Our Ten Best: Gay Romance Films

Staff Writer Craig Rogers gives his picks for the top ten gay romance films of all time:

10. I Think I Do (1997)

In Bob’s eyes (portrayed by Alexis Arquette ), fate was the driving force behind him and his love interest, Brendan (Christian Maelen) being roommates while they were students at a college in Washington, D.C. It seemed that Brendan would never return the same sentiment for Bob. That is until six years later when everything changed. Reunited for the wedding of their two mutual friends, the sparks began to fly between the two of them and the rest of the wedding party. With a stellar cast and a great plotline, there’s no question why this movie made the list.

9. Rock Haven (2007)

Following the classic storyline of the Hollywood coming of age story, this movie does that but with a gay twist. Brady (Sean Hoagland) can be described as a high strung, religious bookworm with a secret. As the story progresses, we learned that he can’t keep his feelings for the neighbor’s son under wraps for long. He then begins spending more and more time with Clifford (Owen Alabado) until their relationship becomes known to Brady’s family. With one twist after another, this short but powerful movie is an interesting one.

8. Trick (1999)

Gabriel (Christian Campbell) has not had much success in the category of love. Day in and day out, his life was boring and uninspired as he worked in a cubical five days a week. That is until he goes to a night club and meets a young go-go dancer named Mark (J. P. Pitoc). Although they spend the majority of the night looking for a place to complete their one night stand, much more happens to both men. The city of New York added a great backdrop to an already great movie.

7. Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom (2008)

With only a handful of media out there that is geared towards gay men of color, Noah’s Arc made history as being a groundbreaking staple for young, gay men of color to view and enjoy. Noah Nichols (Darryl Stephens) and his friends leave their homes in Los Angeles and go to Martha’s Vineyard for Noah’s wedding to his boyfriend Wade Robinson (Jensen Atwood). As the wedding draws near, the gang uses this time to reconnect with their partners, reflect on their future expectations and patch up their unresolved issues with each other.

6. On the Downlow (2004)

This gritty, urban version of the classic play, Romeo and Juliet is a true diamond in the rough. Isaac (Tony Sancho) and Angel (Michael Cortez) are two Latinos who were in rival gangs on the south side of Chicago, but the two of them were able to met and fall in love. The two conspire to be together in the same gang, which is where the real danger begins.

5. Shelter (2007)

Zach (Trevor Wright) is a 22-year-old aspiring artist who has put his dreams of going to art school on hold in order to take care of his family. When his best friend’s older brother Shaun (Brad Rowe) comes home, Zach and Shaun redevelop their close friendship and even begin an intimate, sexual relationship. While this is going on, Shaun encourages Zach to take control of his life and pursue his ambition of going to art school. In the end, Zach does have to choose who to believe in more, his family or Shaun.

4. Latter Days (2003)

Can a saint and a sinner find true love in each other? According this motion picture, they can. Mormon missionary, Elder Aaron Davis, (Steve Sandvoss) and his fellow church members move in next door to an openly gay man, Christian Markelli (Wes Ramsey) and his roommate. The two raise a few eyebrows amongst their respective parties when they get closer and closer together. It was Elder Davis’ job to convert people like Markelli over to the side of good, thankfully, it did not take Davis long to realize that he was on the wrong side.

3. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback Mountain has allowed America to see a glimpse into a different example of what constitutes love and masculinity. Brokeback Mountain is the story of ranch hand Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal). The two men work together, get to know each other and then fall in love on the infamous Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming. The film documents the ups and downs of their relationship over a twenty year span. The majority of the movie was mostly unspoken emotions between the two men. If they were more vocal, it probably would have added more depth to the film.

2. The Trip (2002)

With subtle comedic timing and the ability to take it’s viewers in a field trip throughout history, The Trip is a production for the record books. Fireworks explode when Tommy Ballenger (Steve Braun), a 19-year-old gay-rights activist, and Alan Oakley (Larry Sullivan), a 24-year-old closeted writer, meet for the first time in 1973. Despite their differences, they are able to form a loving, long-term relationship. After Alan writes a book that emphasizes certain things about Homosexuality that Tommy had tried to understate, it ends up destroys Tommy’s credibility and results in the two men’s break-up. Alan is given another chance to make things right with Tommy a few years later and the two reunite for their overdue trip through Mexico.

1. Making Love (1982)

“Making Love” was one of a few mainstream Hollywood films that have directly dealt with the theme of Homosexuality in a more tolerant and sympathetic light. The film’s main character, Zack Elliot (Michael Ontkean), is a successful young doctor in the Los Angeles area. He is married and he and his wife have been together for eight years. Zack has been, secretly, struggling with an attraction to other men for a long time. This all changes when he meets a free-spirited novelist named Bart McGuire (Harry Hamlin), and the two have a romantic, love affair. This is a great film to be inspired to regain control over one’s life and actions and to try and find true love in between it all.

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Craig Rogers

1 Comment

  1. For those looking for more modern takes on romance, you should check out BEDFELLOWS, which has played all over the world and is now available on DVD, iTunes, and YouTube. Winner of over 25 awards and acclaim at mainstream and LGBT film festivals on every continent, BEDFELLOWS is now available on the First Run Features DVD “Fest Selects: Best Gay Shorts, Vol. 1″ featuring 8 top-level LGBT short films!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxYTiOk3Yjs

    http://www.amazon.com/Fest-Selects-Best-Shorts-Vol/dp/B004NEF9G4

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/festselects-best-gay-shorts/id446916683?ls=1&mt=8

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