Freeform’s very first Valentine’s Day movie is an “unabashedly romantic comedy” about two men, according to a press release from the network.
The Thing About Harry is an upcoming movie directed and co-written by Good Trouble co-creator Peter Paige about two high school enemies who find themselves stuck in a car together on a road trip to a mutual pal’s engagement party. (Perhaps a nod to When Harry Met Sally, which opens with Billy Crystal’s Harry and Meg Ryan’s Sally on a disastrous trip to NYC.)
Harry (Niko Terho) is a player who left a “string of broken hearts in his wake,” while co-lead Sam (Jake Borelli) is an intelligent young man with a “scathing wit” and “idealistic worldview.” Sam came out in high school and was bullied relentlessly for it, and it’s unclear if Harry — who came out later in life — was partially responsible for Sam’s miserable high school experience. Either way, the two hate each other, until they don’t.
It is the rom-com way to make bitter rivals fall hard for one another amidst the verbal sparring. What’s special in The Thing About Harry, however, is that it offers two gay men the opportunity to portray love interests in a genre where they are typically relegated to the role of BFF. Isn’t It Romantic?, a parody film about rom-coms, mocked this particular trope mercilessly. The switch is what appealed to executive producers Paige (who got his start acting on Queer As Folk) Greg Gugliotta, and F.J. Denny about the project, according to a joint statement.
“As young gay men in the 90s, whenever a rom-com opened, we would watch the leading lady fall in love, and imagine what it would be like if the boy was saying all those things to another boy. We’ve always wanted to make a movie — an unabashedly romantic comedy — that queer boys wouldn’t have to translate. It’s rewarding to take the genre to a new, all-inclusive level,” they said.
Also starring in the film is Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown, Paige himself, and GLOW’s Britt Baron.
The Thing About Harry is just one of the upcoming original movies from Freeform. Turkey Drop, starring Cloak & Dagger alum Olivia Holt, is about a college girl who returns home for Thanksgiving and is terrified her high school boyfriend plans on dumping her. Ghosted: The Spirit of Christmas stars The Bold Type’s Aisha Dee as a woman who dies after a really awesome date, then comes back as a ghost to finish her worldly business.