In movies and films that feature gay characters, it’s incredibly common that their storylines focus on homophobia or the struggles they have as they come to terms with their sexuality. But, despite this, the concept of a world that is prejudiced against someone’s sexuality is often a difficult one to grasp for heterosexual viewers.
Aiming to solve this is new movie Love is All You Need? The film, which stars Ana Ortiz, Leisha Hailey, Briana Evigan, Tyler Blackburn and more, envisions a world where it’s not gay people who are judged for their sexuality – it’s heterosexual people.
In the film’s fictional version of society, teachings against the ‘sin’ of heterosexuality are even taught in church.
In the film, quarterback Jude has a girlfriend but she forms a connection with male frat pledge and journalist student Ryan.
The film also focuses on elementary student Emily who gets a crush on her best friend Ian and is excited to take part in the school’s production of Romeo and Julio (which the school’s theatre director decides to change to Romeo and Juliet) as if she’s cast as Juliet, it means that she’ll get to kiss a boy – but her classmates find out that she’s heterosexual and begin to bully her.
Love is All You Need? is based on a short movie about a little girl named Ashley who is harassed by her parents and even physical abused by her peers just for being a “ro” (the movie’s slur for heterosexual people) and it eventually leads her to commit suicide. The short was incredibly successful, racking up 40 million views online.
Speaking to After Ellen, the director and co-writer of the the project, K. Rocco Shields, explains how the short film came to be:
I went to bed one night after listening to a reporter on the news talk about how she couldn’t understand why kids were killing themselves because they were gay. And I thought about how I wished this woman could feel what it would be like to be marginalized and be the proverbial other, then maybe she would understand. We need to feel things in order to make change.”
The director and co-writer also adds,
I’m not claiming originality. I’m just putting a different spin on it. And the idea is for mainstream America to really understand what it is like to be bullied and mistreated because you are different.”
For more information on where you can watch Love is All You Need? visit the official website.