Let's talk about these 5 lesbian movies on Netflix that are worth watching. We can’t get enough of these classic and contemporary movies with LGBTQ+ representation on Netflix. From comedies to dramas, this list has it all. We are here for positive lesbian characters in the latest movies and shows, especially when streaming sites like Netflix pick them up, so we can rewatch them again and again.
Here are 5 great lesbian movies on Netflix:
Cate Blanchett’s wonderful cheekbones have single-handedly given birth to an entire fandom, which is obsessed with a film about two women’s secret affair in the 1950s. When Carol (Cate Blanchett) and Therese (Rooney Mara) made a romantic drama named “Carol,” they didn’t know that it would inspire devoted fans to continuously create beautiful art, write fan fiction and make addictive GIFs featuring them even 5 years later.
The movie has now become a cult classic after gaining many followers, so much so that April 17 is becoming something of an unofficial “Carol” day. A comedic short film named “Carol Support Group” has even been made about Carol superfans attending AA meetings.
So, what is this critically acclaimed film that so many fans have fallen in love with about?
The movie follows Carol, who is trapped in a loveless marriage, and Therese, a department store clerk, as they fall passionately in love. Neither Carol nor Therese know what they were waiting for until they met, but once they discovered each other, the shy shopkeeper and unhappy wife both realize that their magnetic attraction can eliminate their discontent.
Carol was inspired by American novelist Patricia Highsmith’s true tales of love and loss. When Patricia Highsmith wrote the book, she was also expressing her own attraction to women of privilege like Carol, who liked being venerated by their lovers.
#2. Always Be My Maybe
If you’ve already seen too many movies featuring lesbian leads, the Ali Wong (Sasha) and Randall Park’s (Marcus) flick “Always Be My Maybe” might give you a refreshing change of pace. In this Netflix comedy, the lead Sasha’s best friend is a married and pregnant lesbian woman named Veronica.
She’s a representation of a successful, pregnant lesbian of color, which we don’t see that often. Most romantic movies featuring lesbians involve them having to overcome a host of obstacles to be together, but here’s an important side character who has a wonderful life who happens to dispense great advice.
By the end, she gives birth to a beautiful baby with her partner Denise. What is refreshing is that Sasha being a lesbian isn’t treated as a particularly big deal by anyone; it’s just one fact about her character. Queer characters in rom-coms are typically either flamboyantly out or tragically closeted. “Always Be My Maybe” lets us see that being gay can be just one facet of a person, and that is positive LGBTQ+ representation we are here for.
#3. I Can’t Think Straight
Most of the movies on this list are sophisticated, but we had to include a cheesy one! “I Can't Think Straight” is a British romantic drama by Shamim Sharif featuring London-based Jordanian of Palestinian descent Tala and British Indian Leyla grappling with the consequences of their forbidden romance in the middle of traditional Middle Eastern society for Leyla. As their sense of duty and cultural restraints pull the lovebirds apart, heartbreak is inevitable, but is it irreparable?
The movie can be surprisingly funny, like when Leyla comes out to her parents, exclaiming “I'm gay!" to which her father responds "But I've only been gone for 2 hours!?!”
Other than these comedic reactions to Leyla coming out though, the rest of the movie is sincere, with lovely, nuanced performances from the two women of color, as they portray realistic, positive lesbian characters.
#4. The Duke of Burgundy
“The Duke of Burgundy” is a hypnotic, devastating movie about how difficult long-term relationships can be; a fever dream following a lepidopterology student studying under a professor who creates a bizarre fantasy world. This is the BDSM lesbian movie everyone has been waiting for, but it contains a tender love story that will surprise you. The movie also demonstrates how lovers can request and deliver sexual fantasies that involve dominance and submission with care and understanding.
This movie is a work of art dealing with a rare side of human sexuality without judgment. There’s no duke in “The Duke of Burgundy,” only women exist in this movie, and the leads are involved in a sadomasochistic relationship. Viewers looking for steamy sex scenes should prepare to be disappointed, as the movie spends most of its time subtly exploring the dynamic between a young woman and her older lover.
A consensual ritual featuring a master/servant fantasy scenario is played out again and again in this movie named after a butterfly, but the fetish is only appealing to the young submissive in this long-term relationship.
#5. Duck Butter
Going on a 24-hour first date might sound like a light-hearted setup, but “Duck Butter” dives into heavy relationship issues soon after taking off. What starts as a fun movie about two lesbians, aspiring actress Naima and aspiring musician Sergio, spending 24 hours together chilling, conversing, and having sex every other hour becomes serious after a fragile kind of unique intimacy develops between them.
Intense romance springs from an intriguing concept, the ’24-hour date,’ where each must be completely honest and open so that they can bypass the inconvenience of having to be together for years to discover if they really belong together.
Spirited Sergio strives for interpersonal connection in a pouty, clingy way, which the more reserved Naima cringes at. It’s a romantic experiment that doesn’t work out in the end and shows us how hard it is to be vulnerable and real. If you want to see romance in fast forward, you should definitely check out the ambitiously experimental “Duck Butter”.
There are so many great lesbian movies on Netflix, and new stories with queer characters keep coming out every year. Lesbian movie night should definitely be a thing now that there are so many lesbian movies to watch on Netflix, especially ones with the happy endings our hearts need, as LGBTQ+ inequality and vulnerability increase during the pandemic. What will you be watching next?