Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

The Way He Looks, or: Belle and Sebastian Is Love

This week begins what I like to think of as Jillian & Christa’s Big Gay Blog Collab 2015.

We’re beginning a bit of an LGBT-themed film fest, starting with Portuguese-language Brazilian flick The Way He Looks.

Get Christa’s perspective here!

The Film:

The Way He Looks

Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

Blind Brazilian teen Leo and his best friend Giovana get the summer drama they’ve been longing for with the arrival of new kid Gabriel.

The Uncondensed Version:

Leo and Giovana have been best friends foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…meaning like a month because they’re teens, right?

They’re hoping this summer will finally bring some romance their way, which arrives in the form of Gabriel. You know major drama is about to go down because both Giovana and Leo are pretty into Gabriel, as is Karina, the flirty one. To be fair, he does like to read alone by fountains, which he must know is fucking irresistible.

a teenage boy and girl recline in the courtyard of a school

Meanwhile, Leo is also dealing with this douchey blonde guy and his friends, who think it’s ok to trip a blind kid. It’s some fucked up shit, even for high school dudes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Leo longs to participate in an exchange program to the US or France but fears his overprotective mother would never agree.

So anyway…Giovana and Leo’s duo quickly becomes a trio, which obviously spells trouble. Someone’s going to end up the third wheel. Since Leo and Gabriel pair up for a group project, looks like Giovana is the odd woman out. She gets super upset when Leo and Gabriel go to a movie together without inviting her. It’s probably the cutest movie date ever since Gabriel describes what’s happening in the movie for Leo.

A teenage boy in a darkened movie theater describes the action to a blind teenage boy: "The bride has just thrown the flower bouquet at the robot's face."
Sounds like a classic.

This is followed by Gabriel playing BELLE AND SEBASTIAN FOR LEO AND ME FREAKING THE FUCK OUT. I think Gabriel is basically the ideal high school guy and, in fact, the ideal guy of any age. They dance to the Belle and Sebastian song, “There’s Too Much Love,” even though it’s honestly not a particularly great song to dance to. “Funny Little Frog” or “Me and the Major” would have been way better to dance to. It’s cute, though, is the point. Really fucking cute, and since one of the main characters of this film likes Belle and Sebastian, I honestly don’t care what else happens in this film.

Leo and Gabriel continue to have some really adorable bonding time, which is a problem for Giovana, who feels completely left out. Leo is also super jealous of Karina, who is really into Gabriel.

A blind teenage boy teaches another boy to read braille
Is it possible for learning Braille to be more adorable? Maybe if a kitten tried to learn Braille?

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I suppose it’s a bit teen angsty, but it doesn’t veer into melodrama. The film is quite Leo/Gabriel-centric, but the importance of Leo/Giovana’s relationship doesn’t get glossed over unlike friendships in…pretty much every high school movie ever.

I think the only issue I have with this movie is that Gabriel is probably literally an angel sent to Earth because no high school guy is as sweet/wise/in general perfect as he is.

a teenage boy tells a teenage girl "We need to share how we feel. There's not point leaving it all bottled up."

I’m going to skim over the rest of this film because I thought it was adorable and don’t want to ruin the way the relationships between our three main characters evolve.

Since, at the end of the day, this is a high school movie, the resolution of our major plot points comes down to what happens at the final big party (during a camping trip…?).

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink Panther 4/5 Pink Panther Heads

I’m sorry, Christa, but your heart is made of stone. 😉

1 thought on “The Way He Looks, or: Belle and Sebastian Is Love”

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