15 Romantic Lesbian Films With Swoon-Worthy Happy Endings
It's become practically a cliche that all lesbian films end with tears and tragedy. To be fair, a lot of them do. Whether it's one of the partners regretfully saying goodbye or, well, dying, it can feel like the WLW heroines of cinema never get their happily ever after. Fortunately, that's not always true -- there's plenty of queer joy to be discovered on screen. Still don't believe me? Here are 15 films featuring queer women who get their fairytale ending.
'Desert Hearts' (1985)
This sweet, classic romance follows Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver), who finds love in the most unexpected place with Cay Rivvers (Patricia Charbonneau) -- while she awaits being granted a divorce in Nevada.
'The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love' (1995)
Randy (Laurel Holloman) and Evie (Nicole Ari Parker) seemingly have little in common. Randy's an out lesbian whose family struggles economically and Evie is a rich, popular girl with a boyfriend. But the heart wants what it wants in this adorable and breezy rom-com.
Before the Wachowski sisters took the world by storm with The Matrix, they were already the darlings of lesbian cinema thanks to this steam noir thriller in which ex-con handywoman Corky (Gina Gershon) begins an affair with local gangster moll Violet (Jennifer Tilly), which leads to a plot to steal mob money and head out on the run.
This campy romantic treat of a film is set in the most unlikely of places: A conversion camp. Megan (Natasha Lyonne) is shocked when her parents send her away to a camp because they suspect she's secretly a lesbian. Turns out they were right when she falls for fellow camper Graham (Clea Duvall).
Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) has made quite a life for herself in Vancouver, Canada. She works at a queer bookstore, hangs at the local drag bar, and has a budding romance with Kim (Christina Cox). But all that is disrupted when her mother and brother, who have no idea Maggie is queer, show up at her house expecting to move in.
Chinese-American lesbian surgeon Wil (Michelle Krusiec) is shocked by the arrival of her mother (Joan Chen) who is pregnant (and scandalously unwed) and looking for help after being banished by Wil's grandfather. She has to find a partner for her mother, as well as sort out her feelings for her boss's daughter, a beautiful dancer named Vivian (Lynn Chen).
Rachel (Piper Perabo) is all set to marry her long-time boyfriend when a chance meeting with a florist, Luce (Lena Headey), changes everything. For the first time, Rachel is falling for a woman and has to decide between what she's always known before and what her heart truly wants.
Family gets very complicated in this Swedish romance. When Mia meets Frida for the first time, the sparks fly. There are just two major problems: Mia is already engaged, and Frida just so happens to be the daughter of her soon-to-be stepmother.
Based on the beloved lesbian novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, this achingly glamorous romance follows the love affair between Therese (Rooney Mara) and the older, married, Carol (Cate Blanchet) in 1950s New York.
Black Mirror isn't a series known for its happily ever afters -- far from it. However, there is one gloriously queer exception, San Junipero (season 3, episode 4), in which two women, Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and Kellly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), meet at a bar in a strange and wonderful beach town called San Junipero. The chemistry and connection are powerful, but, of course, since this is Black Mirror, very complicated.
Based on the queer Victorian-era thriller Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, this adaptation moves the action to 1930s Korea. In the film, Sook-Hee is a thief who's hired as a handmaiden to the Japanese heiress Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee) as part of a scheme to defraud her. Instead, Sook-Hee finds herself falling for the girl in this sweeping, lush, and kinky potboiler.
Meeting your partner's family for the first time can be a stressful enough event, but add to that the complications of the holidays -- oh, and the family thinking you're just their straight daughter's friend -- and things can get not-so-merry very quickly. This is the conundrum Abby (Kristen Stewart) is facing when she agrees to head home for the holidays with her partner Harper (Mackenzie Davis). It's a true test of their relationship when Harper isn't ready to come out. Also, Aubrey Plaza shows up and steals all the scenes in perfectly tailored suits.
Danielle (Rachel Sennott) finds herself in a deeply complicated situation when she attends a Jewish funeral service with her parents, only to discover that both her sugar daddy and her ex-girlfriend Maya (Molly Gordon) are also in attendance.
This delightfully gruesome three-part love letter to the slasher genre follows the generational curse that has plagued the town of Shadyside for more than three centuries. Best of all, at its core it's an epic lesbian love story throughout the ages.
The directorial debut of Olivia Wilde’s directorial follows the nerdy best friends Molly (out actor Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) on their last effort to be "cool" in high school. A major part of the story is Molly trying to get Amy to kiss her crush, a fellow female student named Ryan. The film was hailed for its depiction of Amy's queerness. And while the real love story is the friendship between Molly and Amy, Amy is very much comfortable in her lesbian self.