Best lesbian movies

The first person who knew I was a lesbian was the local Blockbuster clerk.  During my time of soul-searching and self-discovery, I rented lesbian-themed movies like I had never seen a girl-on-girl flick before.  Ok, so I hadn’t.  I rented two or three at a time, staying up ’til all hours of the night eating Raisinets and doing “research.”

That’s why I’m qualified to present this list of the 10 Best Lesbian Movies Ever.

1. When Night is Falling — A small Canadian film about a professor at a Christian college and soon-to-be wife of a minister who falls for a free-spirited circus acrobat.  So hot and sexy that I spent the $15 and bought a copy for my home library.

2. Kissing Jessica Stein — Funny, smart, well-written movie about a young woman who gets so frustrated with her straight dating life that she answers a personal ad placed by another woman and tries her luck at lesbian love.  The ending is a point of contention for many lesbians.  My go-to movie when I need something to make me smile.  I saw this at a theater after realizing that I liked woman, so it holds a special place in my heart.  Sort of like a secret that only me and the characters were in on.

3. Bound — Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly play a pair of lesbian lovers stuck in the middle of a dangerous mob plot.  Will they escape with the cash and each other or not.  Hot and steamy.  Gina Gershon is an androgynous favorite of mine.  I have a labrys tattoo fashioned after the one that her character Corky sports in the movie.  Can you say impressionable?  The only bummer is that Gershon’s character is named Corky instead of something a little butchier and sexier like Max or Syd.

Jennifer Tilly and a tattooed Gina Gerson in Bound

4. The Incredibly True Adventure of 2 Girls in Love — Ah, young love.  Laurel Holloman (The L Word’s Tina) plays a tough baby dyke who falls in love with her opposite, a straight girl  who’s a straight-A student.  Cute and romantic, I remember watching this twice in two days.

5. Better Than Chocolate — What’s better than chocolate?  Perhaps a lesbian dipped in chocolate.  A light, sexy romp about a closeted lesbian whose cover is about to be blown when her mother decides to pay a visit.

6. But I’m a Cheerleader — A satiric comedy about a camp to right kids on the wrong path to homosexual lifestyles.  Lesbian fav Clea DuVall convinces perky, straight-arrow Natasha Lyonne that she can be a lesbian, even though she’s a cheerleader.  Light and funny.  One of those movies I can never pass up when I find it playing on Logo.

Clea DuVall and Natasha Lyonne

7. Go Fish — A black-and-white classic about an arranged blind date that goes wrong.  Or does it?  Many think this movie is a more accurate portrayal of real life lesbians than most.  After watching the movie, I copied down the voice-over from the ending that talks about leaving yourself open to find the girl of your dreams.  So deep and powerful at the time.

8. High Art — Ally Sheedy plays a strung-out photographer who falls in love with a magazine intern while the pair are working on a project.  Directed by The L Word’s Lisa Cholodenko.  Steamy and sexy and Ally Sheedy makes a great dyke.

9. If These Walls Could Talk 2 — The film features three lesbian couples at pivotal points in their lives.  I’m a huge fan of the second short that focuses on a feminist college student (Michelle Williams) and her encounter with a young butch townie (Chloe Sevigny).  Sevigny is sexy as hell as a butch.  I didn’t want her.  I wanted to be her.  Still do.

10. The Runaways — Not your traditional lesbian film, but Joan Jett is the greatest lesbian rocker of all time, and this movie details her early days in the all-female band The Runaways.  Kristen Stewart rocks as Jett, and Dakota Fanning is stellar as band mate and part-time lover Cherie Currie.  The Runaways also boasted Lita Ford, who is bad-ass in her own right.

Honorable Mention — The Sex Monster — When Marty decides to spice up his sex life by talking his wife (Muriel Hemingway) into having a threesome with another woman, things get out of hand as Laura starts seducing every woman in sight.  Funny and sexy.  A fantasy that I can admit to having while married.

