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    10 Movies With A Shit Ton Of Lesbian Subtext

    No homo, though.

    1. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    Rumor has it that Jess and Jules were actually supposed to end up together, but at the last second, the filmmakers shied away from a lesbian storyline. What we're left with is a nearly perfect film in which two women are SO OBVIOUSLY SUPPOSED TO GET IT ON, BUT DON'T. Their chemistry is palpable and we're supposed to believe they're both into their dude coach?? Please.

    All the jokes about Keira Knightley's mom assuming she's a lesbian because she's ~sporty~ don't help matters, either. Every time Keira's character emphatically insists she's not gay, somewhere in the world a lesbian dies.

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    Just friends. Sure.

    2. Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

    Universal Pictures

    Fried Green Tomatoes β€” the book β€” is a love story about two women named Ruth and Idgie. Fried Green Tomatoes β€” the movie based on that book β€” is about two women named Ruth and Idgie who are two super good friends. According to director commentary, the infamous food fight was supposed to be a stand-in for a sex scene. Too bad we couldn't get, you know, an ACTUAL SEX SCENE.

    You seriously don't even need to try that hard to see all the queerness radiating out of this movie. Ruth and Idgie were made for each other, and they deserved more than food fights.

    *cries softly*

    3. All About Eve (1950)

    20th Century Fox

    All About Eve is one of the greatest films ever made. The incomparable Bette Davis plays a well-regarded Broadway star named Margo, and Anne Baxter plays Eve β€” a young Broadway fan who eventually encroaches upon Margo's turf and threatens her stardom. Bette Davis's famously withering looks snap, crackle, and pop with sexual tension. These ladies totally hate each other but clearly the hate sex would be awesome?

    20th Century Fox

    Same tbh.

    4. Bring It On (2000)

    Universal Pictures

    We're all supposed to believe that Kirsten Dunst is into this artsy dude named Cliff, but clearly it's the guy's sister β€” played by Eliza Dushku, aka Faith from Buffy, aka someone much beloved by gay girls throughout the land β€” who Kirsten is supposed to be bringing it on with.

    There are a bunch of shitty lesbian jokes made at the expense of Eliza Dushku's character, Missy β€” one girl says Missy shouldn't be allowed onto the cheerleading team because she looks like an "uber dyke." Wouldn't it have been great if Missy could have just been like "Fuck yeah, I am an uber dyke," proving it by doling out orgasms to various cheerleaders like Halloween candy? Where is that version of Bring It On?

    Universal Pictures

    Hey girls.

    5. A League of Their Own (1992)

    Columbia Pictures

    This movie stars Rosie O'Donnell, Lori Petty, Madonna, and Geena Davis. They all play baseball. Like, come on.

    Columbia Pictures

    Marry me, Geena Davis.

    6. Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)

    IFC Films

    Juliette Binoche plays an esteemed actor, and Kristen Stewart is her personal assistant. To practice for an upcoming play, they rehearse the role of two lesbian lovers. "Subtext" is not even a strong enough word in this situation.

    Spoiler: Juliette looks longingly in on Kristen as she sleeps in a thong, but neither of them ever end up making a real move. The ridiculous amount of lezzie overtones were just there for, like, symbolism.

    We know what that eyebrow raise means, Kristen. WE KNOW.

    7. Christopher Strong (1933)

    RKO Pictures

    A 1933 film by Dorothy Arzner β€” who was the first woman to join the Directors Guild of America, and still remains the most prolific female director to have ever worked within the Hollywood studio system β€” Christopher Strong is delightfully infused with lesbian subtext. Arzner, an amazing old-school butch, managed to slip lesbian signals into many of her films during a time when outright queer storylines in mainstream films were more or less unthinkable (especially after the Motion Picture Production Code started imposing strict moral guidelines in 1934).

    Christopher Strong, which was produced before the Code was implemented, helped launch the career of a young Katharine Hepburn, who is famously rumored to have had many affairs with women. She plays Lady Cynthia, a gutsy aviator who is too occupied with her job to think about romance. While she eventually ends up having an affair with a man (played by Colin Clive) after her around-the-world flight, it's her strained and emotional relationship with the man's wife that really bears our close attention. Plus β€” Katharine Hepburn plays an independent career woman who rocks a decidedly masculine aesthetic, which is a total gift to the gays.

    RKO Pictures

    😍 😍 😍 😍 😍 😍 😍 😍

    8. The Craft (1996)

    Columbia Pictures

    According to the Law Of Queerbaiting, teenage girls who are social outcasts + witchcraft = automatic queer subtext. (See: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Buffy/Faith.)

    The Craft takes an especially unsettling turn when Nancy, the BFF-turned-villain, uses a spell to make herself look like Witch #1 Sarah so that she can seduce Sarah's awful sort-of-ex, Chris, who had previously tried to rape Sarah. While the scene is readable as Nancy's jealousy of Sarah reaching its ultimate peak, it's also easy to make the leap that Nancy doesn't just want to be Sarah β€” she could easily want to sleep with her, too, and this imitation is a twisted way to express her suppressed/evil queerness. (Whew.)

    Queers are always the villains in supernatural/horror movies, JSYK.

    9. Whip It (2009)

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    In Whip It, Ellen Page dumps her deadbeat boyfriend and discovers her passion for roller derby, which is literally the gayest possible sport. This is gonna be the most lesbian-y movie of all time, right? Sadly, nope β€” there's no overt queerness to be found here. Actor Ari Graynor told New York magazine that she was pushing for her character, Eva, to be a lesbian seductress, but director Drew Barrymore didn't take up the mantle. A true bummer, especially considering the hella homo photo shoot Ellen and Drew did for Marie Claire.

    Fox Searchlight Pictures
    Marie Claire

    If only the movie (left) had been more like its promotion (right). πŸ˜”

    10. Little Women (1994)

    Columbia Pictures

    Okay, so Little Women doesn't actually have any lesbian subtext, really, but I feel the need to include it more so for root reasons (a root being someone, or something, that inspires the formation/realization of a person's queerness). And Jo March, played by Winona Ryder β€” who has captured gay girl hearts in everything from Reality Bites to Heathers β€” has served as the root for sooo many lady queers.

    Jo is a 19th-century tomboy through and through, completely uninterested in the trappings of domesticity and motherhood. She sucks at housework, chops off all her hair, and doesn't conduct herself with an ounce of feminine decorum. Jo is the fucking best. When she eventually ends up with Frederick, the German professor, by the end of the movie, so many of us thought we were upset because she belonged with Laurie, played by Christian Bale, her childhood best friend β€” but really, we were upset she wasn't ending up with a lady. (Bonus points: Jo was played by Katharine Hepburn, another of our favorite tomboys, in the 1933 version of Little Women, another classic.)

    Columbia Pictures

    πŸ‘¨β€ πŸ’ž

    In the end, there are way too many list. Which movie with queer lady subtext is your favorite to love (or to hate)? Let us know in the comments!


    The names Anne Baxter and Kirsten Dunst were misspelled in a previous version of this post.