What's Streaming and Queer This Summer?

by Frank J. Avella

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday July 16, 2022
Originally published on July 15, 2022

Summer usually means movie blockbusters and a lot of reality TV, but there are quite a few worthwhile LGBTQ+ fare coming our way in July and August, most notably the Darren Star created comedy "Uncoupled," which shows off Neil Patrick Harris' comic talents, John Logan's impressive directorial debut, "They/Them," a queer thriller set at a gay conversion camp and a new reboot of "A League of Their Own." EDGE has put together the best of the Summer Queer picks. Enjoy!

'Uncoupled'




A smart, sassy and sweet binge-worthy comedy from "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star and "Frasier" writer Jeffrey Richman, "Uncoupled" explores the life of Michael (Neil Patrick Harris, in a role perfectly suited to his comedic gifts), a successful real estate agent who is completely blindsided when his husband of 17 years (Tuc Watkins) decides to leave him. Michael is now forced to confront being gay, fortysomething and single in New York City. The series is both poignant and hilarious with an abundance of sex and a scene-stealing, Emmy-worthy Marcia Gay Harden as a wealthy housewife who has also been abandoned by her husband. "Uncoupled" is a total treat. A season two is a must!

"Uncoupled" premieres July 29, 2022, on Netflix.

'The Forgiven'




In "The Forgiven" Matt Smith and Caleb Landry Jones play a hedonistic gay couple living in the Sahara Desert who like to toss lavish parties. They're a throwback to the queer gents of old who traveled to Morocco for the young boys (Oscar Wilde, Joe Orton, William Burroughs, all mentioned in the film). Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain portray a bickering couple enroute to the soiree, who kill a local teen boy with their car. Writer-director John Michael McDonagh (Martin's brother) has fashioned a haunting, thought-provoking meditation on morality and white privilege, based on the novel by Lawrence Osborne. He also examines the homophobia in that part of the world. Chastain delivers a bold turn and Fiennes is at his most entitled, although his arc is fascinating. Smith, dashing and gorgeous, has played many a queer role ("Mapplethorpe," "Christopher and His Kind") but he's never been this coolly decadent.

"The Forgiven" is currently in theaters.

'Boys On Film 22: Love to Love You'




Peccadillo's "Boys on Film 22; Love to Love You" collection of gay shorts boasts several period films. Most of the eight shorts are excellent, showcasing the work of LGBTQ+ filmmakers from five different countries. The 4 UK films ("Have We Met Before?" "The Act," "The Suit Weareth the Man," "Thrive") are highlights.

"Boys On Film 22: Love to Love You" is currently available on most UK VOD†platforms and Prime in the US as well as on PeccadilloPOD.com worldwide. DVD/Blu-ray's are also available.†

'Cop Secret'




How many major American films have two male action hero protagonists ultimately fucking each other? Kudos to Icelandic director Hannes řór Halldórsson's for thwarting normal expectations with this queering up the tired "Die Hard" tropes. Sure, it's action-headache-inducing at times yet watching super famous cop, Bussi (Auðunn Blöndal) and ex-model cum-cop, Hör?ur (Egill Einarsson) fall for each other make this ride a giddy treat. American male action heroes take note, it's time to explore your queerness onscreen. Tom Cruise, why don't you start us off with "Mission Impossible: Queer Nation," co-starring your love interest, Chris Hemsworth.

"Cop Secret" is available in select theaters July 8, 2022, and on demand July 12, 2022.

'Poppy Field'




The entrancing Romanian film "Poppy Field (Camp de Maci)" opens as Cristi (Conrad Mericoffer) and his long-distance BF Hadi (Radouan Leflahi) meet up and have sex. Immediately afterwards, Cristi becomes distant. The film then takes a dramatic detour and journeys to a Bucharest cinema where the showing of a lesbian-themed film has been interrupted by ultra-nationalist protesters. The uber-closeted Cristi is one of many gendarmes (officers) called to handle the conflict. Based on actual events that took place in Romania (with the showing of "BPM," to which the film pays homage), "Poppy Field" is a powerful reminder that being gay is still verboten in many countries. Director Eugen Jebeleanu examines hate, self-hate, and intolerance.

