This Soft Space asked me to review some lesbian films because she hasn’t seen many, and I think this will be a fun thing to do. Some of the best lesbian films are a few years old though and I’m guessing most of you have seen them already. But it’s probably still worth it to review older films because the new lesbians coming up won’t have seen them and someone has to introduce them! (Also check out the blog category Lesbian Films to see what I’ve reviewed already.)
There is a long tradition of representing lesbians as crazy and unstable in works of fiction, because lesbian characters used to be more of a cautionary tale against homosexuality than respected characters. So any films where lesbians end up going crazy or dying or ending up with a man I’m not going to review. Fuck that shit. Only good lesbians films will be reviewed here.
Tipping the Velvet is a novel by Sarah Waters that absolutely all lesbians should read. It’s the most brilliant lesbian novel of all time. One of these days I think I want to write a post about my favourite quotes from Tipping and explain why I like them. This story is a drama set in England in the 1890s. The narrator, Nancy, starts off 18 years old and she falls in love with a male impersonator and follows her to London. The two women have the adventure of a lifetime being drag performers and they eventually reveal their love for each other and become sweethearts. And then a lot of other stuff happens—I won’t give you any spoilers, but warning: DRAMA. The film was done by the BBC so it’s FANTASTIC. Excellent actresses, beautiful costumes, wonderful detail—it’s just breathtaking. I’m sure everyone would like this film, even if they’re not a lesbian, because it’s a generally fantastic film. It’s very long and it’s divided into three parts. You might have to watch each part separately, unless you have reserved an entire day for it. I’ve seen it so many times I can sing some of the songs that the two male impersonators sing onstage.
Saving Face is a romantic comedy about a Chinese-American community. The main character, Wil, is a lesbian and she meets and falls in love with another Chinese-American woman. It’s a really adorable romance—there’s even a scene where Vivian standing close to Wil makes her fall down. You just have to see it to understand how cute it is. The whole film is lovely to watch, not just the blossoming romance between the two women. It’s as much about the dynamics of the Chinese-American community as it is about the lesbian romance. Of course, the gossiping and drama that goes on is the same as what would happen in any tight-knit, insular community, but there is something in Chinese culture about saving face, you know, trying to look good no matter how messed up you really are. The ending is a bit cheesy, but it’s a happy one so I’m okay with it. This film is available on Netflix so you have no excuse not to watch it! This is a film that will cheer you up with its cuteness no matter how bad a day you are having.