Queer movies have a complicated place in our hearts. On the one hand, there are queer characters, who promise to fill some deep void we have when looking for relatable fiction characters. But, on the other hand, there are so many problems with so, so many of these movies.
Most of them have terrible stories that we keep eating up just because we’re so desperate to be included. So much of the world still pretends we don’t even exist – even in forward-thinking, first-world countries.
When it comes to film and television representation, there isn’t a lot to choose from – even still. While lesbian relationships are widely becoming a more mainstream topic, that still doesn’t exactly mean that we can feel totally comfortable discussing things openly.
Case in point? Lesbian movies on Netflix.
Okay, so there are a few good ones out there, and we definitely appreciate those ones. But more often, we come across a movie that we know is not even remotely relatable to actual lesbian life.
But there are boobs. And girls kissing other girls. And… Well, boobs.
So we watch them, because we have to watch them. (You can actually have your Lesbianism revoked if you don’t binge-watch any media with queer subtext, so make sure you’re keeping up.) But we don’t really like ourselves afterward.
What are your least favorite lesbian movies?
Kissing Jessica Stein
This movie probably drew you in because, hello, kissing a woman is literally in the title of the movie, so it’s got to be good, right? The only problem is that these characters are really annoying. We want to watch movies that seem relatable – and if you can’t like the characters, you can’t get into the plot (even though it’s actually not bad). Top that off with the preachy tone it starts to develop throughout the course of the movie, and this is one that you’ll probably rewatch parts of, but skip others. Hey, you can’t win ‘em all.
As both a lesbian and a writer, I find myself drawn toward kindred spirits. (I feel like I was probably the only person ever who loved Jenny Schecter – although I can’t say I agreed with all her choices.)
When I heard about a lesbian movie that tells the tale of the original lesbian icon – the poet Sappho – it seemed like it was going to be great.
The whole thing is gorgeous, too, from casting choices to scenery. But the story is so predictable that, by the time you realize it, it’s an hour and a half later and you know exactly nothing new. (But, then again, gorgeous movie – maybe there’ll be something when you watch it again…
You Will Be Mine
First off, what is it about lesbian romance movies where they draw you in with women crawling all over each other on the cover? I mean, it works, but it feels a little manipulative after a while. But these actresses are gorgeous, and the score is pretty gorgeous too. Unfortunately, the story fell a little flat, as you can actually predict every twist and turn. This movie is all about a dysfunctional lesbian relationship, which is something we just can’t get fully on-board with.
Room in Rome
This is one of those movies where you’ll probably want to pretend you were watching it for totally artistic reasons. After all, it’s two naked women, in a hotel room, in Rome… Obviously, there are certain things involved. But the fact that it’s subtitled means you’re going to have to pick between following the plot or… Well, staring at boobs. We’ve got a pretty good idea what most of you are going to pick.
Therese and Isabelle
An old black-and-white lesbian romance film, you say? And it’s set at a boarding school, which releases all those inner schoolgirl fantasies, too. (Oh, don’t pretend you haven’t thought about it.) But this is an older movie, so the love scenes are pretty tame. The overall story follows the predictable “men-suck-let’s-be-lesbians” route, too, which is always a little disappointing.
Lost and Delirious
Piper Perabo and Mischa Barton. Need I say more? These two women are sexy, and they’re already almost kissing on the cover so you know it’s going to be good. But this one is a big sob-fest… so you’re only going to want to watch it on those days you just need to let it all out. Cuddle up with a pint (beer or ice cream – your choice) and cry it out between long, loving stares at Piper Perabo.
More women crawling all over each other? OK, if you insist… And the actresses actually have an undeniable chemistry. This movie deals with the whole teacher/student fantasy dynamic, like we’ve seen in Loving Annabelle. The problem with Bloomington is that the sexiness is lacking when the relationship starts developing a mother/daughter complex – making it super creepy and awkward.
Lesbians. Not only that, but French lesbians. This one just oozes with the possibility of romance. Then, teen angst comes in and almost ruins the show. Thankfully, this one isn’t one of the worst offenders on this list, and it’s pretty short, too – so you’re not likely to regret the time spent watching it.
Okay, so, I love Melanie Lynsky – and Kate Winslet isn’t so bad, either. So then we get into this one: Two girls with this super-secret fantasy life and mean parents who want to keep them apart. (That’s not exactly what happened, but you’ll figure that one out on your own.) Anyway, this one is bad in such a good way, because it’s actually horrific and based on a true story – which is even more chilling.
What are your favorite lesbian movie guilty pleasures?
Of course, we’re always looking for new lesbian representation in movies and TV. It’s understandable that some of these are going to be really, really bad, and we can’t even justify to ourselves why we watch them. Which ones are yours? I might have to check them out for myself!