodge show Riverdale became in Season 2. All sense of reality and cohesion went out the window. Co-workers bailed on it. I continued each week (on The CW app with commercials – ugh!) shocked at just how ridiculous the series veered off-course. Season 1 set it up to be this cool high school hipster cozy mystery series. Season 2 jumped off a cliff and never looked back. Somehow I continued to love and hate many of the characters. Those who annoyed me in the first season, continued their plague. And those I loved never got enough screen time. WTF happened to Josie and Kevin? Finally in the last episode, Kevin’s make-out with Moose happened. But if felt too little too late. Are there too many characters? Is Archie’s hair too artificially orange? Is Veronica really in high school? Does Betty’s Mom remind me of a character on Twin Peaks? So many questions, so little time with so many characters and plot lines begging for attention. I hated the Serpents. I loved Kevin’s Dad. I hated Betty’s’s Dad, I loved Betty’s Mom. I found Chic to be creepy which I suppose was the point. I have no idea whether I will watch Season 3. If this were on HBO and a bit more adult, it might be fun. But the golly shucks, there’s another dead body vibe wears thin after a while. 3 out of 5 for Riverdale because I did make it to the end.

Sense8: The Series Finale (trailer)

May 20, 2018

From Netflix,

Together until the end. From our cluster to yours, the Sense8 Series Finale comes to Netflix on June 8 (2018).

No matter the limitations with this series, remembering Sense8 fills me with excitement and hope – a world united in every aspect. A dream which needs to become reality. I will miss these characters. For now let’s celebrate the show as we get once last glimpse at Capheus, Sun, Nomi, Kala, Riley, Wolfgang, Lito, and Will.

Reel Charlie’s review:
Sense8: Season 1
Sense8: A Christmas Special
Sense8: Season 2


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