Let’s be honest- the vast majority of queer films are about gay men. The ones about ladies who love ladies are few and far between. The Netflix “LGBT” section is pretty barren. And I’m sure you’re sick of googling “movies about lesbians” and only finding either porn or Black Swan. But it’s 2017 and times have changed- we have a few more options if we want to see canonically queer girls in movies. I tried to only include movies where the queer women are the main protagonists and their queerness is a big part of the plot.
I’m sure I’m missing a few because I can’t say I’ve seen them all, and these aren’t the definitive “best”, they’re just some of my personal favorites. So if you’re a queer lady looking for some good movie recommendations to watch with your gal pals this pride month, this list is for you.
10. Life Partners (Dir. Susanna Fogel, 2014)
What I like about this movie is that Leighton Meester’s character isn’t the “magical gay friend” with endless relationship advice for a straight protagonist. This movie is cute and relatable- not only because it’s never fun when your BFF prioritizes her new boyfriend over you, but also because I think we’ve all cried at the drive-thru when they run out of mozzarella sticks.
9. Our Love Story (Dir. Lee-Hyun Ju, 2016)
Refreshingly this isn’t a melodramatic “coming out” story, it’s just about a repressed graduate student who happens to fall for a young woman. It’s a sweet and subtle South Korean film that focuses on a very innocent first love.
8. The Kids Are All Right (Dir. Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)
A realistically flawed, married gay couple that can still have a healthy and loving relationship? Amazing.
7. Jennifer’s Body (Dir. Karyn Kusama, 2009)
Some would argue that the homosexuality is too subtle to count as a “movie about queer women”, but I can’t say I agree. This movie was definitely polarizing and probably a bit problematic, but I love it. Not for everyone, but if you like horror-comedy, bisexuals, and/or demonic possession, this movie might be for you.
6. Heavenly Creatures (Dir. Peter Jackson, 1994)
This movie is so pretty. It’s worth watching just for the cinematography. This movie is bizarre and terrifying, but there’s something so captivating and beautiful about the dangerously codependent relationship between two outcasts.
5. The Handmaiden (Dir. Park Chan-wook, 2016)
Yes, it pretty much lives up to the hype.
4. D.E.B.S. (Dir. Angela Robinson, 2004)
I don’t know if it’s the outfits or the soundtrack, but this movie could not have been made in any year but 2004. It’s pretty campy, but that’s part of the fun.
3. Blue is the Warmest Color (Dir. Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
The movie that made us all fall in love with Adele Exarchopoulos.
2. Carol (Dir. Todd Haynes, 2015)
One of the biggest Oscar snubs of all time. A winner in my heart.
1. But I’m a Cheerleader (Dir. Jamie Babbit, 1999)
I know, it’s a predictable an obvious choice for the number one spot but I can’t help it. The fact that this movie was initially rated NC-17 just highlights the homophobia in the MPAA, because it’s pretty innocent. This movie is so uplifting and positive and lovable- and it features RuPaul in a “Straight is Great” shirt.
Happy pride, everyone. Here’s hoping there are enough great queer women-focused films in the future that I can make a “top 50”.