Judge Brett Cullum finds a traditional romantic comedy in the least likely of places.
Funny, bright, and German.
There is something oddly comforting about Alex & Leo, because it feels like an all-too-familiar romantic comedy…but what makes it unique is that it is gay and from Germany. It stars Marcel Schlutt (Unfaithful) who is known as a porn star in Europe, and he plays the titular role of Leo. He seems quite natural with his costar former standup comic Andre Schneider, who is Alex as well as the screenwriter of this project. Dancer Udo Lutz shows up playing the very gay best friend in his screen acting debut. The story is about Leo, who is coming out of the closet as he falls in love with Alex, who is leaving behind a cheating boyfriend. They bump along in Berlin, which, surprisingly, doesn't seem as liberal as one would imagine. The clubs seem a little small and the parties a little too restrained. Leo's girlfriend who he breaks up with seems to have no concept of gay men at all. You almost wonder if there is any gay life in the German big city to be found. But outside of the soft-spoken queer scene, the dialogue is charming, the leads are fine, and the supporting cast keeps it all funny and light. The film is engaging and likable in the way most romantic comedies are. You end up rooting for Alex to end up with Leo simply because they are sweet and cute together.
Breaking Glass sent over a screener copy of Alex and Leo, so it is hard to give you a fair rundown of what is being offered here in the final product. The transfer looks a little too bright, but that may simply be because we were given a DVR of the film. There were no extras on our copy, but Amazon lists some outtakes and a trailer.
Fans of gay cinema should find much to like in this amiable romantic comedy from Germany. It feels a bit low budget, but it wears its heart on its sleeve. I liked it particularly because it has all the usual trappings you would find in the genre, but being gay and German gives it all a unique twist. Schneider was once a standup comic and Schlutt used to be a porn star, and so they both bring a unique ease to getting together that is simultaneously funny and sexy. There is a standout performance by Udo Lutz, who plays the nelly queen part for all it is worth. Berlin seems a bit tame, but it's nice to see a queer romance that simply feels content to give off happy vibes in every direction.
Guilty of being a fun queer romance from Germany.
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