33 responses to “Best lesbian movies

  1. Pingback: In celebration of National Coming Out Day « The Flannel Files

  2. Hurrah for 3 of my faves:
    High Art (1st film with a lesbian theme I ever watched – fancy Ally Sheedy in this SO much);
    Better than Chocolate (1st DVD I owned – gift to my wife & I for our commitment ceremony)
    & If these Walls Could Talk 2 (just happy romantic times)

  3. I’d like to add They Gymnast and Tipping the Velvet to your list.
    I just found your blog after being away from wordpress and my blog for an embarrassing amount of time. I’m enjoying your writing and look forward to more of it.

  4. I recently saw Kissing Jessica Stein …kinda saw that drab end coming but wishful thinking kept me from pushing the stop button. Oh well! Will have to try your other suggestions . PS thanks for liking my recent post! xx Tamryn

    • Yeah, the ending is a bit of a downer. They had filmed an alternative ending, but went for the safer one. I think I liked the movie so much because of where I was in my life at the time. I had just started exploring the possibility of dating girls just like Jessica Stein.

  5. Hey, thanks for checking out my little project! I’d be interested in hearing what you’d have to say on the film “The Hours” as I’ll definitely be watching it and understand that it deals in a lot of gender concepts that might lie outside of the scope of my own experience or vocabulary. Also, The Runaways sounded badass when I first heard about it, and now I will definitely check it out!

  6. Add to that “Desert Hearts” and “Tipping the Velvet (wonderful period films – the latter of which stars the daughter of my adolescent crush, Diana Rigg) and “Elena Undone” (features the longest on-screen lesbian kiss ever).

    All of these were big influences for me when I started writing my “Natalie Greenbaum” stories (though to this day, I’m not certain where that character came from – I sure don’t feel like I made her up).

  7. I love your list. These are my favorites too, especially When Night is Falling and Bound. One Thanksgiving in college (when I lived in a room so small it was exactly the floor space of a double bed) I watched Bound five times in a row. It was actually a great Thanksgiving.

  8. Scriptor Obscura

    I don’t know if you’re interested in period dramas, historical movies, but here’s a lesbian-themed period drama movie. Its called Fingersmith: You can find the whole movie on YouTube, lots of people have posted it, so you don’t even have to go to the video store or the library and rent it, you can just watch it directly on your laptop in the comfort of your own home.

    Also, there’s another lesbian-themed movie I watched long time ago on TV, its about an Iranian lesbian who’s persecuted in Iran and so flees to Germany to get asylum…It doesn’t quite work out as planned…Interesting, sad movie… I’m not sure if its posted on YouTube.

    Also, there’s this whole list of tons of lesbian-themed movies on Wikipedia:

  9. Scriptor Obscura

    This is another good one, its called Aimee and Jaguar:
    and its based on two historical real life women who lived in Germany during WW2…one Jewish living undercover and one a Nazi’s wife…

  10. Pingback: Best lesbian movies | Black Hypatia

  11. Yes, you get it that When Night is Falling is a masterpiece. It is still my absolute favorite lesbian movie and the high mark against which I judge other dramatic lesbian movies.

    • Yep, still my all-time fav, too. Every once in awhile a good lesbian flick will pop up — say, Blue Is the Warmest Color — but none seem to measure up to When Night Is Falling. So sexy.

  12. Desert Hearts is my all time fave. Haven’t liked any of the other movies near as well. The playing field is wide open for a great lesbian love story. Hmmm….Jodie Foster and Sandra Bullock? Bring it!

  13. I have seen quite a few of these. I can’t wait to read the others. I haven’t seen some of these I can’t wait to check them out thanks.

  14. C.M. Blackwood

    Out of this list, WHEN NIGHT IS FALLING is definitely my fave. Seen it a ton of times. 🙂

  15. If you haven’t seen it yet – check out D.E.B.S. 🙂 is fun.

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