Title Card - The Thing About Harry (2020)

“The Thing About Harry” brings us beyond gay couples dealing with trauma and the dramatics of the first time. It’s just about the awkwardness of love.


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“The Thing About Harry” brings us beyond gay couples dealing with trauma and the dramatics of their first time. This is just about the awkwardness of finding love.


Director(s) Peter Paige
Screenplay By Peter Paige, Josh Senter
Date Released (FreeForm) 2/15/2020
Genre(s) Comedy, Romance, Young Adult, LGBT
Duration (With Commercials) 2 Hours
Rating TV-14
Noted Cast
Sam Jake Borelli
Harry Niko Terho
Stasia Britt Baron

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

The Thing About Harry Plot Summary/ Review (Ending Spoilers & Sequel Potential on the 2nd Page)

Over the course of years, we watch as two young men, Sam and Harry, come in and out of each other’s lives. Be it because graduating college separated them, who they are dating, or the kind of heartbreak which can be hard to forgive. Yet, no matter what is said or done, the universe keeps pushing them back together. Leaving you to wonder, will they ever stop being passive-aggressive, borderline cowards, and admit what they feel for one another?

Highlights

It’s Devoid Of The Trauma Many LGBT Films Have

When it comes to a lot of the LGBT films we’ve seen, whether focused on women, like “Pariah” or men, like “Moonlight,” there was a certain sense of trauma, fear, and internal strife. Be it in the discovery the person was not straight, their inner circle’s reaction, or the reaction of the environment around them. “The Thing About Harry” doesn’t have that. All of that drama happened before the movie and now everyone loves who they are.

With that, all you get is what every other rom-com offers in cheesy dialog, cute moments, and you wondering when are these two people FINALLY going to be together?

Pan Sexual Representation

Harry (Niko Terho) at a party.
Harry (Niko Terho)

Outside of the LGBT standard, there are so many other letters representing what it means to be queer. Most of them aren’t necessarily understood and, one could submit, many are sexualized or used as a fancy term to make a character more interesting. With this film, Harry being pansexual definitely feels to be less about making him not like the other boys, and beyond an overt attempt to normalize his sexuality.

Which is to say, he reveals it, we see him address the stereotypes, especially as they are hurled at him, and they move on. There is no celebrating being pan, putting it down, none of that. He is part of the community, is judged as most who aren’t just for one gender are, and in that, you get a full view of what someone pan may deal with, without it becoming a big thing.

All The Flirtation Which Gets You Invested In Seeing Sam & Harry Together

From clear, and sexual, flirting like the boys undressing in front of each other, and Sam having a blanket just below where his underwear ends, to people noticing how Harry always looks towards Sam’s direction, the movie hits you in every which way to the point you may find yourself seeing this as tips. Granted, a day late after Valentine’s Day, but it is never too late to find love, right?

But, refocusing on Harry and Sam, what you have to love about how they dance around one another is that it mirrors so much of what hetero couples sometimes do that it really enforces the idea love is love. Mind you, that doesn’t mean this feels like it could be starring a man and woman, or two women, it is definitely written with two men in mind. However, at its core, you see two people who vibe well and have chemistry, also a good banter, but are too afraid to make that leap because it all seems too good to be true, and friendship is such a safe zone.

Criticism

There Is Minimal Diversity

Sam (Jake Borelli) in a pink suit.
Sam (Jake Borelli)

Despite being in Chicago, this is a really pale movie. On top of that, like most programs on FreeForm, it is geared towards a modelesque look. Everyone is either very much of twink aesthetic or looks like a potential silver fox – there is no in-between. Meaning, outside of one Black dude Sam briefly dates, there aren’t any notable people of color in this film, unless Harry is one (because he does look ambiguous). Also, there are no notable characters of body sizes that don’t fit a Eurocentric model look.

And I know there is this need to at least be happy we got a cute movie about the love between two dudes, but I sometimes feel we so badly want the minimum we set our standards and expectations too low. Making it so, when we get something like this, focused on a group that doesn’t often get representation as we’d like, some feel the need to let things go. Which, for me, is hard since I feel we get more than enough representation of gay white (or white-passing) men. However, when it comes to other members of the queer community, especially those who don’t fit into the Harry or Sam physique or looks, they don’t get to be in stories like this.

