weekend watch

More than a sassy sidekick: Four movies that get the “gay best friend” trope right

Michael J. Willett and Sasha Pieterse in ‘G.B.F.’ Image: Vertical Entertainment

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!

The sidekick. The gay best friend. The sassy shoulder to lean on. All of these tropes have been done to death in movies, often to problematic effect. But every so often, a movie comes around that gets the gay sidekick so right that it elevates the entire thing. These picks avoid stereotypes, give their queer characters an authentic voice, and are all-around fun to watch.

Read on for films with great gay sidekicks to stream this weekend.

My Best Friend’s Wedding

P. J. Hogan’s 1997 romantic comedy stars Julia Roberts as food critic Jules, who sets out to stop her best friend and former lover, Michael (the always dreamy Dermot Mulroney), from marrying Kimmy (Cameron Diaz) and choose her instead. As Jules schemes and gaslights her way through the wedding weekend, her gay best friend, the dashing George (out actor Rupert Everett) shows up as her supposed boyfriend to make Michael jealous, while also gently reminding her what she’s doing is wrong. George, who stops the show multiple times, including leading the cast in a wild musical number of “Say A Little Prayer,” also delivers the film’s most famous line: “Maybe there won’t be marriage. Maybe there won’t be sex. But by god, there will be dancing.”

Now streaming on Starz and DirecTV.

Easy A

In this 2010 teen comedy by Will Gluck, the gay best friend is the catalyst for the whole plot. When Olive (Emma Stone) is accused by a conservative classmate (Amanda Bynes) of being promiscuous, her gay friend, Brandon (Dan Byrd), begs her to pretend she had sex with him so he’ll stop being mercilessly bullied. The lies spiral, and Olive soon finds herself inundated with requests by guys to “pretend” to sleep with them for their reputations. The film also acknowledges Brandon’s trauma, and doesn’t play him as a punchline. In one powerful line, he tells Olive: “It’s like I’m being suffocated, and sure we can sit and fantasize all we want about how things are going to be different one day, but this is today and it sucks… So please just help me. I can’t take another day of this, I don’t know what I’ll do.” While Olive’s lies spiral, Brandon decides to come out and runs away from home and has a happy ending with a hottie new boyfriend.

Now streaming on Fubo and DirecTV.

Billy Elliot

Stephen Daldry’s 2000 dance drama tells the story of Billy (Jamie Bell), a pre-teen boy who lives in Northern England during the 1984-1985 miners’ strike and discovers a passion and talent for ballet. As he secretly trains with local instructor Sandra (the fabulous Dame Julie Walters), he learns his best friend, Michael (Stuart Wells), is gay. Despite his tough upbringing, Billy supports Michael, who remains his friend through adulthood and is seen at the end of the film watching Billy perform professionally. This lovely, heartwarming film will warm even the coldest British weather. 

Available to rent on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store and Redbox.


This 2013 comedy by Darren Stein turns the trope of the “gay best friend” completely on its head. Tanner Daniels and Brent Van Camp (out actors Michael J. Willett and Paul Iacono, respectively) are two best friends who are only out to each other and their very small, tight-knit friend group. Brent realizes that coming out could make him popular, and a series of hijinks—including a misguided Gay-Straight Alliance going on a witch hunt to find an actual gay kid—leads to both Tanner and Brent being outed and becoming the hottest commodities in the school’s three cliques, run by Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, and Xosha Roquemore. This wacky comedy is also sexy, sweet, and has a poignant message.

Now streaming on Peacock, YouTube, Hoopla, Vudu, Tubi, realeyz, Pluto, Plex and Flix Fling..

The Kicker

Why should straights use us as sidekicks? Bowen Yang befriends the ultimate straight best friend in NFL hottie (and Taylor Swift’s new boo?) Travis Kelce in this hilarious Saturday Night Live sketch.

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