We’re in queer film renaissance, and we deserve some comedies too! With the recent release of the film Bottoms, we have compiled a list of queer comedies you need to check out.
The 2023 Emma Seligman film, Bottoms, is a comedic triumph. It’s bizarre, it’s funny, plus it has Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri playing loser lesbians. And critics don’t disagree, as the film still remains at 94% with 154 professional reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Over the past decade, queer films have long earned a reputation for being moody, dark, and depressing, and while those films also have their place, we deserve films like Bottoms too. So here are 5 queer comedies that you can go watch today!
But I’m A Cheerleader
I’m all but legally obligated to put this film at the top of the list. Released in 1999—starring a young Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall—the film is about a young woman named Megan, who is sent to conversion camp by her parents, believing she is a lesbian. Something Megan initially doesn’t understand, until her chance encounter with another camper named Graham.
While there are many great films that tackle the subject of conversion camps in a more serious manner, such as The Miseducation of Cameron Post, But I’m a Cheerleader faces it with high-camp aesthetics and sharp writing. It is a classic of the queer canon and if you haven’t watched it yet, you should absolutely give it a chance.
Getting a bit more obscure, Saving Face is a 2004 lesbian rom-com about a woman named Wil and her mother, Hwei-Ian. Wil, having not been open about her sexuality with her family, is shocked when her mother is kicked out of the family home for becoming pregnant out of wedlock at 48. Forced to move in together, the two learn about each other in unexpected ways.
This film, while less known than other options on our list, is critically acclaimed and heartwarming nonetheless. It is a story about the intersection of identity and culture, a place where queer people so frequently find themselves, and the complexity of the relationships we hold with our families. However, just as importantly, it’s the perfect film for the rom-com lovers out there who have been craving something more.
You can watch it for free now on Tubi.
Hear me out. This film, for many, has a long and unfair reputation for being a shallow horror film, primarily due to the poor advertising that took place prior to the film’s theatrical run; outside of director Diablo Cody’s control. Following friends Needy Lesnicky (Amanda Seyfried) and Jennifer Check (Megan Fox), the film follows Needy trying to stop Jennifer after a sacrificial ritual gone wrong turns her into a man-eating succubus. While the film is filled with iconic moments of queerness—such as the infamous kiss and “I go both ways” scene—it is a film that also tackles the repression of young queer women at its core. Jennifer, in her succubus form, does go after men exclusively, particularly men who get close to Needy and attempt to break the bubble of their friendship. When she is initially turned she goes to Needy’s house in search of meat. Furthermore, Needy sees it as her responsibility specifically to kill Jennifer, as she is her best friend.
There is a deep and tangled web of repressed feelings between the two women, symbolized by this monster that they share, and it is sad that until very recently, the film had been reduced to just another cheap horror flick. Luckily though, within the past five years, it has found a cult following among young queer women.
You can watch it today on Max.
Getting a bit more recent now, Booksmart, starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, is the coming-of-age film that took over the world in 2019 (and rightfully so). Two lifelong best friends and ambitious academics, Amy and Molly, realize as their senior year is fast approaching its end, that they may have squandered their high school years doing “what they were supposed to”. Thus, the two girls embark on one insane night of parties and bad ideas to make up for four years of lost time.
While queerness isn’t the center of this story, Kaitlyn Dever’s character, Amy, is a lesbian and her crush on another girl is an important part of her arc. Not to mention, it adds a new dimension to the coming-of-age genre as, for many queer people, there is always a sense that you’re “falling behind” your peers and hitting these quintessential milestones far later. All in all, Booksmart is a clever film that has a love for the teen girl experience that is so often lost on filmmakers now.
You cannot currently watch it anywhere with a subscription, but if you’re willing to pay the $3.99 to rent it for the evening you can watch it on YouTube TV, Apple TV+, and Amazon Prime. Trust us it will be worth your time.
Emma Seligman’s 2020 freshmen film, Shiva Baby, is an absolute must see for fans of Bottoms. Premiering quietly on direct release, thanks to the pandemic, Shiva Baby has fallen under the radar of many fans; which is truly a shame because the material is this insane. The premise is simple but wonderfully messy; a young woman, Danielle (Rachel Sennott) goes to a shiva with her parents, where her ex-girlfriend and her sugar daddy happen to both be in attendance. That is all you need to know before going in.
If you love Bottoms—and movies that make you break out in stress hives—then this is absolutely for you. It is deeply underrated and truly a mark of Seligman’s prowess as a director.
You can find it now on Max.