"Poppy Field" is available on digital (and DVD) on July 12, 2022.

'Anything's Possible'




Kelsa (Eva Reign) is a 17-year-old trans girl trying to navigate her Senior Year with her slightly superficial friends when she bonds with Khal (heartthrob Abubakr Ali), a boy from art class. When Khal takes the bold step towards showing Kelsa what his intentions are, Gen-Z-rom-com-high-school drama ensues. Billy Porter's directorial debut shows a deft eye for visuals and a sensitivity to his characters, but the film (written by Ximena Garcia Lecuona) is often too safe and sanitized in its depiction of teen life. Renée Elise Goldsberry walks away with the movie as Elsa's overprotective mom.

"Anything's Possible" launches globally July 22, 2022, exclusively on Prime.

'My Old School'




Out actor Alan Cumming takes on the enigmatic role of the infamous Brandon Lee (no, not that one) in Jono McLeod's documentary, "My Old School." The actor perfectly lip syncs to the Lee's audio voice recordings. Lee refused to be filmed for the doc. Using animation, interviews with real subjects and Cumming, McLeod pieces together the fascinating fraud perpetrated on an entire school system. You must see this one to believe it.

"My Old School" opens July 22, 2022, at Film Forum in NYC.

'Flowers in the Attic: The Origin - Part 3'




For sheer camp fun (and some vital queer storytelling), Lifetime presents the third part of the "Flowers in the Attic" origin stories (based on the V.C. Andrews books), centering on a taboo gay romance between Joel (Luke†Fetherston, solid), the son of evil patriarch Malcolm Foxworth (Max Irons), and a Black family employee, Harry (Jordan Peters). All hell breaks loose when the two dudes are discovered in a compromising position and Joel is sent to a horrific institution to be cured. The actors are all quite pretty. Kate Mulgrew appears in a key role. The exploration of homophobia and racism in the early 20th century South proves not much has changed in this country.

"Flowers in the Attic: The Origin-†Part 3" premieres on Lifetime on July 23, 2022.

'They/Them'




Written and directed by 3-time Oscar nominee John Logan ("Gladiator," "The Aviator," "Hugo"), "They/Them" is that rarity in LGBTQ cinema, a queer thriller that actually works as a genre movie as well as a psychological character study. The plot has a slew of queer teens forced to attend a gay conversion camp led by camp coordinator Kevin Bacon who promises to "help them find a new sense of freedom." Anna Chlumsky ("Inventing Anna") and Carrie Preston ("The Good Fight") co-star as well as a host of wonderful LGBTQIA+ newcomers led by Theo Germaine, Cooper Koch, Austin Crute and Anna Lore. This is a Blumhouse-produced gem.

"They/Them" premieres on Peacock on Aug. 5, 2022.

'A League of Their Own'




The 1992 Penny Marshall film of the same name was a surprise box office hit. Marshall became fascinated with the true stories of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) after watching a 1987 documentary. Fictional characters were then created. Now, 30 years later, Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham, after meeting with surviving members and gathering info, have launched a series that expands on the original movie, exploring racism as well as focusing on the lesbian players. Jacobson also stars along with a terrific Chanté Adams. The show captures the period perfectly and is quite compelling to watch.

"A League of Their Own" premieres on Aug. 12, 2022, on Prime.

Frank J. Avella is a film journalist and is thrilled to be writing for EDGE. He also contributes to Awards Daily and is the GALECA East Coast Rep and a Member of the New York Film Critics Online. Frank is a recipient of the International Writers Residency in Assisi, Italy, a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, and a NJ State Arts Council Fellowship. His short film, FIG JAM, has shown in Festivals worldwide (figjamfilm.com) and won awards. His screenplays (CONSENT, LURED, SCREW THE COW) have also won numerous awards in 16 countries. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. https://filmfreeway.com/FrankAvella https://muckrack.com/fjaklute