If you want to look beyond online fiction for the lesbian theme you can take a look at these books and movies, but sometimes you have to look for the sub plot !
- "I can't Think Straight" (***) a movie by Shamim Sarif - you can buy it from Enlightenment Productions if its not playing at a Theater near you ;-), and you can watch the official trailer on YouTube. The movie is simple in its standard lesfic storyline, but delivered in a funny and heart touching way, it plays out against the backdrop of a mix of Asian / Middle Eastern and Western culture and displays a charming pair of ladies. If you want a second opinion look up this review.
- "The World Unseen" (no stars ;-) a movie by Shamim Sarif - you can buy it from Enlightment Productions and you can watch the official trailer on YouTube. The leading ladies from "I can't Thik Straight" hits the screen again, but I'm afraid that the magic is lost. "The World Unseen" is a political commentary (anti apartheid) and lesfic romance all in one, but neither comes across as real.
- "Saving Face" (***) a movie by Alice Wu - you can get it on Amazon, and you can watch the official trailer on YouTube. The movie has a storyline that tackles not only the lesbian romance / coming out theme, but more generally the theme of seeking freedom to pursue happiness no matter where you may find it. You can find a review here. Watch here
- "Aimée and Jaguar" (***) a German movie from 1999 - you can get it on Amazon. The movie centres on the passionate love affair between a female Jewish journalist and the wife of a Nazi officer and mother of four in Berlin 1943/1944 - it's well worth watching, but it is not what I would call a "light" movie. The movie is based on a book by Erica Fischer published under the same title. If you want a second opinion on the movie look up this review.
- "Show me love" or "Fucking Åmål" (**) a Swedish movie from 1998 - you can get it on Amazon in a French or a Swedish/German version as far as I can tell. It is a "teenage coming of age and realising you are a lesbian" story and it is kind of sweet. You can find a review here. '
- "Bound" (***) need I say more ? A lesbian film noir sporting the butch Corky, a tough ex con and her lover Violet concocting a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caeser. The movie is still available from Amazon or maybe you can catch a rerun on TV. If you want a review there are plenty to choose form - try this one.
- "Imagine Me and You" (**) a romantic lesbian themed comedy from 2005 staring Piper Perabo and Lena Headey - it goes .."Uhh I married my best friend but mistook friendship for love - and surprise ! Love is readily available - on the other side of the fence." You won't find the stereotype lesbian women in this movie - so you might call it mainstream. It is still available from Amazon. If you want a review there are plenty to choose form - try this one. Watch here.
- "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story" (**) A story about the life of Colonel Margarethe Cammermayer and how she came to retire from the US National Guard, staring Glenn Close and Judy Davis (1995) - watch here.
- "Puccini for beginners" (no stars ;-) a romantic comedy staring a recently-singled lesbian woman who suddenly finds herself juggling two relationships - one with a man and one with his ex-girlfriend! A superficial - but at times funny - story of being able to commit for the long haul - look it up in the imdb or on Amazon.
- "If These Walls Could Talk2" (**) a portrait of three pairs of lesbian women in the US through separate stories revolving around the same house, but set in different decades. Each storyline plays out against a different set of problems. You can watch it on YouTube and if you do, you will have the chance to meet a number of well known faces - as in Vanessa Redgrave, Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Stone and Chloe Sevigny. If you want a review - try this one.
- "Boys on the Side" (***) a threesome of a different kind - three women on the road, three merging lifestories and three separate paths to heaven. Look it up in the Imdb. If you decide to watch this you have a fine time with Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louis Parker and Drew Berrymore, but I have to in a tissue alert on this one!
- "Kiss Me" or "Kyss Mig" (***) is a Swedish film from 2011 with a pair of soon to be stepsisters - as in "parents remarrying late in life" - who finds them self tangled up in new love, coming out and not least of all in the process of leaving failed relationships behind. It has the touch and feel of a mainstream film which I find quite refreshing - don't miss this one!
