20 Awesome Lesbian Movies Where No One Dies at the End
Sometimes you just want a film with a lesbian body count of ZERO...
Listen, we get it, sometimes characters should die in films. Sometimes that makes sense for the story that the film is trying to tell, that the loss is necessary. Here's the problem though, all too often it feels like every movie about lesbians you watch involves a lesbian dying, or deciding that women just weren’t for them and that they’d like to date men again, it gets a little old.
We deserve better! We want happily ever afters where the gay girlies ride off into the sunset together. Frankly, it's not too much to ask. Thankfully, some Sapphic films give us what we really want. Here are 20, yes 20 lesbian movies that prove not every WLW story has to be bittersweet with their happy (or at least hopeful) endings!
Courtesy of Hulu
In this super sweet rom-com, Rowan Blanchard stars as (Paige) who is forced to join her high school track team and turns lemons into lemonade by using it as an excuse to get closer to her crush but ends up finding out that real love may actually be waiting for her with another teammate, AJ (Auli’i Cravalho).
2. The Handmaiden
Courtesy of Amazon Studios
Ok, this is a cheat, but honestly is just so good we couldn't resist. Yes, people die in this one, but nobody who doesn't have it coming. Based on the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, this twisting turning thriller was adapted and directed by Park Chan-Wook and set, instead of Victorian England in Japanese-occupied Korea. The film follows two women, a Japanese heiress named Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee) and a Korean pickpocket named Sook-hee (Kim Tae-ri) who is hired as her maid as part of a plot to rob the heiress.
Erotic, visually stunning, and full of shocking plot twists, The Handmaiden is a must-watch, when you're craving something dark, Sapphic, and sexy.
3. But I’m a Cheerleader
But I’m a Cheerleader may take place in a conversion therapy camp, but this romantic comedy starring Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall has one of the best happy endings in a movie about lesbians ever.
It’s hard not to fall a little bit more in love with Carol every time you see it. The romantic drama set in 1950s New York tells the story of a love affair between soon to be divorced Carol Aird, and young aspiring artist, Therese Belivet. The film was based on The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, which had an unprecedented happy ending for lesbian characters when it was released in 1952.
5. I Can’t Think Straight
I Can’t Think Straight is a 2008 romance film about Tala, a London-based Jordanian of Palestinian decent, who is planning her wedding, and Leyla, a British Indian, the woman she has an affair with. The film attempts to deal with race, class, and sexuality in 80 minutes to varying degrees of success, but Tala and Leyla’s super sweet love story and ultimately happy ending make it worth the watch.
6. Life Partners
Life Partners follows the friendship of Sasha (Leighton Meester) and Paige (Gillian Jacobs). Sasha is a lesbian, and Paige is straight. Their friendship is the first and only priority, until Paige meets a new boyfriend, Tim. While the film doesn’t focus on a lesbian love story, it is an entertaining buddy flick. Bonus: the film is currently streaming on Netflix!
7. Nina’s Heavenly Delights
Nina’s Heavenly Delights is a 2006 romantic comedy that follows Nina Shah and Lisa as they begin a romantic relationship after Nina’s father dies and leaves half the restaurant to Lisa.
8. Kiss Me
Kiss Me is a Swedish drama following Mia, an architect who is engaged to Tim, her business partner. When she meets Frida, the daughter of her newly engaged father’s fiancée, they begin an affair. Bonus: the film is currently streaming on Netflix!
9. Imagine Me & You
Imagine Me & You is a German-British romantic comedy that centers on the relationship between Rachel and Luce who meet on Rachel’s wedding day to Hector. The film offers happy endings for everyone, even Rachel’s ex-husband.
Okay, so technically people die in Bound. This 1996 neo-noir crime thriller by The Wachowskis follows Corky, an ex-con who just finished a five-year jail sentence, and Violet, her new next door neighbor who she starts a relationship with. Despite all the ways things could go wrong for the couple, they get a happy ending!
11. Show Me Love
Show Me Love is a Swedish film following two teenage girls, Agnes and Elin, who begin a romantic relationship in their stifling small town. Bonus: the film is currently streaming on Netflix!
12. Gray Matters
Gray Matters is a 2006 romantic comedy that follows Gray Baldwin, who lives with her brother Sam, and accidentally falls in love with her sister-in-law.
13. Jenny’s Wedding
Is Jenny’s Wedding a great movie? Not really. There are a lot of long speeches about why Jenny’s conservative parents are wrong, and about how love overcomes everything, although the relationship between Jenny and Kitty is so thinly developed that it’s hard to believe it overcomes much. That said, if you just want to see a movie where Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel play a lesbian couple that gets married, go for it!
D.E.B.S. is an action-comedy parody of the Charlie’s Angels format. The film focuses on a love story between a hero, Amy Bradshaw, and a villain, Lucy Diamond. Despite the fact that they're on opposite sides of the law, the two get to ride off into the night together.
15. The World Unseen
The World Unseen was written and directed by Shamim Sarif, also known for I Can’t Think Straight, and stars the same actresses, Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth. The film is set in 1950s South Africa, where Amina and Miriam tentatively begin a romantic relationship in the midst of oppression.
16. Saving Face
Saving Face is a romantic comedy directed by Alice Wu that focuses on Wilhelmina, a Chinese-American surgeon, and her dancer girlfriend, Vivian. The ending is so ridiculously sweet and happy that you’ll want to dance.
17. The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love
The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love is a 1995 film written and directed by Maria Maggenti. The film follows the relationship between two very different teens, Randy Dean and Evie Roy. While the film doesn’t have an entirely happy ending since Randy and Evie are navigating being out and adulthood for the first time, the characters are allowed to do so without dying.
18. Desert Hearts
Desert Hearts is a romantic Western drama directed by Donna Deitch and based on the 1964 novel Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule. The film is set in 1959, and follows Vivian Bell, an English Professor who travels to Reno, Nevada to obtain a quick divorce, and Cay Rivers, a free-spirited sculptor, as they start an affair. The film has a hopeful ending.
19. Better Than Chocolate
Better Than Chocolate is a 1999 Canadian romantic comedy directed by Anne Wheeler. The film follows Maggie, who has recently moved out on her own, as she starts a relationship with another woman, Kim. Things become more complicated when Maggie’s mother and brother are forced to move into her loft, and are unaware that she’s a lesbian.
After living in New York for many years, photographer Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns for a trip back home to her super-conservative, Orthodox Jewish community in London and rekindles a forbidden relationship she had with her childhood friend Esti (Rachel McAdams), who has since married their other childhood friend (and a respected Rabbi in the community) Dovid.
The catalyst for Ronit returning to London and reuniting with Esti is the death of Ronit's father, so technically, someone did die in this movie...but at least it wasn't the queer women!