Taking a look back at some of the very best LGBTQ2+ movies that hit our screens this year…
2022 has been quite the year for LGBTQ2+ representation at the theatrical box office and on streaming. With titles that have given us a lot of laughs, some drama, and a few surprises, the movies released this year have often expressed creativity while bucking social norms. As we close out the year hopeful of what 2023 will bring, it’s time to reminisce about the best LGBTQ2+ movies of 2022.
The Invisible Thread
Leone (Francesco Gheghi) is tasked by his teacher with making a documentary in which he chooses to document his two gay fathers to approach the topic of LGBTQ rights in Italy. While embarking on romantic interests with his classmate Anna (Guilia Maenza), Leone discovers more about his fathers than he knew before. When it’s revealed that one of his fathers is having an affair, The Invisible Thread presents its audience with the legal discourse concerning marital separation and which one of Leone’s parents is his biological father. Heartbreakingly honest with queerness and parental rights at the forefront of Leone’s journey, this movie reminds us all that family and the law might still be a problem in 2022 for some countries. Still, it’s the power of love that holds us together.
With concepts in writer and star Joel Kim Booster’s screenplay that touches on themes from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Fire Island is a love letter to queer friendship. Taking place on the famous shores of New York’s Fire Island, director Andrew Ahn invites us to be part of a group of gay male friends who look for love in all the wrong places while on vacation. Fire Island explores many topics ranging from sex and drugs to good times, all while bringing hilarity and seduction with its incredible ensemble cast that includes Booster, Matt Rogers, and Bowen Yang. Friendship and casual sex are at the forefront of a story that concludes with a happy ending.
In his feature film directorial debut, Elegance Bratton brings the homophobia of the early aughts center stage through military drama based on his actual experiences in the Marines. Jeremy Pope plays Ellis French, a young Black man who runs away from his intolerant mother (Gabrielle Union) and joins the Marines, hoping to find some direction in his messy life. While engrossed in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era of a Marines boot camp, Ellis does his best to blend in and hide his sexuality. To much surprise, he becomes sexually involved with a drill instructor named Rosales (Raúl Castillo) and attempts to cope with his feelings while trying to succeed in his chosen profession. The Inspection is agonizing on many levels but rides high on Bratton’s stellar screenplay and Pope’s delicate performance, culminating in a frustrating ending that leaves audiences broken.
One of the most marketed and talked about movies of the year, Bros premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to much applause and admiration. However, its box office performance left little to be desired, but the movie has impacted those who have had the pleasure of seeing it. As the first romantic comedy released by a major studio to feature an openly LGBTQ principal cast, Bros stars Billy Eichner as Bobby Lieber, an annoyingly blunt and honest out gay man living in New York City. Tired of hookup apps and pressure from others to find a boyfriend, Bobby meets handsome jock Aaron (Luke Macfarlane). The two start on a contemporary sexualized journey of self-discovery. Propelled by jokes aimed at the straight community and Hallmark Christmas movies, Bros leans heavily on themes of sexual exploration, modern love, and acceptance regardless of relationship status.
Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story
In a year full of documentaries that have sought to tell true stories of adversity and hardship, Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story focuses on a single account involving the trans community. A triumphant look at the active life of California-based trans skateboarder Leo Baker, the movie touches on Baker’s attempts at acceptance as a trans man in a sport regarded for its individuality. Baker’s influence on Gen Z is chronicled in this documentary as Baker tries their best to achieve Olympic glory for their sport. Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story explores Baker inside and out and the various people that make up a dividedly competitive sport.
Just as he is ready to graduate high school, Florida teenager Caleb (singer Troye Sivan) discovers he may have been exposed to HIV and must get tested. Three Months details the length of time that Caleb must wait before he finds out the results, and we are introduced to the many loved ones Caleb has chosen to surround himself with during this aggravating time. Caleb goes through a period of soul-searching while beginning to recognize the saints in his life. Troye Sivan takes the part of Caleb seriously, grounding him in a world full of dramedy and wit. Moving and honest, Three Months costars Judy Greer and Ellen Burstyn, as it brings nuance and emotion with every minute of the film. It’s a coming-of-age story about that time of life in the summer after high school with a comedy twist for a new generation.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You will most likely cry while watching Spoiler Alert. Jim Parsons stars as real-life television journalist Michael Ausiello as he begins a relationship with photographer Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge). Based on the memoir by Ausiello about his life with Kit, Spoiler Alert is upfront with its audience about Kit’s untimely death early on and welcomes others into their 13-year romance. A story of redemption and heartbreak, Spoiler Alert does not follow the typical sitcom trends that Ausiello is obsessed with in the movie but does tread water somewhere around Terms of Endearment and Grey’s Anatomy. Directed by Michael Showalter of The Big Sick fame and aided by a supporting cast that includes Sally Field and Bill Irwin, Spoiler Alert will leave you speechless in its warmth and realistic interpretations of love and loss at the highest of levels.