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More Queer Romance Films

8 min read

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‘Tis the month of love & romance – it’s Valentine’s Day! Time to get bombarded with pink & red hearts, Cupid’s arrows, and outbursts of love. While not everyone is ready to enjoy this commercial holiday, it can be hard to ignore the allure of romcoms or romantic films. (For those of you looking for something different, unfortunately this post isn’t for you). If you’re after some great queer romcoms, you can check out this post from 2020. Or if you’re looking for pure romance films, then check out last year’s “5 Queer Romance Films”.

As I remarked last year, it was VERY difficult to pick only five queer romance films! So, unbeknownst to all of you – I actually created two lists of romance films. (Essentially creating a Top 10 Queer Romance Films list). So this month’s post was rather easy to plan out, as it was prepared last year. And each film this month are worthy, as they are among the higher scoring queer romance films on IMDb!

Now, all five of these queer romance films are clearly romance films. Although some are also dramas, a few are comedies, and some are even both. This is actually a common overlap, for it’s hard to show that romantic perfect ending on screen without a bit of drama first. But there are a few other things that make this month’s post a bit unique. ALL of these queer romance films are foreign, although only three require English-speaking viewers to deal with subtitles. There is also a nice blend of older classic queer films with some new, though equally important films. And one of these is perhaps my favorite queer film of all time!

So grab your special someone, pick one of these films and enjoy a romantic evening together. Or if you’re single like me, then watch a film and keep the hope alive that your sweetheart is still out there waiting to meet you. And don’t forget to let me know which one of these five queer romance films are your favorite!

[Note: Not all of these films have full reviews yet – but they’re added to the quickly growing list of films I plan to tackle soon!]

5 More Queer Romance Films

Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo) is a blind teenager dealing with an overprotective mother while trying to live a more independent life. To the disappointment of his best friend, Giovana (Tess Amorim), he plans to go on an exchange program abroad. When Gabriel (Fabio Audi), a new student in town, arrives at their classroom, new feelings blossom in Leonardo making him question his plans.

“The Way He Looks” is perhaps one of the most charming coming of age films I have seen in a while. Adapted from a successful short “I Don’t Want To Go Back Alone”, Writer/Director has created a truly captivating film that moves at just the right pace to properly show the ups and downs of Leonardo’s unique life. I absolutely love that Leonardo is blind, adding a unique aspect that few films address, especially queer films. And there is something truly magical about films from South America. While both leads do an incredible job in their roles, it’s the incredible acting of as a blind teenager boy that is both amazingly convincing yet still quite relatable. If you don’t mind subtitles and are able to find this queer romance film, I strongly encourage you to watch “The Way He Looks” as it’s simply wonderful!

Watch “The Way He Looks” on Prime Video.

Jamie (Glen Berry) is a shy teenager, often bullied at school. His neighbour Ste (Scott Neal) has a rough time at home, being beaten by his father and brother. This issues bring them together and they find that what they feel for each other is more than friendship.

To put it simply: “Beautiful Thing” is a beautiful queer film! Gay films in the 90’s were in an era of change, moving away from the dying from AIDS trope to showing real lives of queer men and woman. Coming of age films were a major storyline in mainstream films, so it was only natural that coming of age and by proxy, coming out films, started popping up in queer storylines as well. Actually based on a groundbreaking play, Director worked alongside playwright to create a brilliant adaptation that is moving and heartfelt on many levels. Almost every gay man growing up in the era can relate to either Jamie or Ste, and while the ending is a bit too perfect for true realism, this queer film does an excellent job to bring that era and all the difficulties to life.

Watch “Beautiful Thing” on Prime Video.

In a seedy corner of London, Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a young Pakistani, is given a run-down laundromat by his uncle (Saeed Jaffrey), who hopes to turn it into a successful business. Soon after, Omar is attacked by a group of racist punks, but defuses the situation when he realizes their leader is his former lover, Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis). The men resume their relationship and rehabilitate the laundromat together, but various social forces threaten to compromise their success.

When “My Beautiful Laundrette” originally aired on Channel Four in Britain, it garnered enough acclaim that lead to a theatrical release! But what makes this queer film  so incredible? Is it the witty and brilliant script by that thrusts a closeted homosexual romance between a Pakistani immigrant and a neo-nazi white punk amid the larger picture of Thatcher’s Britain of the 80’s where immigrants were both thriving while being repressed? Or perhaps it’s the incredible acting by a cast who’s names were relatively unknown at the time but are major stars today? Or finally is it because of the raw – yet honest, and sometime a tad surreal, directing style of that launched his name into international success? Frankly it’s all of that – and more! In short, “My Beautiful Laundrette” if a gem of a queer film from an era where queer romances generally did not end happily. If you haven’t seen this beautiful film, you simply MUST add it to your watch list!

Watch “My Beautiful Laundrette” on Amazon, Prime Video, and HBO Max.

Dutiful record shop clerk Noam (Ohad Knoller) shares a Tel Aviv apartment with fellow gay Yali (Alon Friedman), a more flamboyant restaurateur, and straight would-be fashion designer Lulu (Daniella Wircer). During a compulsory military tour manning occupied West Bank checkpoints, Noam falls in love with a handsome Palestinian, Ashraf (Yousef ‘Joe’ Sweid), a closeted gay and jihad extremist. Ashraf is smuggled into Tel Aviv, pretending to be Jewish, to be waiter at Yali’s restaurant.

“The Bubble” is perhaps one of my favourite queer films, yet sadly it’s not even on most folk’s radar! Also known by it’s original Hebrew title, ” Ha-Buah”, it is a beautiful yet hauntingly tragic gay romance that evokes the heart of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet”. Set amid the Israel/Palestinian divide, Director/Writer along with co-writer show that love truly has no bounds and can cross political and religious borders. It’s a story that perhaps echoes even more today as the world continues to divide itself by continuing to allow homophobia and anti-cross-cultural romances hatred to survive. With brilliant acting all around, and an incredible soundtrack, “The Bubble” is a queer romance film that will tug at your heartstrings. Do yourself a favor and watch this film today!

Watch “The Bubble” on Prime Video.

Adèle’s (Adèle Exarchopoulos) life is changed when she meets Emma (Léa Seydoux), a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself, finds herself.

“La vie d’Adèle”, better known by it’s English title, “Blue Is The Warmest Colour” (which is also the title of the graphic novel the film is based from), is quite an interesting film! Winning the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, this lesbian film evocatively shows Adèle’s trials and tribulations with love and romance in a utterly realistic manner. However while the film is simply captivating at times, often due to the real and almost raw emotions director Abdellatif Kechiche draws out of our leading actresses, the film has a few flaws. I can overlook some of these due to the realism created, but the worst offender is that it’s three hours long! There is a certain style of filmmaking that requires a slow paced film to adequately tell the story, and one that doesn’t often sit well with American audiences. Even I was glad when it was over! However, if you’re looking for an award-winning lesbian film and don’t mind a marathon to watch it, “Blue Is The Warmest Colour is certainly a great choice to watch.

Watch “Blue Is The Warmest” on Prime Video.

So what did you think – do you agree with these five MORE Queer Romance Films? Have you seen all of them yet? If so, let me know which one was your favourite. And if you haven’t watched them all yet, I highly encourage you to add these Queer Romance Films to your watch list ASAP!

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