A few months ago, the movie Love, Simon made waves in the cinemas. And that's because the coming-of-age romantic comedy is a perfect representation of how diversity is making serious strides in the film industry (finally!). In fact, according to Variety it’s the “first studio-made teen-targeted comedy to focus on a closeted gay protagonist.”
We’ve already noted the fact that in Australia alone the LGBTQI+ community are severely underrepresented on screen, but what’s so great about this film is that for all the heterosexual kisses teenagers witness as a representation of what "romance" looks like on screen, Love, Simon portrays a diverse perspective. In Australia, the film hits screens on March 29, so in celebration of this step towards equality in film, we’ve listed eight other LGBTQI+ films to add to your “must-watch” list.
Set in the '50s a suburban, middle-class family comes to grips with protagonist Frank Whitaker’s sexuality. Far From Heaven challenges the notion of 'The American Dream' while also questioning how we see family constructs. The film also stars A-List heavyweights, including: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Raymond Deagan.
Featuring Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes is based on the story of Lesbian icon and tennis champion, Billie Jean King, who in the film battles her misogynistic rival, Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carrell). This film is an uplifting story that highlights an important part of LGBTQI+ history.
Arguably one of the most celebrated films of the year, this coming-of-age romance is set in the Italian countryside during the ‘80s and features a 17-year-old protagonist who falls for an older student who has come to work there. Beautifully shot, the film has also won several highly-acclaimed awards and has fast become one of the most talked about films within the LGBTQI+ community.
Another important representation of history, Milk, is a biopic about America’s first openly-gay elected official, Harvey Milk. Played by Sean Penn, Milk makes a larger statement about the possibility for change on a large- scale and the hard work that goes into changing stereotypes and pushing forward for equality in all spheres of influence.
This comedy-drama is based on a two-mum household staring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. The film portrays the typical issues that arise within many families, including strained-marriages and midlife crises. Which in a way, is part of the beauty of the film as a whole, as it subversively plays on the traditional notion of family, while still telling a story that many viewers can relate to.
Pariah is a story about an African-american teenager from Brooklyn who is sure of her sexual orientation but is exploring what that means for her, and her family, in a wider context. This coming-of-age story is a dazzling narrative about the complexities that come with finding yourself in a world that expects you to be someone else.
Weekend is a realistic depiction of modern dating and the complexities that can come with it. Here, the two protagonists meet in a club, and the film follows them through the next 48 hours—and the frank conversations that unfold during that time. This film has been praised for it’s authenticity, and bittersweet nature towards love and vulnerability.
This upbeat and sweet narrative users humour as a way to point to harsher issues such as AIDS, prejudice, and marginalisation in the ‘80s Britain. The film is based on a true story about the 'Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners Organisation' and the battles they faced to overcome bigotry.