Top 10 Lesbian Movies of All Time
By, Meredith Jenkins
There are many great lesbian movies that have graced the landscape of film over the years. From campy, laughable situations to dramatic, passionate plots, lesbian films have a lot to offer their viewers: good writing, solid acting, and even some smokin’ hot sex scenes! Does our Top 10 List match yours? What are your Top 10 lesbian films of all time? Let us know your favorites on Facebook (facebook.com/uniteva), Twitter (@UniteVamag) and Instagram (@UniteVamag)!
10. If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000)
This movie is the sequel to If These Walls Could Talk, which followed three storylines that all took place in the same house during different eras. Unlike the first film, which was about abortion, the sequel follows three stories about lesbians who live in separate eras: 1961, 1972 and 2000. The film deals with issues like hospital visitation, inheritance, conflicts between feminism and lesbianism, butch/femme dynamics and pregnancy. There are even a few steamy scenes, to boot! The movie ends with the couple in 2000, played by Sharon Stone & Ellen DeGeneres, dancing around their bathroom to “Everlasting Love.” It’s so corny that it’s adorable.
9. Saving Face (2005)
This movie, which you’ve probably never heard of, is the unsung heroine of lesbian films. It is the first film about an Asian-American lesbian couple and deals with the ups and downs of Chinese-American family life, particularly the tensions between traditional cultural values and untraditional relationships. Wil, a doctor, falls in love with a dancer, Vivian Shing. This endearing film beautifully portrays the dynamic relationship between shy Will and passionate Vivian while simultaneously exploring the challenges Chinese-Americans face when attempting to live authentic lives within the confines of their traditional cultural norms.
8. The Killing of Sister George (1968)
Made just after the decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK (1967), this is one of the greatest lesbian crossover films ever made and remains a cult classic to this day. The film dives deep into the mother of all lesbian love triangles: George, the aggressive, cigar-chomping, butch, girl-chasing dyke; Childie, the neurotic femme; and, Coral Brown, a predatory, sophisticated middle-class lesbian. Some scenes were shot in an actual London lesbian bar called The Gateways Club, which gave audiences a rare glimpse of London lesbian culture in the 60s. The film was rated X for an explicit sex scene. For lesbian film enthusiasts, this grotesquely wonderful watershed flick is a must watch as many consider all lesbian films made after this one “P.G.” (post-George).
7. Monster (2003)
This film is based on the true story of Aileen Wuornos, one of America’s first female serial killers. Aileen, is a prostitute who sleeps with men for money and later kills them. She later falls in love with another woman, Tyria Moore (named Selby in the movie). Once Aileen was arrested for murder, Selby realized the monster that lurked within her girlfriend and refused to defend her during the trial. Aileen was convicted of multiple murder charges, sentenced to death and died via lethal injection in October of 2002. This gritty film depicts the depths to which people can descend and the ultimate price of justice.
6. Lost and Delirious (2001)
Set in a posh, private boarding school, this is a beautiful coming of age story. The film begins with three adolescent girls who deal with daily academic life, homesickness and girlish silliness. The plot quickly evolves into the realm of sexual exploration, lover’s intrigue and the search for identities. While the setting may not be relatable to all of us, the plot is something that every lesbian can relate to in some form or another.
5. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
While this film is NOT a lesbian film (there aren’t even any lesbians in it!), it has a lesbian director and a queer sensibility. Released long before LGBT rights were mainstream, this Academy Award-winning movie tells the true story of Teena, a young Nebraska trans man who was raped and murdered after it was discovered that he was born anatomically female. Hillary Swank captures Teena’s all-American boy charm and makes it clear that being transgender and being gay are not the same thing. This film brought the idea of transgenderism into the mainstream in a sympathetic, thought-provoking way and exposed the fact that gender is more than the sum of one’s parts.
4. Bound (1996)
In this hot movie, Violet is dating a shady man named Caesar. Corky, a convicted female criminal-turned-plumber, arrives to make needed repairs in Violet’s apartment. Instead of fixing the pipes, Corky falls for Violet and the duo steals millions of dollars from the mob and blames the heist on Caesar. The relationship between Violet and Corky is passionate, suspenseful and lustful. A must see!
3. D.E.B.S. (2004)
This film is both a tribute to and a fun parody of Charlie’s Angels. Amy, Max, Janet and Dominique have an uncanny ability to lie, cheat and fight. The U.S. government recruits them for their talents and has them join an underground academy of secret agents known as D.E.B.S. These lipstick-toting hotties are out to capture the world’s deadliest criminal mastermind, Lucy Diamond. All hell breaks loose when when D.E.B.S. leader, Amy, falls for the villainous vixen, Lucy. Will our girls be able to save the world despite the lesbian love affair between the lead heroine and villain? Watch to find out!
2. Gia (1998)
Angelina Jolie plays America’s first supermodel, Gia Carangi. Gia’s agent, Wihelmina Cooper, takes Gia under her wing and straight to the top of a successful modeling career. After Wihelmina dies, Gia falls into drugs and begins a love affair with her makeup artist, Linda. Although this movie is heartbreaking at times, it candidly showcases the tenuous nature of fame and the harrowing price of addiction.
1. But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)
This is the campiest lesbian movie on our list. In this fun flick, a conservative family is convinced that their cheerleading daughter, Megan, is a lesbian, even though she’s dating a hunky high school football player. Megan is sent to a reform school called “True Directions” where she undergoes treatment to ward off her evil lesbian feelings. The treatment backfires and Megan falls in love with another woman! While she doesn’t graduate from the reform school, Megan does graduate into a love she knows is true!