On The Fence

Stasia

Sam (Jake Borelli) and Stasia (Britt Baron) at a party as Stasia laments being straight.
Sam (Jake Borelli) and Stasia (Britt Baron)

While I adore Stasia and her journey from a girl who couldn’t stand being seen as someone’s girlfriend and possibly had troubles with commitment, to who she is at the end of the movie, she had so many cringy lines. Be it lamenting the fact she was straight to sometimes it feeling like she was a manic pixie dream girl who didn’t get to be the star of the show. And while, altogether, we love her, I will say she sometimes feels more like a parody of the girl with a gay best friend than an actual person.

After A Certain Point, The Passive-Aggressiveness Of The Two Might Get On Your Nerves

In the film, weeks, days, even years past of Harry and Sam flirting and always being at the brink of taking things further. Now, while it is cute at first, them dancing around what you believe is end game, there will come a point where you wish they would just date already since they seem so perfect for each other. And what makes this excruciating is you have to wait nearly two hours to learn if Harry is the one, just someone on Sam’s pedestal, a hard precedent to follow, or perhaps the one that got away. Which, throughout the movie, as they both get into relationships, Harry in one that is a bit of a shock, there are times where you are left to wonder, is this just about pushing yourself to allow that friend to maybe become something more?

The Thing About Harry Overall

Who We’d Advise This Is For:

  1. Those who like traditional rom-com but with men as both love interest
  2. If you like a lot of “Will they or won’t they?” moments
  3. Need more conversation and flirting more than sex

Would Watch Again? – Worth Revisiting

Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

While lacking in diversity and inclusivity, “The Thing About Harry” is still a butterflies inducing rom-com. One that, for its time length, knows how to make you fall in love just as much as the two guys on the screen.

What Would Your Rating Be?

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The Thing About Harry Ending Spoilers

Sam and Harry with their baby.

After years of dancing around their feelings for one another, and Harry even dating Stasia at one point, Harry and Sam do end up together. How? Well, after Stasia and Harry started dating, he disappeared from both of their lives for a year, drunkenly and dramatically. But, with Stasia getting married, and Sam being her best friend since the start of college, she couldn’t have anyone else be her Man of Honor. And with her taking the initiative, they become friends again.

However, when it comes to Harry, they don’t reconnect until the wedding day, thanks to Stasia lying about him being there. Though with Stasia marrying Harry’s former roommate, how could he not be? But, Stasia being low-key messy aside, Harry and Sam get to talking and he follows up on his attempt to confess to Sam, at Pride, before beginning his relationship with Stasia. This leads to them having a moment of kissing, which turns into sex, and then Sam getting mad when he learns Harry, who he thinks is a bit flighty when things get real, moving from Chicago to LA.

Something he ultimately says he won’t do so that he can be with Sam. But, since Sam won’t answer a call or text, he goes to a rally for the governor Sam is trying to get elected and finds his way on stage. Making that the grand gesture we see in so many romantic comedies that ultimately lead to the happy ending. One in which Sam and Harry are married, and Harry has the child he always wanted.

Is A Sequel Possible?

Considering how the film constantly jumps forward in time, to the point you need to not get distracted or a year could fly by, they could easily venture into Sam and Harry’s married life. Especially being 20 or young 30 somethings with a baby and how that enhances and stresses their relationship. Also, considering Harry’s favorite movie is “Up,” this could easily become a trilogy chronicling their lives together, hopefully, married, possibly divorced but still having a deep love for one another, all the way until their deaths.

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It’s Devoid Of The Trauma Many LGBT Films Have - 89%
Pan Sexual Representation - 85%
All The Flirtation Which Gets You Invested In Seeing Sam & Harry Together - 90%
There Is Minimal Diversity - 65%
Stasia - 75%
After A Certain Point, The Passive-Aggressiveness Of The Two Might Get On Your Nerves - 79%

81%

While lacking in diversity and inclusivity, “The Thing About Harry” is still a butterflies inducing rom-com. One that, for its time length, knows how to make you fall in love just as much as the two guys on the screen.

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