Hollywood hasn’t allowed us to escape the very overdone and limiting gender tropes for leading men. Men can be more than just the lone wolf, hypermasculine hunk, or romantic interest. Thankfully, a number of movies in recent years have shown us just that. Here’s a special shout out for the true good guys and the films that showcase them.
Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity. Love, Simon provides LGBT+ representation to the often very heterosexual genre of young adult romance. As Simon steps into his identity, he questions many of the hereteronormative structures that queer men and women face.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.
T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past. T’Challa keeps a tight-knit circle of women in leadership as he takes the throne and is often rescued by the strong female leads in the film.
Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom. Kristoff is the feminist Disney prince that we’ve been waiting for.
Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City. This Spider-Man reboot delivers a shockingly ordinary teenage superhero, rather than the traditionally overly-hunky and (toxically) masculine savior.
Take Action! Have a movie marathon with films that have positive male representation.