No question that today's film industry is different than just a decade ago. Actors are now more open about their sexual orientation and sexual identity. Movie directors embrace LGBTQ+ storylines with more gay romance, bi relationships, and trans characters on screen. A gay man as a lead character is no longer a novelty. Yes, there is still a very long road ahead, but these best gay romance movies prove that the industry in Holywood is on the right track.
This gay romance movies list is by no means extensive. There are so many great cinematographic works out there that deserve your attention. We are merely highlighting some of the most notable love stories that feature gay characters.
Perhaps one of the best-known films showcasing a story of young gay men. Call Me By Your Name is one of the best gay romance movies. It is among the queer masterpieces worth your time. This gay movie is a tender love story that guarantees to bring up some memories of your first love. Call Me By Your Name is an experience. It features a breakthrough performance by Timothee Chalamet as a young man named Elio, who falls in a love affair at an Italian Villa with Oliver, played by Armie Hammer.
The story of two young gay men is based on André Aciman's novel of the same name. However, James Ivory's Oscar-winning script deviates quite from the book. Call Me By Your Name was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture as well as Best Supporting Actor.
Some have criticized Call Me By Your Name for glorifying predatory behavior. Among the many people highlighting that the moving picture features a relationship between a teenage boy and a young man who is an adult is the 'Queer Eye' star Karamo Brown who believes the movie's plotline is problematic.
This romantic drama, directed by Francis Lee, is one of Kate Winslet's best performances to date. Many critics say Winslet and her co-star Saoirse Ronan share breathtaking chemistry while portraying romantic relationships.
Ammonite is loosely based on the life of an acclaimed British paleontologist Mary Anning. This movie explores the love stories, and intense bond Anning shares with a geologist Charlotte Murchison played by Ronan.
There is some controversy associated with the fact that Anning was portrayed as part of a lesbian couple in Ammonite. Mary Anning was never openly gay. However, not a lot of people were at the time. The fossil hunter's distant relatives had opposing views of her depiction as a lesbian. That said, Lorrain Anning supported Lee's decision to highlight women's vital role in Anning's life even though there was no evidence they were her lovers.
This classic showcasing love stories between seemingly straight mates is sure to make you cry. Most critics agree it is one of Heath Ledger's best roles. Brokeback Mountain is certainly a beautiful yet tragic love story set in the Wyoming mountains. This is as good as good movies get. It has it all romance, suspense, and plenty of drama.
The moving picture won the Best Film and Director at the Golden Globes and Critic's Choice Awards. Ang Lee also took home the Oscar for Best Director. Brokeback Mountain is one of the most iconic films featuring a gay love story and that infamous line, "I wish I knew how to quit you."
This French historical drama features forbidden love between two women from very different walks of life features quite a few sex scenes. A young woman who is an aristocrat falls in love with a painter commissioned to paint her portrait. It features spectacular performances by Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel.
A Portrait of a Lady on Fire won critical acclaim as well as the Queer Palm and Best Screenplay at Cannes. It also got rave reviews all around the globe. A Portrait of a Lady on Fire is sure to enter pop culture as an undoubtedly a thought-provoking 18th-century drama that showcases a rich and powerful romance between two women.
Another masterpiece by Francis Lee. God's Own Country is one of the most underrated films in queer cinema. Set in Lee's native Yorkshire, it features a complex relationship between young farmer Johnny Saxby, played by Josh O'Connor, and a Romanian migrant worker flawlessly portrayed by Alec Secareanu. He comes to work on Saxby's family farm and changes everything. God's Own Country focus features personal struggles, intense love affairs, and strong emotions. It is a movie that will certainly leave you breathless!
This 2017 romantic drama is based on a novel by Naomi Alderman. Disobedience stars Hollywood heavyweights Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams as childhood friends. It tells the story of two women in the Orthodox Jewish community who share passionate feelings for one another.
Disobedience showcases the internal struggles of Ronit, who was shunned from the community before, and Esti, a childhood friend who rediscovers her feelings for her best friend, Ronit. This movie is a heart-wrenching story that explores love, marriage, religion, and more. The moving picture was nominated for GLAAD Media Awards and Dorian Awards for Best Picture.
Blue Is The Warmest Color certainly saw its share of controversy. The movie, which features performances by Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, had a very public falling-out between its stars and the director. Actors criticized graphic sex scenes and poor worming conditions.
The 2013 romance follows a French teen who discovers her sexuality upon meeting an aspiring painter named Emma. Blue Is The Warmest Color explores the relationship between women throughout her life. The movie is somewhat based on a graphic novel by the same name by Jul Maroh. Blue Is The Warmest Color unanimously won the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Festival despite the very public back-and-forth.
Maurice is a 1987 romantic drama that has an all-star cast. It features incredible performances by Hugh Grant and James Wilby. The movie, which debuted during the AIDS crisis in the United States, is based on a novel by E.M. Foster.
Maurice is a stunning period piece featuring a tale of gay love in Edwardian society in England. It explores tumultuous relationships between two men and the ultimate struggle to fit in society as a gay couple. A bit of a spoiler alert, Maurice has a lovely happy ending that sees the main character united with his life partner. The film received critical acclaim and an Oscar nod for eye-catching period costumes.
