Quite an important work in the history of American gay filmmaking, A Very Natural Thing is considered the first feature film on the gay experience made by an out-of-the-closet gay man to receive commercial distribution. The simple but insightful story involves a 26-year-old gay man who leaves the priesthood and moves to New York City in the hopes of finding a meaningful gay relationship. Now a schoolteacher, he soon falls in love with a handsome young advertising executive.
Though the film is barely remembered today, detractors at the time of its release found it a bit too sappy, bordering on soap opera. Others saw it as a sensitively told and refreshingly romantic story. At the time, the film was also seen as a gay response to the massive commercial success of Love Story. That film’s famous quote “Love means never having to say your sorry” is almost directly parodied with the line “Love means never having to say you’re in love,” in A Very Natural Thing.