New rom-com provides fun, crucial representation

Brian Connors, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Romantic comedies are a longstanding tradition for Valentine’s Day. They provide a relatable, romanticized fantasy for couples to cuddle up to or a single pringle wanting something to indulge in. The key ingredient in rom-coms is relatability.

Watching a relatable character find true love in a relatable situation despite relatable obstacles gives the viewer the notion that love is possible! It is this magic that makes the genre so popular, but what if you do not relate to the characters?

It is a question that members of the LGBTQ community ask themselves in an industry that has lacked major representation. Rom-coms continually focus on straight couples putting their love on a pedestal over their gay counterparts. Gay characters are usually sidelined to the best friend role.

Freeform’s new movie, “The Thing About Harry,” gives gay viewers the chance to sit in the driver’s seat with a relatable, romantic story. It is the right step towards representation without giving up any of the genre’s charm.

“The Thing About Harry” follows a college-aged gay man named Sam who is forced to drive his high school tormenter to a wedding. The two are forced to stay the night in a hotel after experiencing car troubles. Sam is shocked to learn that Harry is pansexual and the two share an evening of fun conversation.

The boys’ chemistry is clear, but Harry has a girlfriend and Sam is a firm believer that you cannot date your friends. The boys grow closer, but some unfortunate actions by both parties seemingly put a pin in any potential relationship.

I had a full faced grin from beginning to end. The power of representation is often forgotten until you are watching a realistic, gay romance play out in front of you. It felt amazing to be able to dive into the fantasy head on and put myself into the characters’ shoes.

Discovering a popular, straight guy from your past is not actually straight and has feelings for you is a fantasy every gay has had at least once. The movie’s dramatic peaks happening at both Gay Pride and brunch is also very on-brand for the gays.

Relatable moment after relatable moment provided a totally plausible daydream for anyone looking for an escape. I laughed. I teared up. I smiled. A very steamy, yet tasteful sex scene set to a beautiful ballad nearly sent me!

The movie is not just for gay people and that’s the beauty of it. “The Thing About Harry” is a cute love story made for anyone who loves love; it just happens to have two men as its leads! How easy was that Hollywood?

Rom-coms are such a fun genre, but there’s still a huge audience that is missing out on the real fun – relating to the romantic leads. “The Thing About Harry” proves that making movies with gay romantic leads pays off and results in a fantastic movie experience. “The Thing About Harry” is now streaming on Hulu.