Welcome to your weekend streaming recommendations, a.k.a. the Weekend Watch, a handy guide to the queerest film and TV content that’s just a click away!
Who else is feeling naughty? Just us? Maybe it’s thanks to the plethora of classic films featuring queer criminals that, at the end of this long week, are available for our streaming pleasure.
Or maybe it’s because we’re weeks away from a month of queer joy, frivolity, and, well, rainbow capitalism, that we’re reminded of a slogan that channels the anarchic spirit of Pride: “Be gay, do crime.”
It’s a rallying cry for those who remember that since Stonewall in 1969, Pride is a riot. The films we’re recommending this week feature queerness in all its chaotic, oftentimes criminal glory, and may inspire you to indulge in a little stick-it-to-the-heteronormative-man rebellion of your own.
Disclaimer: Queerty is not advising you, reader, to actually do crime. But by all means, be gay. Read on for your best streamable fare this weekend.
Thelma & Louise
Is Thelma & Louise a through-and-through queer story? Or one that’s been “queer-claimed” by gay audiences reading into things?
Watch this Oscar-nominated 1991 classic and such questions feel insignificant in the grand, kick*ss feminist scheme of things. Thelma & Louise is many people’s favorite film for a reason, combining Ridley Scott’s propulsive direction with Callie Khouri’s witty yet profound script and altogether redefining both the buddy comedy and road movie.
But we will say this: Thelma and Louise’s costuming, from frilly, midwestern feminine to denim-ed, glam-free masculine as they resort to a life of crime on the road, tells a fascinatingly queer tale. Geena Davis may have achieved peak femme representation here. And most of all, there ain’t a d*mn heterosexual thing about Susan Sarandon’s magnificent performance.
Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video and rentable on Apple TV.
The Living End
Speaking of road movies, Gregg Araki brought as much new energy to the genre as Thelma & Louise did—just more explicitly gay and chaotic.
The Living End stars Mike Dytri and Craig Gilmore as two HIV-positive lovers embarking on a mission to flee the law, wreak havoc, and most of all, “f*ck the world.” Incendiary and provocative upon its 1992 release, it’s worth checking out now for those same qualities; although the reality of living with AIDS has changed, it’s hard to ignore how America’s hostility toward sex and queerness hasn’t.
Read more about The Living End’s legacy here, and then buckle up for a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience.
Now streaming on Kanopy and rentable on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Melissa McCarthy. That’s it, that’s reason enough to see or revisit Can You Ever Forgive Me? This 2018 critical hit about author Lee Israel committing literary forgery proved we’ve only just begun to see the full breadth of this actor’s talent. (She’ll probably surprise us yet again as draggy Ursula in this summer’s The Little Mermaid.)
Directed by the great Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? paints a psychological portrait of loneliness, desperation, and unlikely friendship between two queer people with little to lose. Richard E. Grant, at his roguish best, co-stars as the accomplice to McCarthy’s literary crimes. Can you ever forgive us for recommending such a sad, snarky, yet ultimately beautiful film?
Rentable on Amazon Prime Video.
The Talented Mr. Ripley
This entry in the “be gay, do crimes” subgenre is rather more disturbing than any other on this list, albeit no less entertaining. The Talented Mr. Ripley is the kind of film that sends a chill up your spine when you remember it—and what it did for “messy gay who lives for drama” representation.
Anthony Minghella’s adaptation of the classic Patricia Highsmith novel stars Matt Damon as the titular con artist, whose naive smile hides a growing obsession. There’s top-notch acting all around, including from Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and the typically fabulous Cate Blanchett.
Oh, and how could we forget the real reason to watch or rewatch this movie? It is a verifiable fact that no human has looked more beautiful than Oscar-nominated Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley. We’d like to spoon with him too, although preferably when he’s not—spoiler alert—dead.
Now streaming on Showtime and Roku Channel and rentable on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.
Before writer-director Robin Campillo went on to make the more mainstream queer hit BPM (Beats Per Minute), the 2013 festival award winner Eastern Boys established him as an original storyteller to watch.
The film follows a French businessman (Olivier Rabourdin) who, after cruising in the Gare du Nord and approaching a young man (Kirill Emelyanov), gets more than he bargained for—a gang of Eastern European boys invading and trashing his apartment, for starters.
The less said about Eastern Boys’ twists and turns the better, but suffice to say it ties systemic immigration to intimately personal stakes with stunning results. And of course, as the above trailer suggests, it makes for a scintillatingly steamy movie night choice.
Now streaming on Dekkoo and rentable on Apple TV.
In the spirit of being gay, doing crime, and this past week’s fabulous celeb prom night—the Met Gala—we’ll take any excuse to watch the women of Ocean’s 8 pulling off their daring heist of that very event. This movie is as finger-snappingly gay as 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven is straight, as this Nancy Sinatra-soundtracked sequence proves: