Love stories for the 21st century…
Even if Valentine’s Day barely makes it onto your radar, everyone enjoys a good, old fashioned romantic comedy once in awhile. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy makes some grand gesture to get girl back, they live happily ever after. They all have a pretty standard formula, and that can get a little… predictable. Where are all the gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, transgender and everything in between love stories? They’re out there too, it just might take a little more digging than scrolling through the “trending” section on Netflix to find them. Here are a few of the best LGBT-friendly romantic comedies on the market.
But I’m a Cheerleader
Starring Natasha Lyonne, Clea Duval, and a rare appearance by Rupaul out of drag, But I’m a Cheerleader is a satirical comedy about an “inpatient reparative therapy camp” for homosexuals called True Directions. Lyonne’s character Megan is sent there after her friends and family hold an intervention to talk about her obvious lesbian tendencies. At camp, Megan meets a number of gay men and women who are also there to be “cured”.The camp is a smorgasbord of gender stereotypes that are meant to teach Megan how to be “normal”, aka straight, but she ends up learning to embrace her sexuality instead—and falls in love in the process.
Another Gay Movie
This is a romantic comedy in the same loose sense that American Pie or Not Another Teen Movie is a romantic comedy. Meant to be a parody of teen comedies that focus on each character’s quest to lose their virginity, Another Gay Movie follows four gay friends through each awkward, hormone-fuelled encounter the summer after they graduate from high school. One friend is secretly in love with another which is where the “romantic” part comes in, but the majority of the plot revolves around the embarrassing situations sexual inexperienced people can find themselves in.
When college friends Jenn and Matt decide to make good on a pact they made to have a baby together if they found themselves single in their 30s, they want to do it naturally. The only thing is that Jenn is straight and Matt is gay. They start having awkward sex with each other while still dating other people and eventually Jenn gets pregnant—and it’s not clear if the father is Matt or the guy she recently slept with (who happens to already have a girlfriend). The love story is really between two best friends who decide to raise a child together despite how complicated it can be at times.
In Chasing Amy, Holden (Ben Affleck) and Banky (Jason Lee) play comic book artists and friends who meet a fellow artist named Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams). Holden begins to have feelings for Alyssa despite the fact that she is a lesbian. After developing a deep friendship, Holden confesses his feelings, and Alyssa returns them. Their rocky relationship causes a rift between Holden and Banky and eventually ends because of Alyssa’s past sexual experiences which Holden can’t seem to accept. The film focuses on the fluidity of sexuality and the impact love can have on an otherwise solid friendship.
Kissing Jessica Stein
Jessica Stein (Jennifer Westfeldt) has been on a string of terrible blind dates with men when she decides to answer a personal ad of a bisexual art gallerist named Helen who is looking for a lesbian relationship. As they get to know each other, Jessica realizes Helen is everything she was looking for in a man, but she’s still nervous about same-sex intimacy. Jessica is also reluctant to tell her friends and family about being in a relationship with a woman which Helen doesn’t appreciate. In the long run, Jessica has to decide if her feelings for Helen are romantic or more similar to a close friendship.
I Love You Phillip Morris
A black comedy based on the real-life story of con artist Steven Ray Russell (played by Jim Carrey), I Love You Philip Morris shows Russell’s journey from an unfulfilled man married to a woman to a convicted con artist serving a prison sentence. In prison, Steven meets Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) and the two fall in love. When Steven is released from prison, he goes back and poses as a lawyer to break Phillip out of jail. Together, they embezzle money and live a lavish lifestyle before being arrested and sent back to jail. Their story is romantic in that sweet but self destructive, can’t-live-with-each-other kind of way that doesn’t tend to turn out too well in real life.
Love stories for the 21st century…