2020 has brought us some amazing queer entertainment! While we are stuck at home this holiday season, we want to suggest some queer content to enjoy by yourself or hosting a watch party.
The Family Stone – In the star-studded The Family Stone, everyone hates the uptight Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) when Everett (Dermot Mulroney) brings her home to meet his family for a surprise proposal. But everyone loves Thad and Patrick, a gay couple trying to adopt their first child. In a family of straight messes, it was refreshing (in 2005) to see the gays keeping it together for the holidays.
Make the Yuletide Gay – a 2009 romantic comedy from Rob Williams in which Gunn (Keith Jordan), who is out at college, goes back into the closet for the holidays to appease his parents. Then his “roommate,” Nathan (Adamo Ruggiero), shows up and the Yuletide, inevitably, is made gay.
Scrooge and Marley – Charles Dickens’s holiday classic A Christmas Carol gets a gay makeover in Scrooge & Marley. In this version of the oft-told story, Ebenezer (Ben) Scrooge is the owner of a piano bar, where he hates Christmas and underpays and terrorizes his employees. That is until he’s visited by one ghost who takes him to his past in a gay disco in the 1970s, to the present where his lesbian niece and her partner hold a heartwarming Christmas Eve party, and to the future where everyone essentially dances on his grave. Eventually, he sees the light and ends up donating money to the local LGBTQ+ center before spending Christmas with his niece.
Carol – a soon-to-be-divorced New Jersey socialite and a mother who falls for Therese, the shopgirl who is, as Carol notes, “flung out of space,” earned six Oscar nominations, even if it was snubbed in the Best Picture category. Still, it was the first Oscar-worthy love story about a female couple in which a man does not steal focus and that doesn’t end in disaster or death for the women. In fact, the hopeful ending of both the film and the novel it’s based on offer a possible happily-ever-after for Carol (Cate Blanchett) and Therese (Rooney Mara).
Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas – Kimiko Glenn (Orange Is the New Black) and Aisha Dee (The Bold Type) play classic holiday rom-com best friends with an unexpected holiday rom-com problem: Dee’s character dies unexpectedly and returns as a ghost. Glenn’s Kara is a tea enthusiast who begins to fall for graduate student Mae (Jazz Raycole). As the plot unfolds, their queer romance blossoms and fits seamlessly into the story.
Let It Snow – Netflix’s Let It Snow depicts several sweet stories of love and friendship unfolding on a particularly snowy Christmas Eve in a sleepy town, one of which is a love story between teen girls that’s sure to warm hearts. Nonbinary actor Liv Hewson (Santa Clarita Diet, Bombshell) stars as Dorrie, a Waffle Town waitress and a Harry Potter stan who once shared the night of her life meeting and hanging out with Anna Akana’s popular girl Kerry. When Kerry and her friends show up at the Waffle Town on Christmas Eve, Dorrie debates how best to rekindle the magic they shared. But first she’ll need to determine how best to melt Kerry’s icy veneer around her friends.
Season of Love – From Tello Films, the romantic comedy Season of Love follows several female couples from Christmas to the new year “who discover love truly is the best gift of all,” according to the logline. Tello founder Christin Baker directs the film from Kathryn Tramell’s script. Wynonna Earp’s Dominique Provost-Chalkley, True Blood and A Perfect Ending’s Jessica Clark, Emily Goss, Laur Allen, Sandra Mae Frank, and Janelle Marie costar in the movie that follows a cross section of friendships and love stories during the holiday season.
A New York Christmas Wedding – As is the stuff of Christmas flicks, a twist of fate brings Jennifer, who’s reeling from the recent loss of her father and the long-ago loss of her best friend, Gabrielle (Adriana DeMeo), together with her guardian angel, Azrael (Cooper Koch). He conjures an alternate world in which Gabrielle and Jennifer’s father are still alive and Jennifer gets a second shot at love with Gabrielle.
The Christmas Setup – On the network known for its made-for-TV movies, Lifetime’s The Christmas Setup stars real-life husbands Blake Lee and Ben Lewis, who fall in love all over again on-screen. Lewis plays Hugo, a New York City lawyer who goes to Milwaukee with his best friend, Madelyn (GLOW’s Ellen Wong), to spend Christmas with his mom, played by The Nanny’s Fran Drescher. A meddling matchmaker who also runs the local holiday festivities, Hugo’s mom, Kate, arranges for him to run into his old crush Patrick (Lee), who’s home from his high-powered job in Silicon Valley. The hitch? Hugo is offered a job in London just as things begin to get good.
Dashing in December – What’s better than gay cowboys? Gay cowboys at Christmas! And that’s exactly what Dashing in December delivers when Wyatt (Peter Porte), a New York City financier, connects with his roots and a handsome ranch hand on his mom’s ranch/Winter Wonderland attraction when he returns home for the holidays to try to convince her to sell the place. While visiting his mother, Deb, played by Andie MacDowell, Wyatt meets Heath (Juan Pablo Di Pace) and the attraction is palpable. Cue the Brokeback Mountain, God’s Own Country gay ranch vibe, albeit with a decidedly happier ending for all.
The Christmas House – Hallmark got into the gay Christmas movie game this year with The Christmas House, starring Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls) as Brandon and Brad Harder as Jake, a gay couple returning home for the holidays while also anxiously awaiting a call from an agency about adopting their first child. Treat Williams and Sharon Lawrence star as Brandon’s parents in this sure-to-be heartwarming movie from the network renowned for its wholesome fare.
Happiest Season (filmed in Pittsburgh) – The first LGBTQ+-focused holiday rom-com backed by a major studio, Happiest Season is directed by Clea DuVall and written by her and her writing partner Mary Holland. It tells the story of Harper (Davis) and Abby (Stewart), who run into problems when, as they are headed home for the holidays to visit Harper’s overachieving family, Harper reveals some crucial information. The movie costars Holland, Dan Levy, Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, and Ana Gasteyer. It’s a full-on same-sex romantic comedy with all of the holiday fixings. And it also features a soundtrack of all LGBTQ+ musicians that is the icing on the gingerbread people cookies.
I Hate New Year’s – Rising music star Layne heads home to Nashville for New Year’s Eve to break her writer’s block, but sometimes you find inspiration – and love – where you least expect it.
Christmas on the Square – An embittered “Scrooge” of a woman plans to sell her small town, regardless of the consequences to the people who live there.
Prom – A troupe of hilariously self-obsessed theater stars swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.
RENT – This is the film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impacts they have on America.
Love, Simon – Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.