Top 10 Best Lesbian Films

Aug 18, 2000

Because filmmakers interested in producing movies about/for lesbians have historically had little funding or support from Hollywood, those films that have been produced are generally reflective of their low-budget, limited-distribution-potential status. In other words, they often consist of a lot of bad actors, poor film quality, and cheesy writing.

Despite this trend, however, there are a few movies that stand out from the rest, and I've listed my top choices here as a reference guide for those desperately trying to find a watchable lesbian film.

1.Desert Hearts A classic from 1986 and still one of the best lesbian films out there. It tells the story of an uptight, recently divorced college professor who falls for a lesbian casino worker in small-town 1950’s Nevada. Despite a few corny lines, this movie is otherwise one of the least-cheesiest and best-acted lesbian films out there.

2.Night is Falling A slow-paced but moving film about an uptight English professor who falls for a circus performer. A little too quirky at times for my taste, but definitely engrossing.

3.Everything Relative A group of 30-something friends from college reunite for a weekend - kind of like “The Big Chill” meets “Bar Girls.” Despite gross overacting by almost everyone involved and too many 70’s consciousness-raising speeches, this is an entertaining and amusing film.

4.Bound Gina Gershon as a butch lesbian who wins over ultra-femmy Jennifer Tilly and screws over the Mob. Too much violence, but great chemistry and a satisfying ending.

5.Boys on the Side “Heartwarming tearjerker” about the friendship between 3 women — a lesbian (Whoopi Goldberg), a young woman running from an abusive relationship (Drew Barrymore), and a woman with HIV (Mary Louise Parker) on a road trip out West. Many people don’t consider this film a lesbian one, but it's one of the few mainstream films with such a prominent lesbian character.

7.High Art Despite its unfortunate reinforcement of the lesbian-druggy connection, High Art is an understated and well-acted film about a corporate girl who falls for a famous but heroin-addicted photographer. On the darker side, but very well-done.

6.All Over Me A depressing but honest film about a teenage girl in love with her straight and alcoholic best friend. The isn’t a happy-ending type film, but optimistic in its own way and true to the characters. An excellent portrayal of adolescent angst, unrequited love, and the limitations of friendship.

8.The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love Campy depiction of a romantic relationship between two high school girls. Some poor acting by the supporting characters, but an upbeat movie that makes you smile.

9.If These Walls Could Talk 2 The sheer number of high-profile actresses (including Sharon Stone, Venessa Redgrave, and Chloe Sevigny) playing lesbians in this tale-of-three-couples makes “Walls” worth watching; it also turns out to be a surprisingly good movie. But its disappointing that all six lesbian characters are white – are they saying they couldn’t find even one actress of color?

10.Go Fish Overly preachy, low-budget, black-and-white film about an assorted group of lesbian friends. A blend of multiple amusing romantic plot lines, Go Fish is worth watching for the sheer volume of subjects it manages to address in one film.

Feel free to add your favorite lesbian films in the comments area, or tell me why you don't agree with my picks.

Note: I have yet to see "Fire" and "Aimee and Jaguar," but I suspect they also belong up here.

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