So, last night I rewatched The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho), and of the million and one reasons why everyone should watch this movie, here are a few:
This is Gabriel (left) and Leo (right)
- It’s on netflix, which most of you probably have, so it’s accessible
- How many queer stories are there that feature a protagonist with a disability? Not many, but this one does! Leo is blind, he’s the main character, and I feel they handled his disability well (this is coming from a non-disabled person, though, so feel free to disagree)
- It’s a pretty stereotypical indie teen romance movie, but the queer aspect already makes it 100x more interesting
- a realistic parent-child relationship, with bonus awesome grandma
- there’s no “omg, am I gay???” freak out. In fact, both characters are pretty much 100% ok with being into each other, and they’re main worry is “i don’t know if they like me back, but i know i want to stay friends with them at least, what do i do??” with a tiny sprinkling of jealousy, cause, well, stereotypical teen romance
- a very beautiful and loving girl-boy friendship with lots of casual, platonic intimacy
- there’s nothing super angsty?? like, no death or super homophobic parents/classmates or having to hide that they’re queer. it’s honestly such a feel-good movie???
- what homophobia there is, it comes as teasing and there are never any hints of anything turning violent, and in fact, at one point, when the bully character is teasing Gabriel and Leo for being boyfriends, Leo shows him that they are, in fact, real-life boyfriends, and the bully’s friends start teasing him for trying to make fun of them when they’re actually boyfriends
- the girl best friend isn’t narratively pushed to the side when the new boy (love interest) comes in. In fact, her (Giovana) and Leo’s friendship is shown to be just as important as Leo and Gabriel’s relationship
- everything works out and you’re left with a lovely, sweet, happy ending that’s honestly just so nice to see in a young queer romance???
- I really love this movie, and there’s also a short-film!! on youtube that I recommend, too!