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14 gay romance films to snuggle up to this Valentine's Day

14 gay romance films to snuggle up to this Valentine's Day

14 gay romance films to snuggle up to this Valentine's Day
Netflix; Wolfe Video; 20th Century Studios

Love is in the air!

Love is in the air!

14 gay romance films to snuggle up to this Valentine's Day

Netflix; Wolfe Video; 20th Century Studios

February marks the season of love, and Valentine’s Day is in full force… whether you like it or not!

These days, LGBTQ+ couples and their love stories are fortunately more celebrated and accepted than before. As of 2024, people are allowed to love who they want to. Even though that’s not always the case, we’re still here as a result of several political and cultural strides.

Whether you have a date or not, there’s never a bad time to celebrate love! So if you’re on the hunt for some good LGBTQ+ romance films to either snuggle up to or just enjoy on your own, check out these 14 movies that you don’t want to miss out on.

Happy Together (1997)


Wong Kar-wai's 1997 drama Happy Together isn't exactly a happy movie, but it's a stunning one all the same. It stars Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Yiu-Fai and Leslie Cheung as Po-Wing in an on-again off-again romance that was far ahead of its time and is still regarded as one of the best foreign films centered on gay love.

Weekend (2011)

Peccadillo Pictures

Weekend is an intimate British film directed by Andrew Haigh (All of Us Strangers) that follows Russell (Tom Cullen) and Glen (Chris New) who meet, hook up, and fall in love all over the course of a weekend in a no-holds-barred exploration of modern gay love. There's passion, there's love, and there's honest explorations of sex. What more could you need?

Elliot Loves (2012)

TLA Releasing

Elliot Loves follows the life of a Dominican-American named Elliot in two different periods of his life. The younger Elliot (Quentin Araujo) struggles with his relationship with his mother (Elena Goode) as a boy and then again as a young adult (Fabio Costaprado) on the hunt to find love.

Naz & Maalik (2015)

Wolfe Video

Naz & Maalik centers around the two titular characters, played by Kerwin Johnson Jr. and Curtiss Cook Jr., who try to keep their love secret and are unaware of its consequences. On top of the romance, there's also a subplot weaved in about the War on Terror and how men of color are disproportionately profiled for crimes they didn't commit.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Focus Features

If you haven't heard of or seen Brokeback Mountain, where have you been? Whether you're on the first watch or the hundredth, this iconic Ang Lee film, based on a book of the same name by Annie Proulx, stars Heath Ledger as Ennis and Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack, two cowboys who develop a relationship together despite both being married. This tragic drama has gone down as one of the first major Hollywood films to center around a gay relationship.

Love, Simon (2008)

20th Century Studios

Where Brokeback Mountain is the first major Hollywood film centering on gay love, Love, Simon is the first one that focuses on a gay teen. Starring Nick Robinson as the 17-year-old Simon Spier, this sweet and uplifting coming out story has long been praised for dealing with topics like being outed from others and coming out on your own terms.

The Way He Looks (2014)

Strand Releasing

​Another sweet coming-of-age film is the Brazilian flick ​The Way He Looks​. The story follows Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo), a blind teen, and his developing relationship with a new student named Gabriel (Fábio Audi) after the two get paired up for a school project. Anyone looking for a feel-good rom-com that also shows a sensitive portrayal of disability in love should look no further.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

New Line Cinema

Okay, so, yes, John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch isn't exactly an outright romance, but it's still a landmark queer rock musical that at least deserves a shoutout. The romance is there, sort of, but mostly in Hedwig's head in some wonderfully cathartic visions in regard to Tommy Gnosis (Michael Pitt.) Starring Mitchell in the lead role, this hilarious film also reinforces a quote we've all come to know and love: If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?

The Thing About Harry (2020)


Peter Paige's 2020 movie The Thing About Harry takes on the formulaic rom-com plotline about former enemies turned lovers. It's also the first outright gay rom-com and follows Sam (Jake Borelli) and Harry (Niko Terho) as former high school rivals who reunite in adulthood. When they reconnect, they've both come out of the closet, and the romance that forms is warm and lighthearted, if not a little emotional at times.

Maurice (1987)

Merchant Ivory Productions

Maurice is an 80's film based on the novel by E.M. Forester that was just way ahead of its time. It stars James Wilby as the titular character and focuses on his growing interest in Clive (Hugh Grant), a young student in Cambridge. The film explores societal expectations and forbidden love and was released at a poignant time when the gay community was being ostracized for the AIDS crisis. It's been applauded for its positive portrayal of gay love and also earned an Oscar nod when it was released.

God's Own Country (2017)

Miracle Film Distribution

Francis Lee's God's Own Country never fully got the shine it deserved. This optimistic film focuses on the healing powers of love and involves two farmhands who would otherwise stay closeted without each other. Starring Josh O'Conner as Johnny and Alec Secareanu as Gheorghe, the film took the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Award for world cinema directing, and the actors' performances have long been praised for their moving portrayals.

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Fine Line Features

Loosely based on Shakespeare's Henry IV, My Own Private Idaho reinforces the idea that love is love, even when it's unrequited. It stars River Phoenix as Mikey, a narcoleptic male hustler who's joined by his best friend, Scott (Keanu Reeves) on a journey that explores love, loss, betrayal, and what it's like for a lot of LGBTQ+ folk to live out on the street. Though this is a poignant film, it's not the choice for those looking for a happy ending.

Stranger by the Lake (2013)

Les Films du Losange

If you like a little darkness to your romance films, check out the French film L'Iconnu du lac, or Stranger By the Lake. This is a bit of a psycho-sexual thriller, so be warned, but there's a lot of sex in it. And by a lot of sex, the film takes place on a nude beach and centers around the fun (and dangers) of cruising. There are plenty of erect penises and bodily fluids to go around, and there's a little something for everyone in this movie.

Sebastiane (1976)


Sebastiane is a Latin-language movie from the 70's that isn't quite as sexual (or at least as explicitly graphic) as Stranger By the Lake, but it's still a slow-burn of male passion. The controversial film centers around the events of the life of Saint Sebastian (Leonardo Treviglio), including his eventual death by arrows. The historical drama isn't exactly the easiest watch, especially since it's in Latin, but still worth it for all the homoeroticism.

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Andrew J. Stillman