Whether you're a lesbian wanting a film to watch with that special lady in your life or straight and just looking for something a little different from the run of the mill romantic comedy, this list of films will probably have something to appeal to you. Some are a little more serious or more romantic than others, but they're all feel good romantic movies about, or featuring, women who love women.
Twenty-eight year old Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) is set up on dates with a string of unsuitable men by her hopeful mother. Browsing the lonely hearts advertisements in the newspaper she sees one which features a quote from a writer she admires but it's under "women seeking women". On impulse she answers it anyway and meets thirty-something art gallery director Helen (Heather Juergensen) who has given up on men and decided to try women. They begin a relationship and Jessica struggles with the idea of coming out to her Jewish family and accepting her own new identity as a lesbian. It's an entertaining and romantic film, and it introduced me to the term "sexy ugly".
The Itty Bitty Titty Committee (2007)
Anna (Melonie Diaz) has just failed to get in to college and lost her girlfriend, a fact which seems to be made worse by her sister's upcoming wedding. She works as a secretary at a clinic which performs plastic surgery. Leaving late one night she catches Sadie (Nicole Vicius), a sexy young woman, spraypainting Feminist slogans on the clinic's front window. Sadie is part of a radical feminist activist group called Clits in Action (CiA) and she draws Anna into her world. Sadie is in a long term relationship with Courtney, an older woman who provides for her. The other members of CiA warn Anna that Sadie is just using her and will not leave Courtney but she ignores them and the resulting train wreck of a relationship helps to split up the group. Anna hatches a plan to prove herself and bring the CiA, as well as Sadie and herself, back together.
The film pokes good natured fun at radical feminist activists to a raucous all girl punk soundtrack. While it is not a coming out story in the usual sense, since Anna is an out lesbian at the beginning of the movie and her family are refreshingly completely okay with it, her journey to becoming a feminist activist is a kind of coming out in itself. It's an entertaining film and the title is just fun to say.
Imagine Me and You (2005)
On the day of Rachel (Piper Perabo) and Hector's (Mathew Goode) wedding, Rachel meets and begins to fall for the florist who did her wedding flowers. Luce, the florist (played by Lena Headey, of The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Game of Thrones) is equally drawn to Rachel but considers her unnatainable because she is not only apparently straight but married. The two become friends and Rachel agonises over whether to betray Hector and follow her heart.
Unlike most of the films in this list, Imagine Me and You is a bigger budget production and a bit more mainstream. It's well cast and the performances are solid. Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire slayer) is also excellent as Rachel's dad.
When highschool cheerleader Megan (Natasha Lyonne) faces an intervention by her friends and family who are concerned that she might be a lesbian she agrees to attend a reparative therapy camp to "cure" her of her sexuality. There she meets Graham (Clea Duvall), who is comfortable with her sexuality but is being coerced into attending the camp or be disowned by her family. The two girls make a connection but if they act on it they risk being ostracised by their loved ones.
The film is satirical, with many quite stereotypical characters and is visually a bit over the top with the bright pink and blue uniforms the campers are forced to wear. The premise itself seems bizarre to me, but apparently camps like this (well, probably not really like this, but with the same stated purpose) really do exist. The two leads give great performances and it gave me a few giggles so overall it was worth watching.
Love and Other Catastrophes (1996)
This Aussie film set around a university has a great ensemble cast. Mia (Frances O'Connor) and Alice are flatmates who are looking for another housemate to share the rent. Mia's girlfriend, Danni (Radha Mitchell) wants to move in with her but Mia isn't sure if she is ready for that level of commitment. She continually avoids having a proper discussion about it with Danni while running around the campus frantically trying to arrange to transfer into a different department following a professor she admires. Angered by this Danni starts hanging around with another girl to make Mia jealous. Meanwhile Alice, who is struggling with her thesis on "Doris Day as Feminist Warrior" falls for Ari, described as the Warren Beaty of the university, a classics student and part-time gigolo. This second love triangle is completed by the shy medical student Michael, who admires Alice from afar. Things all come to a head at Mia and Alice's housewarming party.
It's a fun, quirky film which will probably particularly appeal to people who have been, or lived with, Arts students. It's laugh out loud funny, but has its tender moments too.