Craig Johnson spent 10-years trying to get Alex Strangelove, his romantic-comedy about a high schooler struggling to come to terms with his sexuality, made.
So when Netflix finally greenlit the film he probably assumed that it would be one of a kind. That isn’t quite the case, though, as “Love, Simon” was released back in March.
However, it should be pointed out that the two films are very different in a variety of ways, and really their only similarities are that they’re both romantic-comedies that have gay protagonists.
“Alex Strangelove’s” writer and director Johnson is far from annoyed that his film is following on from “Love, Simon,” though. In fact, he’s overjoyed that both “Alex Strangelove” and “Love, Simon” exist, which he insists is a sign that representation is improving for the better.
“It’s not everywhere. There are still certain parts of the world where we have a lot of work to do. But it is a different story now. The internet was in its infancy when I was in high school. So it didn’t even factor into it.”
“I was starved of gay representation. I didn’t even know it. Because I wasn’t out to myself yet.”
“I had the ‘Real World,’ the first few seasons of which had a few gay people on it. And I was like, ‘Wow, look at that. It is a gay kid who is relatively close to my age. That’s amazing.’ We were so starved for representation.”
Johnson is hopeful that the release of “Love, Simon” and “Alex Strangelove” will pave the way for many more films of a similar ilk.
“I was aware that “Love Simon” was in the air for years. And I was like, ‘What are the chances that our movies will happen at the same time?’ But we literally made them, I think ‘Love, Simon’ shot a month before us.”
“And they are coming out within months of each other. It is exciting to me. There is room for all of these movies. We have seen a thousand different versions of straight teenage comedies. Let’s see the different shades of stories with queer characters.”
“Love, Simon” is now available digitally, and will be released on Blu-ray on June 12, while “Alex Strangelove” will be on Netflix on Friday.