I’m thinking, Gentle Reader, we all need a bit of love and laughter in our lives right now.
Reading some pull quotes for reviews of Romancing the Inventor (not the whole review, because that might kill me) made me realize something…
What I write, at its heart, is romantic comedy.
I know. You’re shocked. I’m shocked. Shush, don’t tell anyone. It’ll be our little secret.
Are There Lesbians? says for example:
“I have needed a lesbian romantic comedy for ages and I finally got one so cute and romantic I’m pretty sure it has given me diabetes…. Romancing the Inventor has set the tone for a whole series with its sometimes light and fluffy, sometimes rather serious, and always tongue-in-cheek, storytelling. It has also really raised my expectations for Queer romantic comedy and having been given a taste I would like plenty more please.”
See? Romantic comedy.
Now now, please don’t get tetchy.
There is nothing wrong with romantic comedy unless its done wrong. By that I mean, painfully bad dialogue and/or plot.
If you’re wincing right now, perhaps a little thought as to why those two words turn you off so much? Romantic. Comedy. Nothing wrong with romance. Nothing wrong with comedy. Trust me I know. Are you wincing because romantic comedies are generally marketed to/by/for women? Wellp, the dialogue and plot in your dude-targeted space action flick is just as bad, likely worse.
Now where was I? Right. LISTS!
Here are some LBGTQ romantic comedies (some more gentle on the comedy than others) that I really love and feel are under-appreciated.
OK so some of the acting is a bit, erm… off, but still! Would you like your lesbians being spies dressed as catholic schoolgirls in a quirky not quite superhero James Bonds setting? Why yes, yes I would. Bonus: Love redeems the evil villainess plus straight boy is the sidekick! Ha.
Adorable surfer dudes, familial responsibility, honor, duty, painful coming out. Bonus points from one of my favorite romance tropes: finding love with the brother of the best friend.
3. Gray Matters
Perhaps a bit mainstream, and very light hearted and good natured, but I kinda adore this movie. Bonus for ballroom dancing, killer undergarments, and L-Word guest appearance.
4. Latter Days
One of my favorite all times movies. Repressed mormon, dramatic indy songs, unfair mistreatment by the ignorant, reformed bad boy, bonus Tara from Buffy. The scene when he drops the tray. I mean, come ON. So good.
Very lipstick lesbian, but super cute. And I like that it genuinely deals with the torture of breaking up as a bad choice. This rom com starts with her marrying… a man. And goes from there. Bonus DDR, cute boys as well as girls, super cheesy ending.
THIS MOVIE IS EVERYTHING. Why are you not watching it? Everyone should be watching it. It so romantic, and glorious, and wonderful, and good, and flipping important. Bonus fashion! Go. Watch it. Now. Make everyone else watch it. Go. I’ll wait.
7. Big Eden
This feels the most real of the romances in this list. Yes there are characters, but they’re so much more honest than hollywood usually allows in terms of complexity, appearance, vocabulary, everything. Bonus cooking = love!
I have no idea why no one seems to know about this movie. I adore it. It’s sweet, it’s got culture conflict, dramatic weddings, amazing cake, and it’s hot. Bonus one of them is a writer and the other a fashion designer. Yes! How do you not want this in your life?
Kelsa, a trans high schooler shares her life via a YouTube vlog in this truly adorable story of first love (also Billy Porter’s directorial debut). (Unfortunately it’s only on Prime.)
10. The New Employee
Basically an office romance about a young man in his first intership while gets into a relationship with his older boss. As you might imagine, things get complicated.
This is a bit of a cheat because it aired as a series but it now has a movie version and is about that length (this is a Thing Korea does). Technically, this falls into the BL category and it a bit more drama than it is laugh out loud comedy, but it is warm and fuzzy and very romantic and quietly throughly queer in a way we rarely get from BL (and is even more unusual from Korea). Also, I really wanted to include something not in English. And it’s such a lovely piece.
(You can read more about BL and some of it’s issues (very few of which this one has) here, and more of my recs for this particularly sub genre of queer romance here.)
10 More Queer Rom Coms!
- Love, Simon
- Fire Island
- Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)
- The Half of It
- Saving Face
- But I’m a Cheerleader
- Alex Strangelove
- Kissing Jessica Stein
Honorable mention for fans of Romancing the Werwolf to Maurice.
Because it’s a gay romance set in period history with A HAPPY ENDING. Beautiful costumes, beautiful men, amazing settings, all the repressed stiff upper-lipping you could want. It’s not strictly comedy, more drama, but I do LOVE this movie. Bonus all the floppy hair your could want and cricket!
I could get all film studies cerebral and analytical if I wanted to call in the big guns, (waves at AB), but frankly I’m recommending these movies because I love them. End of story.
So I agree that some of the above have problematic moments, either with awkward acting, or tropes gone awry, fashion flaws, or even modern day LBGTQ rights concerns. You’ll have to give some of them credit for the time they were made. And some of them credit for existing at all, in such a vacuum of good rom-coms (let alone LBGTQ rom-coms). However, I’m listing them for one reason, and one reason only:
I smiled all the way through, from start to finish.
Except of course for the times I was bitting my hand or sniffling quietly.
Want more on this subject?
10 More lists like this but books?
- 10 Queer Cozy SciFi Books
- Fiction Books that Feature Gender Fluidity & Varied Sexual Identities
- 9 Gay Romances That You’ll Love If You Enjoyed the San Andreas Shifter series
- Black Authors Writing Queer Comfort
- 30 Days of Queer Reads for #ReadingPride
- Lesbians in Genre Fiction: Books Like Romancing the Inventor & Competence
- 9 Favorite Queer Fantasy Books
- Reading Black Joy: F/F Romances by Black Authors
- 6 of the Best Under the Radar Queer Books by Writers of Color
- The Best LGBTQ Book Subscription Boxes
I plan to keep watching and keep updating this post so please reach out and recommend things to me! You can drop me a calling card or respond to one of my newsletter emails. I often recommend movies and shows in that newsletter – the Chirrup (sign up here).
Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),
Find my books
Here’s a printable Downloadable Checklist of ALL my books!
BOOK DE JOUR!
A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?
GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Reality’s A Bore says of Imprudence:
“I love how original the book is, the world Carriger has created, the history and lore to it, the characters and so on. It’s incredibly immersive and once you started reading you fall into the world, everything is so vivid and the author paints a picture with her words.”
Quote of the Day:
Tags: Pride, Video
“Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”
~ Oscar Wilde