- "Desert Hearts" () a classic in the history of lesbian themed films. Look it up for the refreshing hint of a possible happy end and perhaps a smile on account of the antiquated hairstyle and clothing - a trailer
- "The Gymnast" (***) - Dreya Weber and her ”six pack" is a strong cocktail to swallow in a story of love and hope of the "woman on woman" kind, but it work out quite well .... and the acrobatics (no no ... not THAT kind!) is quite amazing Imbd
- "Reaching for the Moon" (****) - Brazil as the scene of love and life of the architect Lotta, and her household of past and present lovers .. a well told tale of love and deceit! Don't miss it even if it's not quite the happy ending you would wish for - when is real life ever just happiness ?
- "Tru Love" (**) - not for the big screen but fine for on line viewing - a tale of how you might find love the most unusual places ... with your best friends MOTHER !!! Imdb
- "Last Tango in Halifax" (****) - season 1 - 2 - don't miss this BBC series of just "ordinary" family life and love. The main attraction is Sarah Lancashire and her story of coming out but don't forget to have fun with soon to be stepsister Gillian and her love life ... this is lots of love, lots of laughs and just "every day life" of a forty something woman. You can give season 3 a miss it does not live up the the potential ... but I would still go for a season 4 if offered!
- "Nina's Heavenly Delights" (***) - love is a lot like cooking, it’s based on chemistry and it doesn’t always turn out the way you want it, but at the New Taj it really does turn out right even if you do have to enjoy a curry to follow the storyline. Watch it here.
- "Four Faced Liar" (*) - can't explain this - but it does involve growing up and finding love. Watch it here.
- "Camp Belvidere" (-) - short movie - a lesbian love affair in the 50's in an all girls camp - well liked online - watch here
- "A Marine Story" (**) - watch here
- "An Unexpected Love" (**) - a made for TV movie. A stay home mother gets back in the swing of life - getting herself a job, a separation and perhaps a new love ? Watch it here
- If you are looking for tips on which movies to watch then look up - Kissingfingertips.com (Lesbian Film Reviews) or "Lesbian Films Archives"
Short films available online
- "Girl Talk" - about a high school girl and her secret date.
- "Last Exit" - a story of the out and proud Cody who still has some feelings for her ex-girlfriend Heather. Unfortunately, Heather doesn't want to leave her husband and Cody's current girlfriend Jessica has had enough.
- "In Memory Of Me" - about realising what you chose to throw away ... when it's too late to go back.
- "Gillerys Little Secret" - the lasting consequence of a high school love affair ... you are almost let to believe that women can overcome biology. I read somewhere that this short is a "teaser" to raise money for a full length movie, which might explain the abruptness of the storyline
- "She Said Lenny" - about daring to do what you fear the most ... an absolute favourite of mine.
- "True Love" - BBC short film - sometimes love takes courage, deifies boundaries and makes you happy no matter how others view your choice in life. It's sweet even if a teacher/student relationship is not really your thing.
The Wonders of YouTube - the links will probably only work for a short while ... lets see
- "Un Amour de Femme" - (French / English Sub) - along the lines of .... married woman falls in love with .... a woman ... this time with a happy ending!
- "Die Konkurrrentin" - (German or German / Spanish Sub ... your choice;-) - another married woman this time with a pair of twins ... just happens to fall in love with her new assistant hired to spoil her career ... happy ending
- "Lieb Mich" - (German) - yet again a married woman this time she falls in love with her sons teacher.
- "Die Schönsten Jahre" - (German / English Sub)
- "Tous les papas ne font pas pipi debout" - (French / English Sub) - the life of Simon and his two moms... happy ending ?
- "Lost and Delirious" - (English) - A posh all girls boarding school and a first love ... spells disaster (staring Piper Perabo).
- "Loving Annabelle" - (English / Spanish Sub) - I'm not really keen on the teacher/student theme, but maybe you are.
- "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love" - High School love story.
- "My Summer of Love" - another teenage love story this time in the English country side (staring Emily Blunt)
- "Kyss Mig" - (Swedish / English Subs) - two soon to be stepsisters (as in mom/dad's second marriage) - both in loving relationships .... it's complicated but sweet.
- "Fingersmith" - (English) - I think that you know what this is all about....
- "Lesbian Cliche Song" - don't miss this! All the cliches of lesbian life that you can dream of - delivered in a catching tone.
