Freeform is going to putting a little extra love into the world this February! The network that's given us Pretty Little Liars, The Bold Type, and grown-ish will release its first Valentine's Day movie ever next year — a gay romantic comedy called The Thing About Harry.
As rom-coms wade into more diverse territory, it's incredibly apt that the film should nod toward the movie credited with launching the modern romantic comedy, When Harry Met Sally... in more ways than one. There's the obvious name repetition in Harry, this time to be played by Niko Terho and described as an "emotionally uncomplicated, promiscuous player," yearning for "love, family, and stability," but with a pervasive commitment problem, TV Line reports.
And there's also a familiar starting point: Harry and co-lead Sam (Jake Borelli), enemies of the jock versus out-and-proud variety since high school, are forced to drive together to their mutual friend's Valentine's Day engagement party in Missouri. No indication on where they're driving from, but it sounds like they're in for a long, life-changing ride. When "handsome, funny, neurotic, intelligent" Sam, with his "scathing wit" and "overly idealistic worldview," finds out that Harry has recently come out as gay, the two move from enemies to friends, and maybe even more.
Queer Eye's Karamo Brown, GLOW's Britt Baron, and The Fosters's Peter Paige will also star, with Paige taking the helm as well.
“It’s been an honor to partner with Freeform in making great television with LGBTQ+ characters as leads,” executive producers Paige, Greg Gugliotta and F.J. Denny said in a statement released through Freeform. “True equality can only be achieved when you see yourself reflected in the movies, music and stories that paint our culture. 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.”
For those keeping track, Freeform's TV movie joins two upcoming theatrical releases, one starring Billy Eichner and the other starring Kristen Stewart, set to add gay and lesbian stories to the genre. Eichner's film, which he is writing with Forgetting Sarah Marshall's Nicholas Stoller set to direct and Judd Apatow producing, hasn't yet revealed a release date. Stewart's Happiest Season, a holiday romp co-starring Mackenzie Davis, directed by Clea DuVall, and written by DuVall and Mary Holland, is slated for a November 2020 release.
Freeform's flick is set to hit TV screens first, with a February 2020 premiere.