There comes a point in any lazy weekend when you find yourself endlessly scrolling through movie and TV series titles on any number of the various streaming services to which you subscribe. Chances are you’ve spent more time looking for something to watch than it would take you to actually watch it. And if you’re searching for a great LGBTQ film, the process can be even more frustrating. Some platforms don’t even have a handy LGBTQ category while some that do often feature disappointing collections.
With this occasionally tortured process in mind, we’ve selected a few classic LGBTQ films for your weekend viewing pleasure:
Edge of Seventeen
This cult coming-out fave from 1998 centers on a midwestern teen dealing with both his evolving sense of style and his blossoming sexuality. Set in the 80s, Edge of Seventeen stars Chris Stafford as Eric, a high schooler who gets jerked around by the preppiest of gay preps (Andersen Gabrych) before coming into his own as a New Wave-obsessed queer. Written by Another Gay Movie director Todd Stephens, it also features a delightful supporting performance by Orange is the New Black star Lea DeLaria. Essential note: Despite the title, the film has literally nothing to do with Stevie Nicks. Streaming on Netflix.
Based on out writer Paul Rudnick’s play of the same name, Jeffrey is a hilarious and heartbreaking farce about the sexual politics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Fully freaked out about the prospect of getting HIV and disillusioned by the rigors of safe sex, our hero, Jeffrey (Steven Weber) decides to become celibate—then promptly meets the man of his dreams (Michael T. Weiss), who also happens to be pos. The film is also packed with scene-stealing cameos; Patrick Stewart, Sigourney Weaver, Kathy Najimy, Christine Baranski, Nathan Lane, and more flounce through this screwball comedy with a lot of heart. Streaming on Peacock.
The Object of My Affection
Admittedly, The Object of My Affection may not quite compare to its cinematic cousin, My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), but it is way better than the Madonna/Rupert Everette knock-off The Next Best Thing (2000). It has a certain mid-90s, middle-of-the-road Hollywood charm, courtesy of stars Jennifer Anniston and Paul Rudd. It even approaches a kind of wacky, Altman-esque chaotic comic energy in certain scenes. The gist of the plot is this: single gal Nina (Aniston) gets pregnant and cons her gay best friend George (Rudd) into raising the baby with her. Hijinks ensue. Watch with a bottle of cheap white wine—and then go seek out the Stephen McCauley novel on which it is based. Streaming on Hulu.
Here’s a hidden gem for fans of Shakespearean drama. Queer auteur Derek Jarman’s 1991 film adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s play about King Edward II’s (Steven Waddington) doomed love for courtier Piers Gaveston (Andrew Tiernan) is on stark minimalist sets and casts the king’s army as 90s LGBTQ rights protesters. The result is a moody, atmospheric, and politically charged take on what was already an explicitly gay tragedy. Plus, Tilda Swinton is at her icy best as Edward’s jealous wife Queen Isabella. Streaming for free with commercials on Prime Video, Pluto, Tubi, and elsewhere.