Luke Macfarlane’s heartwarming new LGBTQ+ romcom will be your autumn must-watch

Luke Macfarlane is set to appear in a gay Hallmark film this autumn (Hallmark Channel)

Bros star Luke Macfarlane is set to appear in another gay romance, a house-swap love story for the Hallmark Channel.

Notes of Autumn will premiere on 16 September as part of the TV channel’s annual Fall into Love season, which sees a range of autumn-inspired love stories come to the small screen. 

The film stars MacFarlane alongside Ashley Williams, Marcus Rosner and Peter Porte, with singer-songwriter and actress Debbie Gibson serving as an executive producer.

Notes of Autumn sees Ellie (Williams) a “fun-loving”, classically trained pianist who gave up on her passion long ago, and her best friend Leo (Macfarlane), a famous author with writer’s block, swapping houses to get a change of scenery.

The pair quickly find themselves lost in their new surroundings.

During the course of the movie, Ellie gets tangled up in helping Sam (Rosner) – Leo’s handsome neighbour – put together a musical performance for a local fundraiser. Meanwhile, Leo becomes friends with Ellie’s pal Matt (Porte) and opens himself up to writing something different. 

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“The journeys of these characters and the paths their relationships take are handled with tenderness, compassion and explored in meaningful ways,” Bart Fisher, the vice-president of programming at Hallmark Media said, according to TV Insider

“This movie celebrates the fall season in a fun, contemporary way and has something for everyone.”

In recent years, Hallmark, known for its family friendly seasonal films, has made more of an effort to include LGBTQ+ characters in its stories, including romances. 

In 2022, the channel released its first queer-focused Christmas film, The Holiday Sitter, which starred Mean Girls‘ Jonathan Bennett as Sam, a workaholic who unexpectedly finds love after roping his neighbour, Jason (George Krissa), into helping babysit his niece and nephew.

Notes of Autumn (Hallmark Channel)

Bennett had previously starred in The Christmas House, which was the network’s first film to prominently feature a same-sex couple.

However, Hallmark has not had the best track record with the LGBTQ+ community. 

In 2019, the channel pulled adverts featuring queer couples after a backlash from highly vocal right-wing advocacy group One Million Moms, before reversing the decision and apologising to the community – much to the ire of some bigots. 

And last year, Full House star Candace Cameron Bure, who appeared in a number of Hallmark productions, left the network and suggested she did not agree with LGBTQ+ inclusivity at the channel. 

Speaking about her new channel, Great American Family, at the time, she said it “will keep traditional marriage at the core”.