Heterosexual couples planning a romantic movie night with their partner have hundreds of swoon-worthy romantic films to pick from, but LGBT couples have a much more limited selection of choices, and the number of LGBT love stories that ends happily is even smaller. Many of the most acclaimed LGBT films like Brokeback Mountain, Philadelphia, and Boys Don’t Cry are tragedies – great choices if you feel like a good cry, but not so great for a romantic date. Luckily, there’s a small but growing selection of high quality LGBT love stories with happy endings.
The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho) (2014)
The Way He Looks is a sweet and uplifting Brazilian film about a romance between a blind teenager and the new boy at his school.
Saving Face (2004)
Saving Face combines a touching lesbian romance between a Chinese-American surgeon and a dancer with an enjoyable and often humorous family drama about love and culture clash.
Big Eden (2000)
Big Eden is a charming film about a successful New York artist who returns to his small Montana hometown and finds himself torn between his childhood crush and a shy, sweet bartender has the tone (and tropes) of a classic 90’s romcom, only gay.
But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)
A teenage girl being sent to conversion therapy camp by her family when they suspect her of being lesbian probably doesn’t sound like the premise of a romantic film with a happy ending, but this lesbian classic pulls it off with the help of its satirical tone and bubbly performances.
Boys (Jongens) (2014)
Like The Way He Looks, the Dutch film Boys is a sweet teen romance between a pair of local high school track stars that really captures the agony and ecstasy of first love.
Subtle, intimate, and beautifully acted, Carol is a critically acclaimed adaptation of the classic lesbian novel The Price of Salt and features a romance between a young shopgirl and an older woman going through a difficult divorce in 1960s New York City.
Shelter is a sweet LGBT coming-of-age story about an aspiring artist who has put off his dreams in order to help care for his disabled father, irresponsible sister, and young nephew, but finds the courage to pursue them with the help of his best friend’s brother. The emotional honesty of the script and excellent performances by the main cast make this film a step above the ordinary.
Bound was the feature film debut of Lana and Lilly Wachowski. It’s a noirish mafia thriller, in which a woman conspires with her lesbian lover to escape her cruel mob boss boyfriend, and steal a couple million dollars on the way. This stylish and violent film also contains some of the best lesbian sex scenes in a mainstream movie.
Were the World Mine (2008)
In this fantasy film full of spectacle and song, an unhappy and bullied gay teen stumbles on the recipe for a love potion and uses it to make his homophobic classmates and neighbors turn gay.
Show Me Love (Fucking Åmål) (1998)
Show Me Love is a lovely and honest portrayal of first love in a small Swedish town between a popular girl and an outcast.
What are your favorite romantic LGBT movies with happy endings?
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