The lesbian romance genre provides audiences with a diverse range of experiences, spanning from the tragic to the sweet. Here are 22 movies where lesbians get their happy ending in some way.


If you’re unfamiliar with lesbian films, you’ll note that many of them — at least the well-known ones — are depressing. There are hidden lesbians from a period before electricity in Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) and Ammonite (2020), coming-of-age lesbians who suffer from homophobia and heteronormativity in Pariah (2011) and Rafiki (2018), and lesbians whose love is bound to end in Blue is the Warmest Color (2019). (2013).

Of course, many of these films are excellent — highly acclaimed, in fact — and have left an indelible effect on the industry. However, the all-too-common themes of love followed by suffering or even death have a long and bleak history in LGBT culture.

The Celluloid Closet (1995), a documentary on homosexuality in the film business during the twentieth century, follows the moral crackdown of the 1920s that led to the development of the Motion Picture Production Code of the United States, often known as the Hays Codes. Between 1934 and 1968, the code determined what was permissible and morally reprehensible in films, resulting in the erasure of LGBTQ+ characters and themes in many of the films of the period.

The gays who did make it to the big screen, on the other hand, tended to fall into one of three categories: The Joke, predators, murderers, vampires, or other types of social menaces, and homosexuals whose story served as a cautionary lesson for otherwise straight people.

Furthermore, since there was enough information to construct a whole montage, the documentary featured a montage of gays dying on screen. A lesbian is even shown dying after being crushed by a falling tree at one point.

So maybe seeing Hélose sobbing to the music Marianne had played for her years ago at the conclusion of Portrait of a Lady on Fire isn’t as awful as I thought it was after that montage. At the very least, they a) existed and b) did not perish in the film.

22-Movies-Where-the-Lesbians-Get-a-Happy-EndingMaybe this is the closest they’ll come to a happy ending.

While I like sad lesbian tales from time to time, I also enjoy seeing puppy love lesbians, trashy rom-com lesbians, and action star lesbians. I want to see and appreciate all types of lesbians in the same manner that we can readily discover heterosexual characters across genres and boundaries. And, given the status of the world, I believe we females, too, are entitled to happiness.

The good news is that films featuring lesbians who a) exist, b) don’t die, and c) walk away happily do exist – you just have to search a bit further to discover them.

Hearts of the Desert (1985) 


Desert Hearts is widely regarded as the first mainstream film to portray lesbian love in a good light. It follows the tale of a university professor who divorces her husband and finds love — and herself — with a free-spirited cowgirl. It’s a great love tale directed by Donna Deitch, a lesbian herself, during a period when homosexuality was still seen as an illness.

The Incredible True Story of Two Love-Struck Girls (1995)


The film’s clumsy title tells you almost all you need to know about it. It’s a sweet film about two very different young girls falling in love and the complexity that comes with managing their social gaps and homophobia, directed by Maria Maggenti. Randy, played by Laurel Holloman, is based on Maggenti’s first girlfriend.

The Watermelon Lady is a fictional character (1996) 


The Watermelon Woman is an intelligent and creative homage to the neglected Black and gay stars of cinema history. It is the first feature-length film on Black lesbians written by a Black lesbian. Cheryl Dunye, the film’s writer-director and star, toes the line between fiction and non-fiction with aplomb. Cheryl succeeds in her film project, despite the fact that the relationship isn’t important to the tale, and the denouement provides enough of food for thought.

Boundary (1996)


Before The Matrix (1999), the Wachowski sisters made their directorial debut with Bound, a neo-noir criminal thriller about Violet, who tries to flee her mafia lover Caesar by running away with ex-con Corky. The filmmakers chose feminist sex educator Susie Bright to assist develop the lesbian sex scenes since there is a lot of violence surrounding $2 million.

However, I am a cheerleader (1999)


Jamie Babbit’s debut feature film is a satirical adolescent comedy about Megan, a cheerleader whose parents believe she is a lesbian and send her to a conversion treatment camp. She has no idea until she meets her butch co-camper Graham, and they fall in love. Despite its bad reviews, it has become a cult favorite, with RuPaul appearing in drag as Mike, a “ex-gay.”

It’s Even Better Than Chocolate (1999)


What would you do if you were a lesbian who had just found the lady of your dreams and she was moving in with you, but your conservative mother and brother were also moving in with you? Maggie, her new partner Kim, and her employment at an LGBT bookshop are the subjects of this Canadian romantic comedy. 

D.E.B.S. is an abbreviation for D.E.B.S. (2004)


D.E.B.S. (short for Discipline, Energy, Beauty, Strength) is an action comedy spoof of Charlie’s Angels that is full of corny lines and terrible special effects. The conscious camp and queer romance of it is irresistibly fun, and you can’t help but root for the paramilitary academy’s top recruit Amy and supervillain with a conscience Lucy Diamond. It was a box office flop and the ratings aren’t very good, but there’s something irresistibly fun about the conscious camp and queer romance of it, and you can’t help but root for the paramilitary academy’s top recruit Amy and supervillain with a

Keeping Face (2004)


Before working on the Netflix coming-of-age drama The Half of It (2020), writer-director Alice Wu initially worked on this gem of a lesbian film about Wil, a workaholic physician, and Vivian, a professional dancer. The lovely finale makes you want to dance along with Wil and Vivian, even if it takes some time and heavy topics to get there.

