The 6 LGBTQ Films You Must See!
No, It's Not Love, Simon!
#FACEPALM! Okay, so despite the massive amount of media attention and marketing, 20th Century Fox’s Love, Simon performed mediocrely at the box office. While we should all be applauding any major distribution company for pumping out an LGBTQ film; I cannot help but question whether the storyline of Love, Simon is what is going to halt a little bit of it’s success. Recently, we debated over moving forward from coming out stories, but perhaps that may be my cynical way of wanting society to stop seeing the gay community as victims whose only accomplishment in life is to come out of the closet to fall in love. I am sick and tired of watching the same story play out repeatedly. According to Box Office MoJo: Love, Simon made $11M in it’s opening weekend despite a $17M budget. While I do believe the film will break even and they’ve already gained a huge amount of gross revenue, I can only be excited for the next big LGBTQ film. Whether we want to or not, we have to support a major coming out film’s success so we can move forward to witnessing storylines we truly want to see. In the meantime, we can all go back and reminisce on some of our favorite LGBTQ films which don’t have a sappy coming out story; while we await the next, large LGBTQ production. Check out my six suggestions below:
The Kids Are Alright
The Kids Are Alright stars Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, and Josh Hutcherson, among a star filled cast. The plot focuses on a lesbian couple whose sperm donor eventually comes into their lives upon their daughter’s 18th birthday. Filled with good plot, drama, and two hunks gets this movie a win in my book. You are guaranteed to cry as this families lives are turned upside down.
While not necessarily a coming out story of any kind, Brokeback Mountain dedicates the story of two men who fell in love despite living their lives married to women and moving forward to have children. The tale of the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal’s characters are seemingly unmatched for any other LGBTQ film in cinema. I’m still dumbfounded this film didn’t take home the Oscar.
Paris Is Burning
Okay, so I’m well aware Paris Is Burning is a Documentary, but you cannot sit there and tell me this isn’t the greatest Documentary to date. Seriously, the characters – people rather – in the film literally jump out of the screen. They are life. Chronicling the lives of the Transgender and gay communities involved in Drag/Ball culture, we are showcased a unique group of individuals who only want to do better the next day. Empowering, hypnotizing, and ultimately emotionally damaging are the words I would use to describe this film. I’m still not over the fact one of the main participants was murdered before the filming could wrap.
While I may be a little suspect to the personal life of writer Dustin Lance Black, I cannot help but sit here and applaud him for creating one of the best LGBTQ films ever produced, Milk. Based on the true life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected into public office in California; Milk oversees the daring life the San Francisco Board Supervisor led until his tragic murder. We are able to witness some of the first out gay success in history. This film is brilliant.
The Broken Hearts Club
There is literally no better film to watch with a gaggle of your gays and some wine on a rainy Friday evening than The Broken Hearts Club. Not only are we treated to the early careers of Zach Braff, Jennifer Coolidge, Timothy Olyphant, and Justin Theroux, but we also get to see a young Andrew Keegan who is the definition of a 90s hottie. This comedy film packs the heart it intends by following a group of gay friends who live in one of the gayest cities in the States, West Hollywood, California. You can certainly relate to one of the characters and can find your friends within the rest of the cast.
A film surrounding the results of sexual abuse leads two young adults onto completely opposite paths. We explore the life of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character as he becomes a gay prostitute and is seemingly spiraling downwards rapidly. On the other hand, a young Brady Corbet faces his demons by believing he’s been abducted by aliens. With a supporting cast of Elisabeth Shue and Michelle Trachtenberg, there’s no way this Indie film wasn’t going to gain a massive cult following. I’m still scarred from seeing Gordon-Levitt’s character as he sells himself to someone who has visible legions all over their body. While this film may be swept under the rug from most, I’m giving you a hard side eye if you don’t watch this. Trust me, watch alone- you won’t want your friends to see you this mind blown.
What are some of your favorite LGBTQ films which don’t involve one of these damn coming out stories?!
This post is the opinion of this contributing writer to Instinct Magazine. Opinion pieces do not always reflect the stance of the magazine or the other contributing writers.