My Rating: 6/10
Alaska is a Drag is an indie drama about Leo, an aspiring drag queen superstar, and his familial and romantic relationships in a small Alaskan community. His sister is going through chemo, his ex-best-friend is harassing him with typical homophobic fervor, and as a little twist to this typical gay-themed indie flick, our lovable starlet, having learned to fight to fend off homophobes, gets involved in boxing.
I liked it. I had to think about that sentence for a moment, because this movie didn’t blow me away, and there were certainly issues, but it was surprising in pleasant ways, and unsurprising in ways that didn’t detract too much.
It had this air of magic to it. Not super fantastical as you’ll get from other indie dramas like this, but brief glimpses of rainbow lights and glitter that are gone almost as soon as they appear. I liked that part. An unobtrusive way to add flare to this character’s rocky existence in a mildly hostile place.
There’s also glimpses of gay and drag culture outside of the main character. Like dandelions, popping up with a splash of colour, in a place that treats them like weeds.
The movie’s artistic without being pretentious. Even the flashbacks, and I hate flashbacks, are pleasant and add to the chill tone of the movie. Like every single character that gets introduced feels whole, even if they have only one line. It feels like they all have a story to tell, but thanks to the time restraints, they never get to tell it. That speaks to good writing, and for that reason this story and the characters that come with it would make an awesome TV series. In movie format, however, it feels like a lot of good opportunities not taken.
Some of the pacing could use work. There were moments where action was happening and before we have time to process it or get into it, it’s moved on to something else. That makes it hard to get invested, and as a result, the emotional notes that follow, fall flat.
Not a ‘must watch’, but I definitely recommend Alaska is a Drag, even if just for something low-key and different from the typical LGBT indie flicks. Trigger warning, though! The movie’s not super heavy, but there are a couple uncomfortable gay-bashing scenes.
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Sam Clover is an author of M/M dark romance. She swears like a sailor, gobbles up horror movies and m/m books like they’re going out of style, and runs an erotica discord server.
She’s Canadian, pansexual, demi-sexual, atheist, humanist, and loves all things sea-related. Especially pirates… And sea creatures. And Storms, waves, water, seaside villages, weathered wood, sea glass, delicious seaweed, and everything else that ever existed in the ocean at any time.