“Almost Love” Review: A Queer Rom-Com with Issues But Still Fun to Watch
Almost Love, which was previously titled Sell By, was released on VOD and digitally on April 3, 2020. If you’re looking for a rom-com that features a gay couple, you should consider watching it. I mean, we are all trying to find ways to entertain ourselves while staying home.
I have been keeping my eye on the eventual release of Almost Love since last year. Apparently, it was supposed to get a theatrical release this month but Miss Rona had other plans. The good news is the world has more queer content (with happy endings) to stream online.
Director and Writer Mike Doyle offers a cast you won’t help but root for. One of the things I liked about this movie is that it’s a rom-com that showcases a gay couple that’s already five years into their relationship. Said couple is made of artist Adam (Scott Evans) and his influencer boyfriend Marklin (Augustus Prew). The two actors were recently seen together in Hulu’s Into the Dark: Midnight Kiss.
Anyway, Adam and Marklin aren’t doing too great in the relationship department. Their predicament is understandable because things can change a lot in five years of being together. I enjoyed Almost Love taking us along on the couple’s journey of figuring out if their relationship could be saved.
I don’t know about you, but I think Marklin keeping a huge secret (I won’t spoil it) from Adam did play a role in stopping Marklin from fully being invested in creating a future with his boyfriend. Again, the entire situation’s understandable. Letting go of the past is easier said than done.
As for the rest of the characters, there’s Cammy (Michelle Buteau) who realizes she’s dating a homeless guy (Colin Donnell). Haley (Zoë Chao) is a tutor trying to deal with a high school kid’s crush on her. And then there’s Elizabeth (played by the always awesome Kate Walsh) who is in a rough patch after being married to the same guy for (if I remember correctly) 14 years.
So, basically every character is in a mess (and is also a mess themselves) and that’s where the situational comedy comes from in Almost Love. In my opinion, Doyle struck a nice balance when creating a narrative that has comedy with a number of heavier moments.
Even when things got tough, I just knew everything was going to be okay. And you know what? In the times were are currently in, I appreciated Almost Love making me feel that way.
Now, I do think there were a couple of issues. I can see some viewers not liking homelessness being used to make jokes. However, in my opinion, the jokes worked in context due to the lifestyles being led by the main characters.
Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if, after watching Almost Love, you would think it could have worked better as a miniseries. Truth be told, I felt the same way. There were certain aspects that would have benefitted from being explored in serial format. I think the overall narrative was about adults trying to find security in the modern world. And seeing such a narrative be explored more could be interesting.
But having said that, Almost Love will certainly offer you an enjoyable time. All of the actors are perfect in their roles. The chemistry between Evans and Prew is just wow. And I have to share that another thing I liked about this film is how the characters look. We all know how media can be very focused on ensuring every character meets certain Hollywood beauty standards even if said characters are supposed to be normal people. Even freaking teenagers continue to be oversexualized.
Seeing Adam, Marklin and the rest look like (certain) normal people made me smile. It was kind of the first thing I noticed when I decided to watch this movie. Also, shoutout to Evans’ hairy chest!
So, yes, Almost Love isn’t without issues, but trust me when I say I was engrossed in everything that was happening the moment I pressed play.
You should consider watching it.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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