Consider the following scenario: (2005)


Rachel falls in love with her florist, Luce, on her wedding day to Hector in this German-British rom-com. The notion seems chaotic, and it is, yet Imagine Me & You has happy endings for everyone, which is lovely. It’s also fascinating to watch Leana Headey, who portrays Luce (and, more lately, Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones), wear low-rise jeans so well.

Nina’s Heavenly Delights (Nina’s Heavenly Delights) (2006)


This British lesbian film, of all things, is about food — particularly, a curry tournament. It also follows Nina’s attempt to win this tournament in order to maintain her late father’s restaurant, which she now co-owns with Lisa, a childhood friend with whom she develops affections.

Then there was Lola (2009)


“A sugar rush of a lesbian movie,” as one reviewer put it. The song And Then Came Lola is an homage to the German hit Run Lola Run (1999). Yes, there is a lot of running, this time by the skilled Lola around San Francisco’s streets and back rooms, as her job and relationship with her new lover Casey are both on the line.

Jamie and Jessie aren’t dating (2011)


Jamie and Jessie, roommates and closest friends, are allegedly not together. But, just as Jamie is about to go from Chicago to New York to pursue a Broadway career, the film poses the question: Could it be that they want to be? It’s one of the most surprising films on our list, with a lot of sexual tension, jealousy, and great musical moments.

Carol is a woman who has a (2015)


Despite the fact that Carol was produced by Harvey Weinstein (whom actress Cate Blanchett has criticized), Todd Haynes’ award-winning picture is a faithful adaptation of a revolutionary lesbian book by a lesbian author. Carol and Therese have a quietly strong happy ending in the novel — and in the film — and it’s difficult not to fall in love with the narrative when it’s told with exquisite photography and superb performances. 

The Handmaiden is a character in the film The Handmaiden (2016)


Park Chan-The Wook’s Handmaiden is another great novel adaption, a psychological vengeance thriller with many of twists and turns that follows the lives of thief Nam Sook-hee, heiress Lady Hideko, and con artist Count Fujiwara. There aren’t enough words to express how fantastic this film is, so please see it if you haven’t already. 

Feelings (2017)


Soon-to-be-wives Andi and Lu enjoy their bachelorette party in a wooded cabin with their friends. Things are going well, albeit a bit awkwardly, until an inebriated Lu confesses that she’s never had an orgasm before, shocking everyone, particularly Andi. The buddies ponder on desire, trust, and their first orgasms throughout the video.

Make a Signature Move (2017)


Fawzia Mirza, the film’s producer, writer, and performer, is most known for her role as Jamie’s girlfriend Rhonda in Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together. This time, Mirza takes on the role of Zaynab, a Pakistani Muslim lesbian who lives with her orthodox mother and falls in love with the outgoing Alma. So, how does she handle the pressures of dating while still being in the closet? Of course, Lucha-style wrestling is the way to go.

Cameron Post’s Ill-Education (2018)


The Miseducation of Cameron Post is based on a coming-of-age adolescent book that follows the eponymous Cameron as she is brought to a homosexual conversion camp. The film’s premise may make it difficult for some to watch since it deals with emotional abuse and trauma, but director Desiree Akhavan, a bisexual woman of color, does it with stunning delicacy and kindness, turning it into a powerful narrative of identity, rebellion, and new family. (2019)


Molly and Amy, two nerdy best friends, decide to let free for the first (and last) time before graduating from high school to pursue their different loves in Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut. Amy loves a girl called Ryan, while Molly prefers a male named Nick. The film’s portrayal of lesbians in high school and coming of age is a refreshing, amusing, and charming reminder that no one is ever a cliché.

Multi-billionaire (2020) 


Kajillionaire is a criminal comedy-drama that is as genuine and purposeful as it is gloriously surprising. The narrative follows Robert, Theresa, and their more-of-an-accomplice-than-daughter Old Dolio, a comically terrible petty criminal family. Old Dolio is irrevocably transformed when Robert and Theresa persuade Melanie to join their plots.

Ellie and Abbie (as well as Ellie’s Aunt who is no longer alive) (2020)


This nicely produced Australian rom-com has a charming idea. When Ellie tells her mother that she is a lesbian, her dead lesbian aunt Tara arrives as a fairy godmother to help her through the intricacies of first lesbian love. In reality, the film is about two love stories: Ellie and Abbie’s burgeoning relationship in high school, and the intergenerational love between today’s LGBTQ+ population and our queer forefathers.

Summerland is a place where you may relax and enjoy (2020) 


Alice’s tranquil, isolated existence is shattered when an evacuee from the London Blitz, Frank, is entrusted to her care during World War II. The real lesbian relationship, which is largely shown in brilliant, dreamy flashbacks, is subtle, but it beats in Gemma Arterton’s performance and her character’s surprise affinity with Frank. 

Season of Joy (2020)


This Christmas film, directed by Clea DuVall, who portrays the butch lesbian Graham in But I’m a Cheerleader, follows Abby and Harper as they decide to spend the holidays with Harper’s family. Her traditional parents, on the other hand, are completely unaware that she is a lesbian.

With more than a few clichéd Christmas clichés, the film takes a bit to get to its happy conclusion, but it’s a truly amusing experience – particularly with Aubrey Plaza stealing the show. Fans of the film will also be pleased to learn that a sequel is in the works.

Do you have a favorite film about lesbians who are happy? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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