Crush, a new Hulu film, is a heartwarming and well-crafted coming-of-age story, but what makes it particularly endearing is its delicate and lovely representation of adolescent gay love. Indeed, like many other comparable films, it allows young members of the LGBT+ community to see themselves on screen and have a happy ending, mainly avoiding the high-stakes drama found in some other teen storylines.
As a result, for those who love Crush on Hulu’s cheerful approach to romance, there are a number of other films, both contemporary and previous, that have achieved something similar.

1. Love, Simon (2018)

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Director- Greg Berlanti

Simon Spier, a senior in high school, lives and has lived a totally typical life. His parents, Emily and Jack Spier, and younger sister, Nora Spier, are all lovely people. He has a small group of pals, including Leah, Nick, and Abby, the first two of whom he has known for virtually his entire life. Leah is new to Creekwood High School this year, but they already feel like they’ve known each other for a long time. But there’s a “but” in Simon’s life, a significant secret he’s been harbouring for a few years: he’s gay and living in the closet.

Despite Jack’s often politically incorrect jokes, he knows his parents would be fine with his homosexual orientation, and that most of the students accept Ethan, their one and only openly gay classmate, but Simon has refused to come out for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is the change that would occur in what he has known as his life. He learns that he is not alone: another classmate, dubbed “Blue,” is openly gay and is blogging about his experiences.

Simon begins an anonymous conversation with Blue, who opens up about his own troubles, thanks to the email address provided in the article. Simon begins to fall for Blue without even knowing who he is because of the support they provide each other. He begins to see his classmates in a different perspective as he tries to figure out who Blue is. However, Simon is force to manipulate his friends’ love life in order to keep his truth hidden.

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2. The Edge Of Seventeen (2016)

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Director- Kelly Fremon Craig

Nadine Franklin, a high school junior in the Portland suburbs, tells her teacher, Mr. Bruner, in October 2015 that she intends to commit suicide. Nadine recounts her life thus far: By the age of seven, Nadine’s contrasts from her more popular older brother Darian are clear. Nadine has a tumultuous relationship with her overly theatrical and image-conscious mother Mona, who appears to prefer her brother, while her father, Tom, is the only immediate family member with whom she feels connected. Nadine’s relationships with her best friend Krista and her father keep her going at the age of thirteen. While driving, Nadine’s father has a deadly heart attack. Nadine’s life is turn upside down as a result of her father’s death.

3. Beautiful Things (1996)

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Director- Hettie Macdonald

A tender love story set on a South-East London housing estate during a steamy summer. Jamie, an unpopular kid who skips school to avoid football, lives next door to Ste, a more popular athletic kid who is beaten up by his father and elder brother on a regular basis. Jamie and Ste are brought together by a violent episode: Ste, who has to ‘top-and-tail’ with Jamie, is offered refuge by Sandra (Jamie’s mother). As a result, the novel chronicles their growing desire for one another, from first lingering looks to undeniable love.

In light of Sandra’s unshakable commitment and defence of Jamie, and the dread of repercussions should Ste’s family find out, it deals with the difficulties of coming to grips with their sexuality and of others finding out. Sandra’s desire to manage her own pub and thus escape the estate, as well as her new relationship with her hippy boyfriend Tony; and Leah, the brassy girl next door who has been expelled from school and spends her time listening to Mama Cass records and tripping on a variety of drugs; are all interwoven into the plot.

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4. Boy Meets Girl (2014)

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Director- Eric Schaeffer

Ricky is a Kentucky-based trans female who is 21 years old. Robby, her one true friend, has been her dependable, purely platonic confidant for almost 15 years. Her day job serving lattes is just a stepping stone on her way to becoming a well-known New York designer. Her world is turned upside down when an enchanting debutante saunters into her life. She’s confident, cool, and eager for something new. This odd connection conjures up profound issues about identity while revealing ghosts from Ricky’s past, evoking new feelings and experiences. Eric Schaeffer, an indie cinema veteran, creates a captivating, empathetic world that focuses on the emotions and messy issues that complex people face when negotiating intricate relationships.

5. Happiest Season (2020)

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Director- Clea DuVall

It can be difficult to meet your girlfriend’s family for the first time. Even more difficult is planning to propose at her family’s annual Christmas dinner – until you find they have no idea she’s homosexual. When Abby (Kristen Stewart), who is intellectually challenged, discovers that Harper (Mackenzie Davis) has kept their relationship hidden from her family, she begins to question the girlfriend she thought she knew.

6. The Way He Looks (2014)

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Director- Daniel Ribeiro

Leonardo is a blind adolescent attempting to live a more autonomous life while dealing with an overprotective mother. He plans to travel on an exchange programme abroad, much to the dismay of his best friend Giovana. When Gabriel, a new student in town, walks into their classroom, Leonardo experiences unexpected feelings that cause him to reconsider his plans.

7. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

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Director- Luca Guadagnino

In the early 1980s, seventeen-year-old Elio spends his vacation in his family’s summer villa in northern Italy, amid the lush Mediterranean landscapes of a tranquil and golden summer. Apart from his father, Mr Perlman, a professor of Greco-Roman culture, and his translator mother, Annella, Oliver, a twenty-four-year-old American PhD student, works there as an intern. Now, against the backdrop of perpetual summer boredom, a tentative relationship between Elio and Oliver will create the basis for an unforeseen bond, as the uncharted emotions of first love begin to boil over over the course of six transitory weeks.

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8. Were The World Mine (2008)

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Director- Tom Gustafson

Timothy, a gay high schooler, gets mixed signals from his rugby player crush. A homophobic rugby squad stands in the way of their love. However, when the rugby team is cast in the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Timothy discovers magic in the pages that allows him to make people fall in love with persons of the same sex – and the community is forever changed.

9. Single All The Way (2021)

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Director- Michael Mayer

Desperate to avoid his family’s judgment about his perpetual single status, Peter (Michael Urie) convinces his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to join him for the holidays and pretend that they’re now in a relationship. But when Peter’s mother (Kathy Najimy) sets him up on a blind date with her handsome trainer James (Luke Macfarlane) the plan goes awry.

10. The Boys In The Band (2020)

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Director- Joe Mantello

A group of pals meet in 1968 New York City for a raunchy birthday party organised by Michael, a screenwriter who spends and drinks too much, in celebration of the sharp-dressed and sharp-tongued Harold. Donald, Michael’s former flame who is now mired in self-analysis; Larry, a randy commercial artist living with Hank, a schoolteacher who has recently left his wife; Bernard, a librarian treading carefully around fraught friendship codes alongside Emory, a decorator who never holds back; and a guileless hustler hired to be Harold’s gift for the night. When Alan, Michael’s straight-laced college roommate, shows up unexpectedly, the evening of drinks and jokes is turned upside down, and each man is forced to confront long-buried truths that threaten the group’s tight friendship.

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