The Most Beautiful Strange Love Stories on Netflix, Amazon and Co.

Long gone is the cliché that queer love stories must end tragically. For the Rainbow Parade, we recommend films and series that depict LGBT love stories of all stripes: from sweet to dreamy to brutal.

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the heart

Romantic Lovely Boy, 2022
To be shown on Netflix

The times of bullying are pretty much over for 15-year-old Charlie: Last school year, life was hard for the openly gay young man by some of his fellow students at the all-boys love school. This applies to Nick the slightly older rugby player, who most of his friends think is as straight as possible. But what do they know? It’s not a world without homophobia and the pressures to get out of it to put together this new hot British teen romance. But it takes a deeply optimistic, understanding, and honest look at the young emotional turmoil of two boys who are searching for their place outside the cliched roles they live in.

This can sometimes be remarkably difficult – but here it is wrapped in such cozy cotton wool that everything looks beautiful again in the end. When Nick and Charlie smile at each other, painted papers fly around. Teens here are polite, drink milkshakes, go to bed early (alone): this also pleases adults – for example Olivia Colman as an understanding mother. (boat)

half of it

Cyrano Lesbian, 2020
To be shown on Netflix

Beauty queen and talented soccer player as a high school dream couple: These cliches have been recently broken with plenty in the adult movies, and that’s also the case here. Because Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) is having a hard time expressing himself and needs support even to get a date with the famous Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire). He finds help from the highly intelligent Chinese Ellie Chou (Lea Lewis), of all people, who writes love letters to him – for a fee. Cyrano is lesbian, because Ellie also falls in love with Aster. The blossoming romance is “Only Half the Story” – that’s the German title. The other half is a delicate platonic love story between two lonely people. (to her)

please like me

Australian tragic comedy, from 2014
To see on Netflix, 4 seasons

Australian comedian Josh Thomas isn’t afraid to find comedic potential in tough subjects – and he does so in a way that is always gentle and almost healing. Mental illness and suicide run through the four seasons of the tragic comedy Please Like Me, for which he is internationally famous. With sheer honesty, a dry sense of humor and a determination to leave the worn-out narrative paths, he dissects the petty absurdities of the alter ego’s fictional life: a neurotic and lovable twentysomething whose ex-girlfriend suggests in the first episode that he’s gay, vying for affection, immersed in a quirky, authentic community of friends and family. (boat)

happy together

Love trip through Buenos Aires, 1997
For rent/buy

Legendary Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love) has played different genres, but he’s actually only made movies about love – each more beautiful than the next. His classic “Happy Together” was not seen as “weird” in the cinematic discourse of the 1990s. But simply as a dreamy and sad love story between two highly photogenic men (Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung), their relationship breaks up in voluptuously sparkling Buenos Aires. Light, music, color and texture: this is the only true language of love here. (And the)

Ride or die

Amur Fu Japanese, 2021
To be seen on Netflix

“Bonnie & Clyde”, “Badlands” and “Thelma & Louise”: Lovers-on-the-Run’s lineage is long. The special attraction of this genre lies in the combination of romance and lack of sociability. This is also the case in the Japanese Netflix production of “Ride or Die”: a reclusive and unstable Rei (amazing: Kiko Mizuhara) kills the husband of her former classmate Nanae (Honami Sato). Because Nana gets hit over and over – but also because Rey is smitten with Nana. Although the desire seems one-sided at first, Nana joins Rei. Together, driving through Japan in a luxury red BMW, with no real destination (or at least no outside destination).

Because “Ride or Die,” which is based on a manga and orchestrated with usual elegance by art house professional Ryuichi Hiroki, is primarily a character drama, despite its fast, shallow action. The root motive of the main characters for freedom has proven to be paradoxical: on the one hand it pushes them out of society, and on the other hand it pushes them more than each other. However, individual liberation and intimate proximity coincide only for moments – in precious moments of supreme happiness and at the same time desperate happiness. (Luke)

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