Posted March 10, 2012 by Heidi Vella in Features
 
 

Gay Romance


This week sees the release of Weekend – a boy-meets- boy love story. FilmJuice takes a look at the top ten gay love stories on film.

This week sees the release of Weekend – a boy-meets- boy love story. FilmJuice takes a look at the top ten gay love stories on film.

A Single Man

Set in the sixties and directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, A Single Man is decadent and dapper. Colin Firth gives an excellent performance as the sharply dressed
but soul destroyed George, who hankers after his late long term love, George (Mathew Goode), who died in a car crash.
He sees him in every corner of the apartment they shared together, their lives
so entwined in each other’s he can’t bear to spend another day alone. So much
so he spends the day preparing for his suicide, but will he be able to do it?
Perhaps the saddest thing about this movie is the deliverance of Jim’s death to
George, who is told he isn’t welcome at the funeral, he stoically takes it in
only to fall apart as soon as he drops the receiver.

Weekend

This boy-meets- boy love story, which culminates over a weekend, takes a more
relaxed and modern approach to gay love than some movies on this list. Russell
(Tom Cullen) and Glen (Chris New) meet in a gay bar and go
home together expecting nothing more than the norm. But instead of awkward
moments the next day the pair start talking – really talking.
Could their one night of passion be something more? Can they be monogamous and
make this relationship work? Do they really have as much time as they thought
to find the answers? Director Andrew
Haigh
naturalistic style works perfectly as he follows the pair simply
hanging out, making love and taking drugs over a solitary weekend as they
search for the answers to these questions.

Maurice

Based on the unpublished novel of the same name by E.M Foster, this is a tale of love and homosexuality in early 20th
century England. Maurice (James Wilby)
is a bewildered upper class Cambridge student who is awakened to his homosexual
persuasion when he encounters the dashing Clive Durham (Hugh Grant), the two become extremely close friends, but while
Maurice begins to embrace and except his homosexuality, Clive sees it as only a
passing phase and soon succumbs to desires of conservative England by repressing
his own desires.

My Summer of Love

This very English (although directed by Polish Pawel
Pawlikowski
)
swooning gay love story is about set in the Yorkshire country side. Bored Mona
(Natalie Press) meets and is
enthralled by the sophisticated but free spirited Tamsin (Emily Blunt). The pair fall in love over leisurely hours listening
to Edif Piaf and drinking an endless supply of wine. They suppose what their
life will be like when they are fully grown and what they imagine – the reality
of it – is far less appealing than their days spent together.

I love you Phillip Morris

Fantasist and formerly
married cop Steven Russell (Jim Carrey)
comes out as gay, then gets sent to prison for insurance scams where he finds
the love of his life, the shy and retiring Phillip Morris ( Ewan McGreggor). Morris trusts Russell
implicitly, but this new found love only spurns Russell to lie and cheat to the
world more in order to claim Morris for himself – he pretends to be whoever he
needs to be (lawyer, financial whizz-kid) so him and Morris can live an
extremely comfortable life as ‘the rich gay couple.’ He fools everyone around
him, including Morris. But, it’s only a matter of time before it all comes
crashing down and this hilarious gay love story must end.

Room in Rome

Two troubled young women
spend their last night together in Rome. It turns out to be a night of
reflection, psychoanalysis and sex in a ‘room in Rome’. When dark haired Spaniard Alba (Elena Anaya) invites blonde Russian
Natasha (Natasha Yarovenko) up to her room they’re making love as soon
as the door is closed. Sex is easy for the young lovers but real communication
isn’t and they know nothing about each other. Throughout the night they embrace
varying degrees of intimacy and tenderness which plays out beautifully on
screen.

The Kids Are Alright

The relationship between
Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette
Bening
) may not be a hot bed of passion and discovery (despite the
hilarious man-on-man porn watching at the beginning) but they are a rare thing on
screen – a long term gay couple . The couple’s world is thrown upside down when
their two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their biological
father home. It pushes their relationship to the edge – both sexually and
emotionally – but can they bring it back from the brink for the sake of their
family? Both funny and touching The Kids are Alright shows a different side to
gay union often neglected.

My Beautiful Laundrette

Moody 1980s South London is brilliantly captured in Stephen Farers’ breakthrough movie My Beautiful
Laundrette. Facing many challenges, including dealing with his alcoholic
father, Pakistani Omar (Gordon Warnecke) enlists the
help of an old school mate, a Cockney named Johnny (Daniel Day Lewis),
to help him run his laundrette. The two men embark on a sexual relationship
together which throws up many questions and challenges for them both only
exasperated by the dog-eat-dog world of Thatcherism.

Happy Together

This ironically named Wong Kar-wai film is about the on-off tumultuous relationship
between lovers Lai Yiu-fai (Tony Leung)
and Ho Po-wing (Leslie Cheung) and
their quest to get back to their motherland, Hong Kong, from Buenos Aires where
they have ended up. ‘Happy together’ one moment until domestic bliss,
repeatedly, gives over for arguments about frivolous money spending, ‘where did
you leave the keys’ and ‘why didn’t you take out the trash’ moments almost
every relationship succumbs too. Not forgetting the endless one night stands Ho
flaunts in Lai’s face. It’s simply a gay classic with Wai’s signature style of
colour, vibrancy and rough sex thrown in the mix.

Brokeback Mountain

“I just can’t quit you!” is the heart breaking line Heath Ledger’s intense and brooding Ennis Del Mar shouts at his
secret gay lover Jack Twist, played by Jake
Gyllenhaal
, as they prepare to say good bye to yet another stolen weekend
‘fishing’ on Brokeback mountain. Set in sixties Wyoming, Twist and Del Mar are
flung together when they sign up to herd sheep for the summer together. They
soon fall madly in love but due to prejudices and inner-turmoil they are forced
to live separate lives. This film
not only accelerated Ledger and Gyllenhaal’s already bourgeoning careers it
also bought gay romance into the mainstream.


Heidi Vella