As rumours of a big screen version of The L Word gather apace, we take a look at the (sort-of entirely objective) top ten LGBT films of all time. So put the popcorn in the microwave, curl up on the sofa with your sweetie and enjoy these classic cinematic examples of lezzer love.
Why you should watch it: Long before Marissa Cooper dabbled her toe in Sapphic seas with Olivia Wilde in The O.C, she starred in this coming-of-age dyke classic where Piper Perabo’s wild child falls for a closeted good girl at a single-gender boarding school. It may not have the happiest of endings, but for a portrayal of teenage LGBT love and adolescent alienation, it’s spot on.
Why you should watch it: “Because it’s set in Canada!” my (Canadian) friend Karen exclaimed excitedly when I asked her why she liked it. If that isn’t a good enough reason to pop it in your DVD player, try the passionate love affair between drifting artist Kim and bookseller Maggie, whose life is turned upside down when her family pay an unexpected visit. And if you don’t get a lump in your throat when straight-laced librarian Frances finally finds love with transgender cabaret singer Judy, you have a heart of stone.
Why you should watch it: Cheryl Dunye’s fauxcumentary delves into black LGBT history as well as the complicated relationships of its main characters when the main character embarks on both a research project about an obscure actress and a tumultuous relationship with Guinevere Turner’s Diana.
Why you should watch it: Sisters are doing it for themselves in this ’90s heist movie, complete with a steamy Sapphic romance between ex-con Corky and gangster’s moll Violet. If Jennifer Tilly’s voice grates on you, just mute the volume and watch Gina Gershon’s muscles ripple.
Why you should watch it: This tongue-in-cheek account of the ‘ex-gay’ movement pokes fun at both the religious right and at the gay scene itself. Clea DuVall stars in all her adorable, floppy-haired glory.
Why you should watch it: It features a young Leisha Hailey with pink hair, singing in a punk band and kissing girls. Oh, and there’s also a wonderful babydyke heroine in soft butch Claude, who is mired in unrequited love for her best friend until her neighbour is murdered in a homophobic hate crime, forcing her to acknowledge things about herself and her community.
Why you should watch it: The true story of two New Zealand teenage girls whose obsessive love draws them into a fantasy world that ultimately ends in tragedy.
Why you should watch it: It’s a British rom-com for LGBT. What happens when you meet the woman of your dreams at her wedding? If you’re Lena Headey and Piper Perabo, you embark on a journey of self-discovery that’s refreshingly angst-free.
Why you should watch it: Broken-hearted dyke Anna is working as a receptionist for a plastic surgeon when she stumbles across the *ahem* titular activist group. Hijinks, love triangles and exploding phallic objects ensue.
Why you should watch it: Because if anyone understands it, they can explain to me what the hell is going on. David Lynch at his mindboggling finest.
Heavenly Creatures is a film you have to put on your list of films to see before you die. It does have teenagers retreating into a fantasy world and matricide though. But it is awesome. And has the truly fabulous Kate Winslet in it. This is probably one of the few films where she DOESN’T show her wobblies, oddly enough. A vest top is about as far as she goes. But then, she was actually a teenager at the time.
Yeah, yeah, everyone loves Bound
But I’m A Cheerleader is just SO. MUCH. FUN.