Queer Film Recs: Sometimes Heart Wrenching, Sometimes Campy, but All of These End Happy

Queer films are still few and far between these days, and the number of those that end happy are even smaller. So here’s a short list of queer films that have happy endings. Some are campy, some are more serious but these all have happy endings, and there is an endgame couple in all of them.

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Review: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

35297272Summary: For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him. 

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Rep: Korean-American mc

Trigger warnings: poverty, alcoholism, casual racism, overdosing

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eARC Review: Skylarks by Karen Gregory

38078350.jpgSummary: Karen Gregory’s heartfelt, thought-provoking second novel about love against the odds is perfect for readers of Lisa Williamson, Sara Barnard and Sarah Crossan. 

When she was little, Joni used to have dreams that she could fly. But these days her feet are firmly on the ground – they have to be when money’s tight and her dad can’t work and the whole family has to pull together to keep afloat.

Then she meets Annabel. Annabel is everything Joni isn’t, and yet there’s a spark between them. Though Joni barely believes it at first, she thinks they might be falling in love. 

But when Annabel’s parents find out about the relationship, it’s clear they believe there are some differences that are impossible to overcome. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Rep: lesbian mc, f/f romance

I received an arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Review: I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

36536433Summary: For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.

Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Rep: biracial (Indian and Italian) anxious gay trans guy mc, Persian Muslim Hijabi who’s questioning her sexuality mc, side black character, side bisexual character, side biracial (Chinese and white) bisexual character

Content warnings: injury, panic attacks

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Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

31180248.jpgSummary: Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Rating: ★★★★★

Rep: fat bi mc, f/f romance

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