Whatever your entertainment needs, we’ve got your back (and hopefully your spirit) with Queerty’s weekly “Culture Club” column featuring some of the highlights from new releases, streaming shows, classics to review and what to drink while you watch.
The flow: three months
Writer/director Jarrod Frieder’s much-talked-about spec script is finally making the miraculous journey to the big screen. Troye Sivan plays Caleb, a teenager living with his grandparents (Ellen Burstyn and Louis Gossett, Jr.) in Hollywood, Florida in 2011. On the eve of his high school graduation, Caleb learns that was exposed to HIV. So begins three months of fear and soul-searching as Caleb retests the virus and confronts his own past traumas rooted in his father’s death and his mother’s remarriage. Caleb also falls in love with the beautiful Estha (Viveik Kalra), a closeted Indian immigrant struggling with his own fear of HIV.
Frieder’s empathetic writing and a directing style that evokes both Kevin Smith and John Hughes make Three months something we once thought was impossible: a very fun comedy about HIV. When the story gets serious – and sometimes it gets very seriously – that same empathy, along with tender turns from Burstyn and Gossett also give the film an undercurrent of emotional power. In the lead, Sivan gives a committed, albeit woody, performance. This stiffness stands in stark contrast to the subtle work of Karla or the intensity of vets Burstyn, Gossett and Judy Greer (hilarious as a closet lesbian). Always, Three months will offer viewers, especially of the queer variety, much to enjoy with its blend of sensibility, humor and youthful romance. It also hints at a stellar career for Jarrod Frieder as an unabashedly queer filmmaker.
Airing on Paramount+ February 23.
Anyone looking for something unconventional this week won’t want to miss out unhealthy, the new indie drama premiering on Fuse. The film follows Noah, (Reece Noi) a struggling musician still disillusioned with his life. When he crosses paths with Finn (Yiana Pandelis), a deaf trans man, sparks fly instantly. As their love blossoms, the two plot to save Finn’s nightclub for the deaf from permanent closure, and Noah faces growing doubts about his own music career.
We’ve never seen a queer story quite like unhealthyand in a year when the similar theme Coda happens to land Oscar nominations, we’re glad to see an LGBTQ take on the material. Noi and Pandelis both give great performances, and the two have strong chemistry together that makes their characters’ romance easy to invest in. The film also pushes forward images of LGBTQ people with disabilities is just an added bonus here. Simple, charming, and well-acted by both leads, we’d recommend it to anyone who wants to see the portrayal move forward or those in need of a sweet on-screen romance.
Airing February 18 on Fuse.
The Legit: Slave Play
Writer Jeremy O. Harris’ historical drama about race, gender and power is finally coming to the West Coast straight from Broadway. For the uninitiated, slave play landed an unprecedented 12 Tony Award nominations, breaking the previous record held by Angels in America. Then, a shock: he didn’t win a single one. The play, which chronicles a group of couples who engage in “slave play,” i.e. race-based S&M role-playing and the pre-war South, was at the once hailed as a masterpiece and condemned as a waste of exploitation. What is true? Grab a ticket and get ready for an evening of theater you won’t soon forget, love it or hate it.
From February 9 to March 13 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
The Step-Out: LGBTQ Night Out in Hamilton
Broadway in Hollywood presents its first LGBTQ night of socializing and culture this year, with an additional special night at the hottest ticket in town, hamilton. The show that won 11 Tonys and a Pulitzer returns to the historic Pantages theater in Hollywood, bringing with it Lin-Manuel Miranda’s account of the life of Alexander Hamilton and his ever-popular hip-hop score. LGBTQ party at hamilton will begin with a special reception at the historic Wood & Vine restaurant for appetizers, cocktails and get-togethers. Have a drink and make friends before the 8 p.m. curtain, then chat some more during the intermission. Tickets start as low as $49, making this great queer outing a must-do experience.
February 23 at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Tickets available at Broadway in Hollywood.
The Exclusive: Rudy Touzet “Treason” (The Alliance Remix)
We landed the debut of this new remix from crooner Rudy Touzet. “Betrayal” finds Touzet brooding over the grief of getting out of a destructive relationship… and still missing his former love. This dreamy remix combines the pensive lyrics with a punchy dance beat and a few extra chords to turn the song into a dance anthem of triumph. Unlike other remixes that bury the delicate strains of the original, this “Alliance Remix” manages to preserve everything we love about the original while adding an uplifting energy.
Broadcast on YouTube.
The Spin: Jaime Nanci “Escalante Street”
A reader recommended that we check out this new single from genderfluid singer Jamie Nanci. In short, it impressed us: a sensual beat and the silver treble of Nanci evoke Sam Smith, Boy George or Annie Lennox. He’s also calling for a dance remix of his own. This kind of sexy, thoughtful track once fueled the high-energy dance remixes of the late ’90s and early ’00s. someone beautiful.
Broadcast on YouTube.
The sip: the Hamilton
In honour of hamilton throwing a queer-themed party (like any great musical should, of course), we’ve got the cocktail selection about this week: the Hamilton. Sparkling, tangy and intoxicating, it has all the ingredients that a good cocktail – or a good musical – should contain.
- 1.5 ounces Cognac
- 3.5 ounces ginger ale
- .25 ounces Fresh lime juice
Pour the ingredients over ice in a cocktail glass. Stir well and serve.