Welcome to the 30th and final article of our 2020 Pride Month Series! Each day in the month of June, we will be highlighting a different member of the LGBTQ+ community who we think is a great example of representation and dynamic characterization. We will focus on fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — the positive voices within the LGBTQ+ community and in mainstream media.
To end our Pride month series, we’re going to highlight Adam and Marklin from a relatively new film, Almost Love. Originally set for a theatrical release, it was made available to stream in early April in wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. It follows Adam and Marklin in the days after their 5 year anniversary, along with their friends, as they all navigate love and relationships in New York City.
Adam and Marklin, played by Scott Evans and Augustus Prew, are two very different people. Adam is a painter, currently ghost painting for a prominent artist in the city, his work being signed by her and sold for hundred of thousands of dollars with no recognition. Marklin is the sole owner and operator of a popular influencing website The Detail List, his life somewhat consumed by creating picture perfect moments and influencer ads to post online. He’s recognized in day to day life on the streets, people pausing to take photos with him, and while he doesn’t outright say it, it’s clear that this bothers Adam a little bit. It’s also key to note that Adam, while he doesn’t see himself this way, is also worthy of this level of fame for his artistic talents, but again, is going under the radar as someone else gets the credit for his work.
The pair, while still clearly very in love with each other, are a bit out of sync following their landmark anniversary. Communication seems to be slipping as Marklin delves deeper into his work and Adam’s frustrations grow — both with his own work and the lack of attention from his boyfriend, who he thinks may be seeing someone else outside of their relationship. The couple is in counseling, and while they’re acknowledging the issues in communication between them, they’re also avoiding addressing them. It isn’t until Augustus puts in an offer on a very expensive apartment without consulting Adam that the issues come full head.
After an unfortunate slip, literally, Adam ends up in the hospital with a minor head injury and it’s there that Adam learns the truth about what Marklin has been hiding. He’s the medical proxy for his ex, Karl, a terminal patient. At one point Marklin confesses that he may love Karl more than Adam, but is that because it’s easier? Adam overhears and leaves, breaking up with Marklin in the coming days.
Adam, who is seemingly living in his studio, gets a visit from Marklin bearing coffee and his favorite bagels, and whether they reconcile or not I’ll leave to you to figure out after watching.
Almost Love addresses many of the different relationships we see today, there’s Adam and Marklin’s, Cammy who is still searching for love on dating apps, Adam’s sister, Elizabeth, whose blissful 15 year marriage has suddenly been dealt a devastating blow, and Haley, who is seemingly just as confused as the teenagers she tutors.
The key element to Almost Love is that none of our characters’ sexuality is a plot point. It introduces our characters for who they are, then simply just navigates the waters of the struggles faced by same-sex and heterosexual couple all the same, and in the same token, the same-sex relationship was the heart of the story. The gay couple wasn’t used as comedic relief, or a passing supporting role, they are the main story, without their sexuality contributing to the struggles they’re trying to overcome. Adam and Marklin’s issues are ones that stem out of every relationship, and it was just great to see a gay couple be given a spotlight on an everyday, typical issue, without bringing the fact that they’re gay as a cause or catalyst for their problems.
No matter your own sexuality, I guarantee you’ll see a bit of you or your own relationship played between Adam and Marklin. Whether it be the struggle to confess a painful part of your past, learning to cope with feelings of inadequacy, or the struggle couples face with open communication, Almost Love hits the nail on the head in its raw and honest storytelling.
Almost Love is currently available to rent or buy on most streaming services.
Thank you for joining us for our 2020 Pride Month Series. We love bringing this series to you every year and cannot wait to see what (hopefully new) characters we can highlight in 2021. We hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s selections, or maybe even found something or someone new to check out.
The idea blossomed from our staff writer Emily a few years ago and we haven’t stopped. The media is lacking in its representation of LGBTQ+ characters and actors, as well as people of color, but every year is better than the last and we hope this trend continues. Our voices are being heard, we can’t stop now. Continue to petition and demand for LGBTQ+ representation in the media, and help set the precedent that these roles should be played by those in the community. There’s so much talent waiting to be uncovered.