Top 10 Best LGBTQ+ Romantic Comedies



Top 10 Best LGBTQ+ Romantic Comedies

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Julia Rittenberg
These LGBTQ+ rom-coms make us believe in love. Our countdown includes "Big Eden," "Happiest Season," "Love, Simon," and more!

Top 10 LGBTQ+ Rom-Coms

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 LGBTQ rom-coms.

For this list, we’ll be looking at romantic comedies that prioritize the LGBTQ experience and romantic desires. Romantic dramas, like “The Way He Looks”, will not be included. Plot details will be discussed, so this is your spoiler alert!

Which of these films has the best romance and the best jokes? Let’s get into it in the comments below.

#10: “The Watermelon Woman” (1996)

Based on her personal experiences researching Black history in cinema, Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman follows the character of Cheryl working in a video store in Philadelphia and making home videos on the side for extra cash. Cheryl’s friend Tamara tries to set her up with another friend, but Cheryl goes for a white girl named Diana - of whom Tamara is not a fan. In this wandering story, Cheryl tries to piece together the history of the titular “Watermelon Woman” as well as figure out how she wants her romantic relationships to look. It’s a massively important movie in the LGBTQ canon because it centers on the experience of Black lesbians without punishing them for their sexuality.

#9: “The Broken Hearts Club” (2000)

Long before Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Greg Berlanti was pushing for queer characters on screen and made this classic movie based on his group of friends. The movie’s main hub is a restaurant owned by an older man named Jack, who also sponsors a softball team. The group of friends are all gay and searching for meaningful relationships in West Hollywood. With an all-star cast including Billy Porter, Zach Braff, and Timothy Olyphant, this is one of the great ensemble romantic comedies. Although everyone in the group has a different outlook on love and relationships, the cast really shines when they come together and deal with tragedy as a found family. It shows the importance of friendship connections for young gay people.

#8: “Big Eden” (2000)

Henry Hart is a popular gay artist residing in New York. However, he decides he has to return home to Big Eden, Montana when he finds out his grandfather Sam is sick. Not wanting to lose his connection to his grandpa, he stays in Big Eden for the foreseeable future and becomes a fixture of town gossip. In a classic romcom twist, Henry’s high school crush Dean has moved back to town and is recently single. This movie shines in how it accepts Henry, lets him explore love and come to terms with his past. When Henry finally finds love, you can’t help but root for him.

#7: “Wild Nights with Emily” (2018)

Like the Apple TV+ show “Dickinson,” this movie chooses to explore the famous poet Emily Dickinson’s love life with other women. In the fictitious reimagining, Emily meets Susan Gilbert during a Shakespeare festival where they play lovers in a scene together. They fall for each other, and even when Susan moves away, she and Emily keep up with love letters. We find out later that Emily’s brother tried to edit Emily’s letters to exclude Susan. This is both a story of hidden love and the attempt to erase Emily Dickinson’s reported lesbian relationships, proving that historical romances can be just as funny and poignant as contemporary ones.

#6: “But I’m a Cheerleader” (1999)

For better or for worse, the cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader will always define Natasha Lyonne to her LGBTQ fans. Lyonne stars as Megan, a cheerleader dating a football player. However, it becomes clear to her friends and family that her interest in vegetarianism and Melissa Etheridge proves she is a lesbian. Although this is a tragic situation for many real-life teenagers, the movie leans into a John Waters aesthetic and mocks the ridiculous idea that any of these kids have to be “fixed” to live happy lives. But I’m a Cheerleader resonated with so many young gay teen’s fears about coming out and then turned them into this candy-colored confection, with a happy ending for our lesbian protagonist.

#5: “The Thing About Harry” (2020)

The thing about Harry is that Sam hates him. Harry mistreated Sam in high school, and now Sam is being forced to take a road trip with Harry to their hometown. Sam is pretty surprised when Harry comes out as pansexual, but then Harry gets back together with his ex-girlfriend. Very much like When Harry Met Sally, Harry and Sam become friends who are constantly dating other people. You want so badly for these two to figure it out that when they do, it’s a feeling of triumph. This enemies to friends to lovers story is one of the great modern LGBTQ rom coms.

#4: “Happiest Season” (2020)

Directed by LGBTQ icon Clea DuVall, “Happiest Season” is the lesbian holiday rom com we never saw coming. Harper loves Christmas and her girlfriend Abby doesn’t, so Harper asks Abby to come home with her for Christmas. The catch: Harper is not out to her family, and Abby has to pretend to be just Harper’s roommate instead of her girlfriend. LGBTQ fans had some serious issues with Harper’s refusal to be truthful about Abby, but this is a Christmas movie so there has to be a happy ending. What’s so groundbreaking about this film is that there are LGBTQ people in front of and behind the camera, from Clea Duvall to Dan Levy and Kristen Stewart.

#3: “Alex Strangelove” (2018)

Alex Truelove is a romance-obsessed teenager with a girlfriend who wants to have sex for the first time. Alex isn’t so sure, and his feelings for Claire get even more complicated when he starts hanging out with a gay teenager named Elliot. When Alex starts to question his sexuality and kisses Elliot, he starts the difficult journey of accepting his identity. Alex Strangelove tells us that it’s okay to be a little confused about everything, but you’ll only be happy if you can be honest with yourself.

#2: “Love, Simon” (2018)

Love, Simon was the first movie about a gay teenage romance to be released by a major studio, that being 20th Century Fox. Based on an award-winning novel, the rom-com allows us to watch Simon Spier fall hopelessly in love with a fellow closeted gay teen over email. When another student finds Simon’s emails to Blue, Simon tries everything he can to avoid a public outing for him and Blue, but it blows up in his face. When Simon’s parents and friends give him support, he is able to proudly declare who he is and stages a big romantic gesture for Blue. This movie gives us gay teen romance and parental acceptance: a true happy ending.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Imagine Me & You” (2005)
Even Though She’s Married to a Man, Rachel Falls for Female Flower Shop Owner, Luce

“Let It Snow” (2019)
A Blizzard Complicates the Love Lives of Teens in Laurel, Illinois

“Dating Amber” (2020)
A Closeted Teen Boy & Girl Date to Hide Their Sexualities

“Trick” (1999)
Over 1 Night in Manhattan, 2 Young Gay Men Try to Find a Place to be Alone

“Someone Great” (2019)
3 Friends Have 1 Last Crazy Night Out Before 1 of Them Moves Across the Country

#1: “The Half of It” (2020)

Here, Alice Wu brought us an intimate, moody teen spin on Cyrano de Bergerac that stands out as one of the best LGBTQ rom-coms of all time. Ellie Chu lives in a small town with her quiet father and few friends. A football player named Paul asks her to write a love letter to the beautiful deacon’s daughter, Aster. Aster writes back and starts texting Paul, who is really Ellie, and Ellie falls hard for Aster. Even though the scheme blows up in Paul and Ellie’s faces, their friendship makes it through. “The Half of It” may be subtle when it comes to romance, but Ellie still gets to make her boldest stroke yet with Aster by the end of the love story - for which it’s implied that this is only the beginning.