- "The Magician's Assistant" (****) by Ann Patchett - you can get it on Amazon. The book is not lesbian themed but General Fiction with a lesbian sub plot, its written with a light prose, and has a surprising, strong and touching storyline.
- "When We Where Bad" (**)by Charlotte Mendelson - you can get it on Amazon. The book is first and foremost the story of an English Jewish family with a slightly complicated relationship and you will probably have to find the Jewish theme just mildly interesting to sit through a reading. You will however find a lesbian sub plot if you follow the eldest daughter Frances and her developing uneasiness with her straight life.
- "Daughters of Jerusalem" (**) by Charlotte Mendelson - you can get it on Amazon. You will find yet another dysfunctional family in this novel - this time an academic Oxford one - and a lesbian sub plot - of course. Mendelson has a strong pen and an ability to build a strong family drama through the everyday occurrences of life, but both stories by Mendelson are fare from "easy reading" material.
- "Commencement"(***) by J. Courtney Sullivan - you can get it on Amazon. This novel has a "chick lit" feel about it, but its not just a light-hearted fling - its women, friends, coming of age, college as in the all female Smith's College, its well written and entertaining and don't worry there is a lesbian sub plot - just look out for Lara and ..... (sorry read for yourself).
- "Disobedience" (*) by Naomi Alderman - you can get it on Amazon. This novel centres on the life and choices of two Jewish girls from a strict religious community in Hendon (UK) and the big question of whether they will follow their hearts - this time the lesbian theme is the main plot!
- "The Price of Salt" (***) by Patricia Highsmith - the only explicit gay novel by Highsmith tells the story of a relationship between a young woman and an older married woman set in New York in the '50s. If you want to know a bit about Highsmith look up Jeanette Winterson's review of Joan Schenkar's biography. You can find a number of short stories by Winterson on her site.
- "Sing You Home" (*) by Jodi Picoult - this is general fiction with an agenda! The novel focuses on a same-sex couple Zoe and Vanessa and their quest to have a baby by way of three frozen embryos that Zoe and her ex-husband Max had stored while they went through fertility treatment together. This turns into a media circus and a court battle as Max fights for his right to decide the future of the embryos strongly supported by a ultra-conservative Christian Church. You can read a review here.
- "Pages for You" by Sylvia Brownrigg (*) - this is a one dimensional story of a love affair between a young girl (17) and an older teacher (28). I might label it " A Lesfic in disguise" as the story of falling in love, the thrill of first time sex and the joy of the first months of a new relationship is the sole objective of a storyline draped in a thin veil of references to poetry and the curriculum for a class on World Literature. I did read it in one sitting though - so it did catch on anyway! You must however know that "Pages for You" might look and feel like a romance, but it does not have the obligatory happy ending.
- "Some girls" by Kristin McCloy (*) - this is a story of self discovery centred on a young woman who comes to New York to gain independence and is quickly consumed by a magic spell cast over her by her neighbour Jade - a woman living on the edge.
- "Five Minutes in Heaven" by Lisa Alther (**) - it's ages since I read this .... so explore at your own risk it might be a bit outdated by now ?? Anyway it's a story spanning thirty years of love and self discovery.
Crime/Detective novels and such
- "Hen's Teeth" (**) by Manda Scott - you can get it on Amazon. This is the first in a series of three crime/thriller novels with Dr. Kellen Steward - it is a well written story with a centre stage role for our lesbian protagonist and it is great suspense (no mushy romance here though;-). You will find an equally well written Kellen thriller in "Stronger than Death"(**) the third and last book in this series.
- "Blue"(*) and "Blue Plate Special" (*) by Abigail Padgett - you can get both on Amazon. Surprise ! We have yet another lesbian protagonist on centre stage - this time she is a former professor and social psychologist ... and engaged in solving a crime - both stories are quite entertaining.
- "Trick of the Dark" (**) by Val McDermid. This is serial killer crossing Oxford graduate psychiatrist with a personal cause, but I can't recall any trace of blood! This is a one of/stand alone novel with a strong cast of lesbian characters centre stage. McDermit has also penned a series of detective novels with her lesbian protagonist Lindsay Gordon.