15 romantic LGBTQ+ movies to cuddle up to this Valentine's Day

From poignant documentaries to fiery period dramas and hilarious rom-coms, there's something for everyone on this list.

A split screen of three romantic LGBTQ+ movies. Left is Romeos, middle is Red, White & Royal Blue, right is Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
Image: (Left to right) Peccadillo Pictures via YouTube, Amazon MGM Studios, @vanasbj via X

Whether you’re spending your Valentine’s Day on a date with the couch, a first date, or celebrating with a long-term partner, nothing beats a good, old-fashioned movie night. To help you get ready, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most heartfelt, romantic LGBTQ+ movies for you to stream this Valentine’s Day. 

All In My Family
For anyone out there who loves a good documentary, this one is definitely a must-see. Gay filmmaker Hao Wu documents his traditional Chinese family’s process of accepting him while he begins the process of having a child via surrogacy. This is an intimate look at both romantic love and the love among family members. It is truly a beautiful film that tells a unique and heartwarming story. 

Alex Strangelove
This teen romance is an absolute delight from beginning to end. It follows a high school senior as he navigates his feelings for a handsome gay kid and is as a result thrown into a roller-coaster journey of his sexual identity. Alex Strangelove embraces and celebrates the cliches of rom-com teen dramas while giving it a queer spin. 

Duck Butter
If one word could describe this romantic film, it would be ‘daring’. The story follows two women, jaded to love by previous dishonest and heartbreaking romances, who embark on a 24-hour experiment to form a new type of intimacy. It is a dizzying ride through different types of relationships, which aims for grand ideas yet does not always stick the landing. However, the acting from the two leads makes this worthwhile as they ground the larger concepts through their performances. 

Call Me By Your Name
The romantic LGBTQ+ movie everyone has been raving about since its premiere. Telling the intimate story of Elio Periman and Oliver, this one is definitely a must-watch. The cinematography is simply gorgeous, soaking in the setting of a 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. 

Holding the Man
Holding the Man captures a gay romance that has lasted for 15 years, following Tim and John from teenage romance into adulthood. It grapples with everything life has thrown at them, from discrimination to separation and temptation. If you are looking for a romantic LGBTQ+ movie packed with emotion, this one is filled to the brim.

My Days of Mercy
My Days of Mercy follows the child of a man on death row who falls in love with a woman on the opposing side of their family’s political cause to stop the death penalty. A meet-cute at a state penitentiary is definitely an odd setting, yet the two main actors embrace the oddity and bring new dimensions to it. Elliot Page brings phenomenal energy to the role, in the character’s need to seek connection with another person and their struggles with family loyalty. 

I Carry You With Me
This movie tells the bittersweet story of unexpected love that grows and changes, spanning decades. The romance between an aspiring chef and a teacher begins in Mexico, but then it embarks on a journey to New York City full of dreams, obstacles and hopes. If you want a dreamy and ethereal atmosphere this Valentine’s Day, I Carry You with Me is the movie to choose.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
This absolute work of art is set to bring you back in time to 18th-century France to witness the mutual attraction that develops between a countess’s young daughter and the female painter commissioned to do her wedding portrait. This slow-burn perfectly captures all the subtle ways in which patriarchy constricted the lives of young women at the time and it’s just perfect if you want a love story from another age for your romantic night.

The Half of It
This witty coming-of-age story follows a shy teenage girl that decides to help the high school jock to win over the girl he likes. The problem? She likes the girl too. If what you want for Valentine’s Day is a heartwarming rom-com that also delivers some food for thought, this is definitely the movie for you.

Romeos
No Romeo and Juliet on this list, thank you very much! What we’re looking for are two Romeos, especially if one of them is Lukas, a trans man who starts to explore romantic love when he finds himself attracted to another man, Fabio. While you watch their relationship grow deeper you also get to witness an extraordinary story about self-discovery and acceptance.

God’s Own Country
Described as “a Yorkshire Brokeback Mountain“, this British love story follows the numb life of a young farmer and how it is disrupted by the arrival of a migrant worker to his farm. It is an achingly beautiful tale about giving oneself to love with a very realistic rural milieu as the background. It’s honest, hopeful, and filled with emotion.

Summer of 85
If we’re talking romantic LGBTQ+ movies, Call Me By Your Name is probably the first title that springs to mind, but who hasn’t watched that movie at this point? If you’re looking for something similar, Summer of 85 is a pretty good (and French) alternative. A tale of first love between two young men set on the coast of France, this movie is sure to break your heart into a million tiny pieces.

Bottoms
In a desperate attempt to lose their virginity, high school best friends PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) start a would-be fight club to teach their fellow classmates self-defence. Swimming with queer desire and laugh-out-loud moments, this 2023 flick is sure to be a classic of queer cinema for years to come. 

The Feels
Starring Contance Wu and Angela Trimbur as soon-to-be-wives heading out for their bachelorette weekend in wine country, this queer rom-com comes to a head when Lu (Trimbur) reveals that she’s never had an orgasm. Hilarity ensues as Lu’s fiancé and bachelorette spend the holiday trying to help her get her first orgasm before her wedding day. 

Red, White & Royal Blue
A rom-com between the son of the President of the United States and the Prince of England? Sign us up! This flick, starring Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine, follows the two young men on their journey from enemies to friends to lovers. With plenty of sweet, sexy and spicy moments sprinkled throughout, Red, White & Royal Blue is a must-watch queer rom-com for you and your partner(s) this Valentine’s Day. 

That concludes our list! Whatever way you spend your Valentine’s Day this year, we hope it’s a good one.

© 2024 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.