weekend watch

Daddy issues abound in these LGBTQ+ films to stream over Father’s Day weekend

Welcome to your weekend streaming recommendations, a.k.a. the Weekend Watch, a handy guide to the queerest film and TV content that’s just a click away!

Father’s Day is this Sunday, and while it’s not an easy day for everyone, especially queer folks—some don’t have dads, some don’t like their dads, some dads don’t deserve Father’s Day—it can also be a day to celebrate the father figures that help teach us hard lessons in life.

In that spirit, we’re offering up some streaming picks that delve into these complex, often-fraught relationships, from an adult sons whose father comes out late in life, to young queer kids who find fatherly guidance from unlikely mentors, to a widowed gay dad left to fight for custody of his only child.

Read on for LGBTQ+ Father’s Day streaming recommendations to watch this weekend.

Beginners

Directed by Mike Mills, this 2010 dramedy explores what happens when a widowed father comes out of the closet late in life. In Beginners, Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is taken aback when his retired museum curator dad, Hal (Christopher Plummer), not only comes out of the closet but decides to explore what it means to be gay—including finding a much younger lover (Goran Višnjić), going to gay clubs, taking up local gay political causes, and meeting new gay friends. Hal sadly develops advanced lung cancer, and when he dies he leaves his trusty dog to Oliver. The film bounces back and forth, before and after Hal’s death, as Oliver navigates his father’s new life and what he left behind.

Available to rent digitally on Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube, Fandango At Home, Microsoft Store, Spectrum, and Amazon.

Palmer

This 2021 film by Fisher Stevens stars Justin Timberlake as Eddie Palmer, an ex-convict who is released from prison after 12 years. After moving in with his grandmother Vivian (the fabulous June Squibb), he meets the effeminate young boy next door, Sam (Ryder Allen), and becomes a father figure to the boy when he comes to live with them following his mom’s (Juno Temple) drug arrest. Palmer slowly accepts Sam for who he is, and is challenged by those around him, as well as child services, who want to take Sam away. This movie is a little predictable, but has strong performances, particularly the charming young Allen as Sam.

Now streaming on Apple TV+

Moonlight

This highly acclaimed Barry Jenkins film from 2016 tells the story of Chiron (played by Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex R. Hibbert at different parts of his life), a queer Black boy who grows up against the backdrop of a drug-addled Miami at the height of the crack epidemic. His mother (Naomie Harris) is an addict, and he has a chance meeting with a drug dealer, Juan (the astounding Mahershala Ali), who takes him in and shows him some kindness. In one of the movie’s most powerful scenes, a confused, young Chiron is told by Juan that it’s okay to be gay. While Moonlight is harsh and often bleak, its themes of fatherhood and masculinity in the Black community are powerful.

Now streaming on Max and Kanopy.

In The Family

Written, directed by and starring Patrick Wang, In the Family tells the story of Joey (Wang), a man who learns that he doesn’t have custody of his son, Chip (Sebastian Banes) after the sudden death of his partner, Cody (Trevor St. John)—Cody inexplicably left custody to his sister (Kelly McAndrew). This film is long, at almost three hours in length, but beautifully written and acted and avoids cliches to tell a story about acceptance, fatherhood, and familial relationships both chosen and given. Be prepared to sob, though.

Now streaming on Dekkoo and Hoopla.

The Kicker…

How does Conan O’Brien’s popular Clueless Gamer—which sees O’Brien badly playing popular video games—have anything to do with dads? In this classic segment, O’Brien attempts to play the PlayStation 4 game God Of War with Bill Hader and the two begin to ruminate (sort of) on their relationships with their fathers. It’s weird, just watch.

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