Gay Friendly DVDs For Pride

by Chris Narloch

I couldn’t let Pride month end without writing an article on all of the fine LGBT films that I have enjoyed over the last year.

Here then is my highly subjective list of the top ten gay (or gay-friendly) movies that have been released on DVD over the last 12 months or so. How many have you seen?

 



Looking The Complete Series
Not everyone agreed, but I thought this cable series starring Jonathan Groff was the finest long-form American television series about gay men ever.

I totally rooted for Patrick (Groff) and Richie (Raul Castillo) to get together and was thrilled when HBO brought them and their friends back for a feature film finale.

If you haven’t already seen it, start from the beginning, and relish both seasons of the show plus the movie via this complete collection.

Lovesong
This little-seen but highly acclaimed lesbian love story never made it to Sacramento, which is a shame since it is one of the best LGBT titles in recent memory.

Neglected by her husband, Sarah embarks on an impromptu road trip with her young daughter and her best friend, Mindy. Along the way, the dynamic between the two friends intensifies before circumstances force them apart.

Jena Malone and Riley Keough give finely etched performances as female best friends who attempt to rebuild their intimate connection in the days before Mindy’s wedding.

Swiss Army Man
This wild, one-of-a-kind movie won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are a fan of ambitious and original indie films check out Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe as, respectively, a man stranded on a deserted island and the corpse who washes up and becomes his best friend.

That crazy premise actually pays off and provides two fine actors with a lot to work with, including an underwater same-sex kiss that comes out of nowhere, like almost everything else in this wacky, wonderful picture from directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.

Star Trek Beyond
John Cho’s nonchalant performance as Sulu, who is revealed to have a male partner and a daughter in the latest big screen ‘Star Trek’ movie, is just one of the pleasures to be found in ‘Star Trek Beyond.’

Cho isn’t gay, but the original Sulu, actor George Takei, is so it was a nice touch to have one of the most popular sci-fi franchises ever evolve with the times.

Chris Pine and openly gay actor Zachary Quinto are back as James T. Kirk and Spock, and the great Idris Elba makes an imposing villain.

Everybody Wants Some
The latest film from director Richard Linklater (‘Boyhood’) doesn’t technically have any gay content but there are so many scenes of handsome young men in tight pants or shorts or shirtless, that the movie is definitely homoerotic, whether it was intentional or not.

In 1980 Texas, a college freshman (Blake Jenner) meets his new baseball teammates (including Will Brittain and Ryan Guzman), an unruly group of disco-dancing, skirt-chasing partiers who live together. Everything about this movie, which has a dynamite soundtrack of period hits, took me right back to high school and college.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Everyone’s favorite pill-popping party crashers, Patsy and Edina, are still drinking, shopping and clubbing after all these years in this long-overdue big screen version of the popular ‘90s cable comedy.

While attending an elite party, the ‘girls’ wind up knocking supermodel Kate Moss into the River Thames. Seeking refuge from the subsequent media firestorm, the gals flee to the French Riviera, where they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever.

Victor Victoria
The great Julie Andrews was Oscar-nominated as Best Actress for her gender-bending portrayal of an unemployed British soprano who hatches a plan to find work in 1930s Paris as a ‘man’ (Victor) performing as a woman (Victoria).

Our hero becomes a nightclub sensation, of course, even attracting the attention of a Chicago mobster (James Garner). ‘Victor Victoria’ also features fun performances from Lesley Ann Warren and Robert Preston.

Serial Mom
The one and only queer director John Waters directed this warped comedy, which stars Kathleen Turner as a cheerfully psychotic housewife who will stop at nothing to get rid of anyone who fails to live up to her moral code.

While the movie is more uneven than classic Waters’ flicks such as ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Pink Flamingos,’ nobody satirizes suburbia quite like Waters, and ‘Serial Mom’ has some classic moments. Ricki Lake, Patricia Hearst, Mink Stole, and Traci Lords co-star.

Mad Max High Octane Collection
Handsome Tom Hardy, one of my favorite leading men, took over from Mel Gibson as Mad Max in the Oscar-winning reboot of director George Miller’s great Aussie action franchise from the early ‘80s, which is included here along with Miller’s 2015 remake.

The High Octane Collection contains all three of Mel Gibson’s ‘Mad Max’ movies plus five hours of bonus features and two editions of ‘Fury Road,’ starring hunky Hardy and an incredible Charlize Theron –- the original theatrical film and a super-cool black and white version.

Florence Foster Jenkins
Meryl Streep scored another well-deserved Oscar nomination for playing this truly awful real-life singer, whose rich husband let her believe that she was a great opera singer.

Jenkins even recorded and played Carnegie Hall, despite being tone deaf, and the movie is a funny and ultimately moving tribute to our sometimes-delusional need to believe in our dreams.

Hugh Grant is also excellent as Jenkins’ indulgent husband, and Simon Helberg has a lot of fun as the heroine’s gay accompanist.





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