Movies and books with same-gender romance?
September 1, 2015 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Looking for RomCom or Drama movie/book recommendations where the main characters are gay or bi.

I'd love to read and watch stories where the couple just happens to be the same gender. Think Grease, but Danny wants Sam instead of Sandra. More points if the characters in the story don't bat much eyelashes at the fact that they're the same gender.
posted by INFJ to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Well, the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" comes to mind- sexuality is definitely more overt than in the movie.
posted by mibo at 12:36 PM on September 1, 2015

The Kids are Alright
posted by crocomancer at 12:39 PM on September 1, 2015

Torch Song Trilogy. Note: It will make you sob uncontrollably.

Velvet Goldmine is also wonderful, in a totally different way.
posted by divined by radio at 12:49 PM on September 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Show Me Love
Happy Together
Tropical Malady
posted by Chenko at 12:54 PM on September 1, 2015

Would you be willing to go with some swashbuckling science fiction? Nicola Griffith's novel Ammonite is a rewriting of the "adventures on exotic planet, shady corporation in the background, mystery, derring-do by very fit ultra-competent character" kind of story with all women characters and a bunch of sweet and not-so-sweet relationship plots.

Lethe Press is nothing but sort of mass-markety books but with the gay.

I surmise that you're going to find more YA and genre with "being gay is completely normal and not at all a plot point" books than other books, just because being gay hasn't been and isn't now completely "normal", and IME, most books set in our world have characters who at least sometimes reflect on their sexuality and what it has meant for them. It's a lot easier to write a plausible story where On Planet Gay, Gender Doesn't Matter than it is to write that story set on Earth.

Basically, to me as a queer person, it is difficult for me to imagine a book set in our world where the characters aren't conscious of themselves as queer people and don't think about it as an aspect of their relationships.

I enjoyed the Henry Rios mysteries very much indeed and am starting to work my way through the mysteries listed here.

Here are two big lists of "100 best" novels - one by the press itself and one from suggestions.

I love Sarah Schulman's work, especially People In Trouble. Again, the romance plot(s) involve people thinking about their sexuality; it's not just "Oh, Sarah is hot, I guess I'll ask her out". After Delores, The Sophie Horowitz Story and Girls, Visions and Everything are a little more girl-meets-girl-is-the-plot, sort of.

If you want to read SF or fantasy, I can recommend boatloads of books.
posted by Frowner at 12:58 PM on September 1, 2015

Tiger Orange—basically The Skeleton Twins (responsible sibling/devil-may-care sibling) but the siblings are two gay men.

Boys is a sweet coming-of-age story about two teenage boys who fall in love. There are minor glitches as one of them negotiates coming out but nothing dramatic.

Weekend: two men hook up two days before one of them is leaving the country. Sexually explicit (good sex scenes!).

Shelter: college age guys; surfing.

The 10-Year Plan: Two guys agree to settle down together if they haven't found other partners in 10 years, a date which is fast approaching.

The Perfect Wedding: A gay man starts to fall in love with the guy he thinks is his ex-lover's boyfriend.

Redwoods: Gay man living in rural North Carolina falls for a writer who is passing through.

Boy Culture: High-end escort is in love with his roommate.

I do not vouch for any of these being a good movie, necessarily, or predict your satisfaction or enjoyment. But I think they meet your criterion for content.
posted by not that girl at 12:59 PM on September 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Coming soon: Freeheld.
posted by puritycontrol at 1:11 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Since you say "Think Grease, but Danny wants Sam instead of Sandra" let me suggest a French musical film, Les Chansons d'amour (Love Songs). It can be hard to find but a big part of it is that it moves from opposite-gender to same-gender relationships without any pausing to brood over "wait, does this mean I'm gay?"


Broadway Damage

The Way He Looks

Books: I'll plug the work of Tom Spanbauer - not RomCom, and not generally happy endings, but powerfully written books with characters who often cross the usual gay/straight boundaries. Particularly The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon (a wild yarn set in the late days of the Old West), In the City of Shy Hunters (slightly magical realist take on the years of the AIDS crisis in New York City), and I Loved You More (semi-autobiographical story of Spanbauer's complicated relationship with a straight man, then a woman, and what happened when those two met and married.)
posted by dnash at 1:24 PM on September 1, 2015

Putting in another word for Nicola Griffith, but I'd suggest The Blue Place for this one. A noir-y action thriller with a dazzlingly strong and competent hero. Who is also a lesbian.
posted by prewar lemonade at 1:25 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Broken Hearts Club
posted by Benway at 1:25 PM on September 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Better Than Chocolate?
posted by jillithd at 1:53 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Everything in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Her words:

"On the homoerotic content of my novels: I can only say what I have said many times — that no form of love between consenting individuals appears wrong to me. I see bisexuality as power. When I write I have no gender. It is difficult for me to see the characters in terms of gender. I have written individuals who can fall in love with men and women. All this feels extremely natural to me."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:00 PM on September 1, 2015

You might like the novels of KJ Charles. she has written a series set in Victorian England, but with magic. Her writing is lively and I like her characters. Quick, easy romantic reads.
posted by not that girl at 2:19 PM on September 1, 2015

Big Eden
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:56 PM on September 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

How many times can I like the Big Eden suggestion? This is EXACTLY what you're looking for.

There a cute Danish film maybe 10 years ago with Mads Mikkelsen as a gay man scared and horrified to think he might have straight tendencies. It's called Shake It All About.
posted by janey47 at 3:34 PM on September 1, 2015

This isn't romcom or drama (well, arguably, some of them are political thrillers), so if this doesn't work for you, all good, but everything that Seanan McGuire (and her pen name, Mira Grant) writes (seriously, everything - I can think of one book where I don't remember queer characters) has queer characters in it, and we're just there. Everywhere. Just doing our thing, hanging out, saving the world and being normal. When there is any eyelash batting, it's super thoughtful (for example, in Indexing Episode 2, one of the characters mulls briefly on the issues that he and his husband are likely to run into adopting children).

One of the Newsflesh novellas has a poly triad in it, and I will not lie, I cried. Someone acknowledged my and mine's existence, in print, and there was no eyelash batting, and I cried.

So, if you want to try some urban fantasy and sci fi political thrillers, I cannot recommend Seanan McGuire enough.
posted by joycehealy at 6:21 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sarah Waters writes a ton of historical fiction featuring Same Sex (mostly lesbian) couples. I love love Fingersmith, which got at BBC adaptation. I also liked Tipping the Velvet and the Paying Guests.
posted by KernalM at 7:08 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sarina Bowen's The Understatement Of The Year.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:07 PM on September 1, 2015

Four Weddings and a Funeral, arguably.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:22 AM on September 2, 2015

My Beautiful Laundrette
My Own Private Idaho
Times Square

Also check out the recent Lesbian Movies That Don't Suck fpp -- lots of great films there.
posted by veery at 6:22 AM on September 2, 2015

Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss
posted by Brody's chum at 3:56 PM on September 2, 2015

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