“I support same sex marriage only if both chicks are really hot.” – Bumper sticker
The topic of this category may conjure up images of some sleazy, zero budget film with porn actresses badly overacting to cheesy music. The fact is, there is just as much variety in this genre of movies as there is in traditional “boy meets girl” films.
There are romantic comedies (Kissing Jessica Stein), regular comedies (It’s in the Water), pretending to be straight comedies (Better Than Chocolate), pretending to be gay comedies (Out at the Wedding), romance (Desert Hearts, Imagine Me & You, High Art), noir/thriller (Bound), young love (Show Me Love), passion (Room in Rome), forbidden love (Loving Annabelle), drama (When Night is Falling), action spoofs (D.E.B.S), biographies (Gia), coming of age (Foxfire, Lost and Delirious), Oscar winning performances (Monster, Boys Don’t Cry), culture clash (I Can’t Think Straight, Nina’s Heavenly Delights), sports movies (Personal Best), farce (The Sex Monster), science fiction (The Baby Formula), costume dramas (Tipping the Velvet), love triangles (Gray Matters), family dramas (Saving Face), finding your way in life (The Gymnast), foreign (Water Lilies), independent (Making Maya), classic “softcore” – tame by today’s standards (1968’s Therese & Isabelle), and period dramas (The World Unseen).
In addition, the stereotype of the kind of man who watches them is some loner who’s very glad the remote control can be operated with one hand. To come clean about myself…wait, let me rephrase that – to speak honestly about myself, do I sometimes find a sex scene between two women to be a turn on? Yes. Of course, I can say the exact same thing about sex scenes between men and women. Some are good (1992’s The Lover), some are bad (I Heart Huckabees), and most are just there.
The thing is, the majority of the films I named above have nothing more explicit in them than what could be shown on broadcast TV. And for those who are thinking, “You can say what you want, but that’s an awful lot of ‘lesbian movies’ you’ve seen Chip” – there are 31 films listed above. Let’s say I’ve seen another 19 that I don’t remember just to make a total (50) that’s easy to work with. I’ve seen somewhere north of 5,000 films, so the number of movies with a lesbian storyline that I’ve watched is less than 1% of the total.
Finally, the other attitude I read a lot is that these films are just male fantasies because they have women in them that are too beautiful to be believable as lesbians. This always makes me laugh. It reveals so much about the people making these statements. First, it shows that they assume that lesbians are not supposed to be attractive, perhaps because if they don’t have a man to try to impress then why bother getting all dolled up. Second, it shows that they are clueless about their own hypocrisy. Think of any boy meets girl movie you’ve seen (other than Harold and Maude). I’ll bet the boy and girl were damn good looking. The fact is, pretty much every person who is in romantic storylines in movies is great looking whether they are male or female, gay or straight. Third, who says only males want to see beautiful women? Lesbians aren’t attracted to them, too?
I will review a subset of the films I mentioned above. I was listing that many just to illustrate the variety of them that exists. As I post the reviews, I will come back and post the links to them here: