The Top Ten
- Fried Green Tomatoes ($82.4 million)
- The Hours ($41.7 million)
- Monster ($34.5 million)
- Frida ($25.9 million)
- Chasing Amy ($12 million)
- Boys Don’t Cry ($11.5 million)
- Mulholland Drive ($11.2 million)
- Kissing Jessica Stein ($7m)
- The Hunger ($6 million)
- Personal Best ($5.7 million)
Um, wow. Now, granted many of these aren’t exclusively or even explicitly lesbian films (and, yes, “Boys Don’t Cry” is actually trans, but I’m going big umbrella here). In fact, I think “Monster” is the first film with a full-ahead lesbian lead, and she happens to be a serial killer. So, yeah, fantastic. In fact, I was sure “Bound” would be in at least the top 5. But it’s No. 11, taking in only $3.8 million domestically.
And, if you really want to get depressed consider that “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” made $146.3 million. Yeah, that many more people lined up to watch Kevin James on a Segway than Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly on each other.
We are a stupid, stupid country.
But what is really says is how far we still have to go as lesbians and bisexual women in finding our place in mainstream cinema. I mean, we’ve all seen the movies. But the rest of the world, not so much. And we have yet to have our “Brokeback Moutain.” Out great, marquee, acclaimed film that brings even grandma and grandpa in Idaho out to the cineplex to find out if those two nice cowgirls can make it work.
Still, hope springs eternal. Each year I hope against hope for the elusive one. The one great lesbian film to rule them all. A movie where our heroines aren’t killers or suicidal or actually straight or vampires. This year, I’m pinning my hopes on “The Kids Are All Right.”
Described as a “scenes-from-a-lesbian-marriage comedy” from veteran filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko (“High Art,” “Laurel Canyon”) debuted at Sundance this week and has already received glowing reviews and heated interest from distributors. And it has stars with name we recognize, with Oscar nominations even. Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo and up-and-comer Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Tim Burton’s new take on Wonderland).
Julianne and Annette play the married (well, if they live in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Iowa married) couple “hitting one of those slippery, middle-age danger zones.” Ruffalo’s character happens to be the biological father of the couple’s children, and it seems some flirting with Julianne’s character. But the Salon reviewer calls the film “ranks with the most compelling portraits of an American marriage, regardless of sexuality, in film history.”
Like I was saying, the one. Fingers crossed. Now who wants to go halfsies on popcorn with me?