Isn't It Romantic?

Ain’t love grand? Valentine’s Day movies for the queer of heart

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Call Me By Your Name
Bowing to social distancing, and in celebration of Valentine’s Day (or Single’s Awareness Day for a good chunk of us), we’ve assembled here a list of some of our favorite LGBTQ romances suitable for snuggling…with or without company. From heartwarming to hot and heavy, these flicks make us fall in love with falling in love (or at least in lust). Grab the remote, pour a big glass of wine, and get ready for some good ole’ gay loving. [/tps_header]

Making Love

Hollywood itself came out with this tender 1982 drama. Harry Hamlin plays an out writer that falls for a closeted, married man, played by Michael Ontkean. Director Arthur Hiller, working from a script by out-screenwriter Barry Sandler, handles the coming out scenes with surprising thoughtfulness. Scenes of the two men at their hunkiest add a bonus. Streams on YouTube.

Moonlight

Ok, so we can’t claim with certainty that the longtime romance of Chiron and Kevin, the two lifelong friends in Moonlight, actually culminates in a full-on coupling or marriage. Then again, Moonlight really isn’t about that. Rather, the film is about the undying bond between two men. And the beach kiss is just totally adorable. Streams on NetflixAmazon, YouTube, iTunes & VUDU.

Brokeback Mountain

No list of great LGBTQ romances would be complete without Brokeback Mountain, the seminal 2005 film that changed cinema forever. Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger star as Jack and Enis, respectively. While working as ranch hands, the pair find develop an intense romance that spans years…at a time when homosexuality remained a forbidden subject. Featuring megawatt leading performances–as well as terrific work by supporting actresses Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams–it’s about as tender and loving as moviemaking gets. Streams on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube and VUDU.

Supernova

This quiet tale of an aging gay couple features terrific work from Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, and signals an emerging subgenre within queer cinema. In Supernova, Tucci plays Tusker, an aging writer in the early stages of dementia. Firth plays his husband Sam, a concert pianist. As the two embark on a drive across the UK countryside, Tusker’s condition begins to deteriorate, and foreshadows dark days ahead. Supernova takes issues that face all aging couples and reframes them within a same-sex context. Quite simply: how can one live without his life partner? Streams on VOD. 

A Secret Love

This Ryan Murphy-produced documentary recalls the almost 70-year relationship between two women, Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel. As the health of both women begins to deteriorate, the two begin to look for an assisted living facility together…and face a question that has long dogged their relationship: should they actually get married? Sweet, sad and inspiring the film acts as both a love letter to love itself, and an aspirational statement. We should all be so lucky to find someone so special! Streams on Netflix.

Far From Heaven

Queer director Todd Haynes made this film in the style of a 1950s melodrama about a husband (Dennis Quaid) having an affair with a man while his wife (Julianne Moore) who falls in love with their African-American gardener. The movie shatters the nostalgia for the 1950s as a sort of American family values paradise and reminds us all that heaven is where we make it now. Streams on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes & VUDU

The Birdcage

We have to wonder how many viewers back in 1996—or for that matter, even today—realized that The Birdcage, at its core, is a film about a bickering married couple. As Albert, the flamboyant drag queen, and Armand, the snarky cheapskate, Nathan Lane and Robin Williams still have us in stitches. (Gene Hackman as the homophobic senator is just as funny.) When the two sit together on a park bench and discuss palimony, or sniffle at the wedding of their son, we can’t help but sigh. Prickly and difficult as they are, theirs is a relationship of true love. Streams on Amazon, Showtime, YouTube, iTunes & VUDU.

Bound

Bound, as directed by the Wachowski Sisters, remains one of the great underrated thrillers of the past 25 years, and one of the most overlooked queer romances. A noirish story of betrayal, lust, and scheming, the sparks between Corky (Gina Gershon) and Violet (Jennifer Tilly) fly, creating one of the sexiest queer relationships to ever hit the big screen. It brings us massive pleasure to see the two pull off their mob-robbing scheme. It brings us still more to see the two drive off into the sunset together. Streams on Amazon, HBO Max, YouTube, iTunes & VUDU.

Cousins

The Brazilian comedy Cousins follows a young closeted pianist named Lucas (Paulo Sousa) has his life turned upside down when his distant cousin Mario (Cazado) arrives to spend a week at the house while their aunt is on a religious retreat. Having just gotten out of jail, Mario has a very different outlook on life from Lucas, and the tension grows. Cousins isn’t a cinematic milestone, but it is so deliberately silly, so sweet by design that it becomes impossible to resist. Like a queerified Hallmark movieCousins enchants the viewer with a super-perfect storybook romance—and a surprisingly sensual one at that. It’s wonderful to see a movie this sweet also treat its sex scenes—which include some very graphic nudity—with a true to life eroticism; the kind of electricity that comes from two people madly in love. Straight people get preposterous rom-coms all the time. Its high time the rest of us got one of our own. Streams on Dekkoo.

Call Me By Your Name

The movie that made us all crave apricots (or peaches, as the case may be) won our hearts not with sexual energy (which it has in abundance) but with heart-aching desire that so many of us know all too well. Call Me By Your Name benefits from a spellbinding performance by Timothee Chalamet who channels teenage angst just as well as intellectual brooding. By the time Chalamet’s Elio finally connects with Armie Hammer’s Oliver, the movie feels like it could explode, not with sexual tension, but with pure love and passion. Rarely are movies this sexy or this bittersweet. Streams on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes & VUDU.

God’s Own Country

This romance about a British shepherd falling in love with a Romanian immigrant won raves for its Brokeback Mountain parallels, and for its comments on current xenophobia. It also features two very handsome leads, and like Brokeback, will probably leave you reaching for the Kleenex. Streams on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Tubi & VUDU.

Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm6vPpLaQj8 We’d be remiss not to include writer/director Patrik-Ian Polk’s grand finale (for the time being, anyway) of his groundbreaking TV series. Even better–this movie actually includes a gay wedding, as the series protagonist Noah (Darryl Stephens) finally weds his longtime boyfriend Wade (Jensen Atwood). Zany hijinks and slapstick ensue, though not without a hearty dose of introspection and meditation on relationships. Jumping the Broom also doesn’t get enough credit for confronting a crossroads of the queer community: With marriage equality in hand, what does our future look like? As Noah so questions, so do we, and with plenty of laughs to lighten the mood. Streams on YouTube.

The Broken Hearts Club

Finally, since not everyone will get to celebrate finding romance this Valentine’s Day, we offer one of our favorite love stories: The Broken Hearts Club. Writer/director Greg Berlanti‘s comedy about life in Los Angeles, chosen family and surviving dating still ranks as one of the best stories of true love out there: the kind between friends.

Streams on Amazon, PlutoTV, YouTube, iTunes & VUDU.

Note: This article contains material previously published on Queerty.

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