The reason I love film (I promise I’m not some pretentious film snob who despises the word “movie”) is because they truly have the ability to change your entire perspective of life or help you along the path of self-discovery. I will be the first to vouch for films in helping me discover myself. This list will be comprised of some films, according to my memory, that helped solidify that I in fact was a lady lover.
The first film is But I’m A Cheerleader. I remember sneaking and watching this on premium cable every chance I got, which was all the time because for some reason it was always on. Released in 1999, the story centers around your typical hot blonde cheerleader who seems to have it all in her conservative suburban lifestyle. Oh but there’s a twist! She’s not exactly so straight and narrow so her family sends her to one of those creepy conversion camps that tries to “cure” people of their homosexual thoughts and behaviors. Hilarious hijinks ensue and frankly if I got to meet the gays she does in this camp then I wouldn’t have minded so much (but conversion camps are truly disgusting). While I wasn’t completely aware of Rupaul’s meaning to the gay community in 1999, I sure did know that Clea Duvall made my insides feel funny. The lesbian community loves our fellow lesbian leading lady. In But I’m A Cheerleader she plays the lesbian who is completely disinterested and acknowledges her sexuality, which is why she was the perfect character to meet the blonde cheerleader. Clea also had roles in some of my other favorites including Faculty, Girl, Interrupted, the most recent season of American Horror Story, and of course the Oscar winning film Argo. She definitely plays the gay role naturally although I don’t think she has officially ever come out… Not that she needs to. Does she have a girlfriend?
Next up is Bring It On. This one is included on my list of movies I could watch repeatedly and never get sick of. Released in 2000, the film has that awesome feeling of late 90s High School drama. I was 11 when this came out and I don’t remember seeing it in theaters so I probably caught it when it was released to cable television. My mind most likely guided me to this because of attractive ladies in cheerleading uniforms. Kirstin Dunst, Eliza Dushku, and Gabrielle Union combined into my dream trio of gals. But it was Eliza Dushku as Missy Pantone who stole my heart. The transfer from Los Angeles, who joins the Rancho Cucamonga Torros as a last resort because the school has no gymnastic team (SEE WHAT I DID THERE), evolves from city punk to lovable cheerleader while adjusting to working with some grade A bitches.
I mean just look at her. When she strutted into that gym for tryouts with her middrift exposed, twisted hair, cargo pants, and barbwire tattoo carefully drawn on herself with a sharpie, I knew I was in love. Confronting the cheer bitches with her sharp tongue and impressive tumbling skills, Missy eventually goes on to help the Torros through some cheerocracy challenges. However, like most mainstream movies, my favorite female character falls for the prince charming and lives happily ever after. I in response get angry with her for not falling for a girl… Another sign that you might be gay. Nonetheless, Eliza Dushku I salute you for always playing those badass characters and reminding me why I like women.
The final movie I’ll discuss is for me one of the most heart-wrenching and beautiful lesbian loves stories I’ve seen thus far. Lost and Delirious is the story of three boarding school girls, two of which face a friendship that oscillates between friends, lovers, and nothing. I love the way this story is told by way of Mischa Barton’s character, an introverted outsider looking in on Piper Perabo’s and Jessica Paré’s relationship. I do believe this is the first movie I sought out that had a blatantly clear plot where a character was struggling with her sexuality. Pauli, Piper Perabo’s character falls madly in love with Tori, Jessica Paré’s character. While their love burns hot like coals for some time, it cannot last due to Tori’s family values and reputation at the boarding school. This hurls Pauli into a spiral of madness, which I find beautiful because her manic passion shows how insane unrequited love makes one feel. I always recommend Lost and Delirious to people seeking out a basic movie with a lesbian love story. After watching this I knew I was a lesbian because a man has never made me feel to this intensity, like Pauli feels with Tori.
I only mentioned three movies for the sake of length but there is quite an array of films with lesbian content in them. I like to pride myself on the number of films I’ve watched that can be twisted into some kind of queer text because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them all. Here’s a list of films provided by imdb for you to view if you’re seeking such content: List of Queer Films