This 2006 romantic drama may be a gay indie-flick, but it sure isn't typical. Boy Culture pulls all the right heartstrings. The movie is based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Matthew Rettenmund.
Boy Culture is a story of a successful young escort and his entangled romances. From a gay club to a drunken house party to a gay bar and a hotel room, this story describes a series of relationship confessions of a man who only goes by the letter X. The main character is a young man trapped in a love triangle with two roommates and an older client. Boy Culture has won rave reviews, with Jeannette Catsoulis from The New York Times calling it "A slick and absorbing drama."
Carol is based on the 1952 novel by Patricia Highsmith called The Price of Salt. It is set in the 1950s. Carol explores a lesbian relationship between a young photographer who meets the lead character as Carol's marriage falls apart.
This 2015 romantic drama stars Hollywood heavyweights Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, and more. Carol is a riveting piece that showcases the duality of people and relationships. The movie won many accolades, with Mara taking home Best Actress at Cannes.
Happiest Season is one of the best romantic comedies of last year available on Hulu. This perfect holiday romantic comedy features a wonderful comic performance by Kristen Stewart. The lead character tries to pass as straight to appease her roommate's conservative family. Happiest Season highlights all the emotions queer people face when coming home for Christmas or trying to fit in someone else's perfect holiday picture. It explores what it means to seek your family's acceptance while being true to yourself. The movie also stars Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Victor Garber, Dan Levy, and Mary Steenburgen.
Even though Love, Simon doesn't look at it at first, it is one of the most revolutionary films out there. It is the first-ever Hollywood studio-release moving picture with a plotline that features a gay teenager. The movie showcases a coming-of-age and a coming-out story in a way that is relatable yet funny.
Love, Simon stars Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, and Jennifer Garner. The story focuses on a closeted gay teen who struggles to balance family, friends, and his newly discovered identity. The movie has won critical acclaim, dubbing it a "hugely charming crowd-pleaser" and a "funny, warm-hearted and life-affirming" Love, Simon even gave root to a spin-off series on Hulu streaming services titled Love, Victor.
Movie critics say that Moonlight is one of the best films of the 21st century, and we cannot agree more. Moonlight is an American coming-of-age drama written and directed by Barry Jenkins. It is based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. Moonlight showcases and explores all the difficulties queer people of color face, from sexuality to identity to abuse and discrimination.
Moonlight is a stunning film visually and emotionally. It stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali. In three unforgettable acts, this movie takes your breath away. It is no wonder the film won three Academy Awards, including the Best Picture.
This film is not a date-night movie per se but certainly is worth watching with your significant other. The Favourite features a great cast that brings this exquisite dark comedy to life. Olivia Colman stars as a fantastic woman Queen Anne, tied up in a love triangle with her advisor Sarah portrayed by Rachel Weisz, and Sarah's cousin Abby played by Emma Stone. This period black comedy does not claim to be historically accurate.
The Favourite won two Venice International Film Awards, British Independent Film Awards, and Golden Globes. Olivia Colman received an Academy Award for her role as Queen Anne.
This British romantic drama features rich dialogue and character development of two men accidentally falling for one another after the main character Russell heads to a gay club. Tom Cullen, who plays Russell, and Chris New, who stars as Glen, portray lovers who have a one-night stand right before one of them plans to leave the country. That sexual relationship ends up turning into something more.
The Weekend was written and directed by Andrew Haigh. The film won much critical acclaim after premiering at the SXSW festival in the United States. Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe said the Weekend is "One of the truest, most beautiful movies ever made about two strangers.
We cannot leave this one off the list. And Then We Danced is a Swedish-Georgian film that sparked a series of protests in Georgia. A country where homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia continue to be prevalent despite the many laws against it.
And Then We Danced showcases an inner struggle of a Georgian dancer by the name of Merab. His self-discovery, coming to terms with this identity, and acceptance of himself are all powerful elements of the film by Swedish director Levan Akin.
Merab learns more about himself through his desire for another dancer named Irakli, but this film is not about their love affair. Unfortunately, hopeless romantics won't see their relationship blossom as the romance is unrequited. Nonetheless, And Then We Danced is a great film worth watching with your loved one.
This Brazilian coming-of-age drama is the perfect film for a romantic night. It tells the story of Leonardo, a blind high school student searching for independence. The Way He Looks explores Leonardo's everyday life, his relationships, and how he sees the world before and after the arrival of a new student Gabriel. The film explores relationships between two boys and raises significant disability and teenage angst subjects.
The Way He Looks has won numerous awards, including two awards at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival and the FIPRESCI Prize for Best feature film in the Panorama section, and the Teddy Award for best LGBT-themed feature. It was also selected as the Brazilian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards but was not nominated for an Oscar.
These are just some of the few great gay romance movies out there. Try watching them on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, another streaming service, or even rent a DVD if that's your thing. Do your best to support LGBTQ+ culture and impact how queer and trans people are portrayed on screen. Ultimately, it is up to you, the viewer, to show Hollywood that queer voices and stories matter and need to be brought to the masses.
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