Film & TV Recs: Sapphic coming of age movies

Let me start by saying that my definition of “coming of age movies” is pretty loose & basically any movie featuring teens who learn something about themselves & grow up, is welcomed here.

Now that we cleared that up, let’s go. There are some comedies here, some dramas, some movies somewhere in between. Hopefully a little something for everybody.

inbtwn

The Half of It (2020)

dir. Alice Wu
Letterboxd
Rep: Chinese-American lesbian mc, sapphic li

Why Should I Watch It?

Well, I had to start with this one, it’s probably one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, in general. It’s a beautiful story, focused not so much on a romantic relationship, but on individuals & on all the different kinds of relationships we can form with people. It does a marvelous job of showing various types of love & of making the viewer feel loved, too. (There’s no love triangle, not really.)

inbtwn

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)

dir. Desiree Akhavan
Letterboxd
Rep: lesbian mc, Black lesbian character, Lakota Two-Spirit character, other LGBT characters

Why Should I Watch It?

If you’ve read the book, you know why we’re here. And if you haven’t: it will hurt you but you will enjoy it. The movie deals with a very heavy topic (conversion therapy) but it still manages to find humour in unexpected places, to sometimes be light & heartwarming. And it does show that our love is stronger than anything.

inbtwn

Pariah (2011)

dir. Dee Rees
Letterboxd
Rep: Black lesbian mc, Black sapphic characters
TW: homophobia, physical abuse

Why Should I Watch It?

Pariah is a semi-autobiographical movie, but even without that bit of information, it’s a great one. It’s about a young lesbian, who’s trying to figure out her identity. To figure out how she wants to be a lesbian. She has a few tries, compelled by the people around her, but she finally works out what truly matters here.

inbtwn

Princess Cyd (2017)

dir. Stephen Cone
Letterboxd
Rep: sapphic mc & li, side LGBT characters

Why Should I Watch It?

Cyd pretty much thinks she has it all worked out, she just needs to move away. But as she spends some times with her aunt, she learns that there is way more to life than she has ever imagined, more ways to live it to the fullest. At some point she wears a tuxedo and frankly, that alone should be enough to make you wanna watch the thing.

inbtwn

Rower Rangers (2017)

dir. Dean Israelite
Letterboxd
Rep: Latina sapphic mc

Why Should I Watch It?

Oh shut up, I can do what I want! And this is literally a story of five kids growing up and becoming heroes! They also fight monsters and save the earth. What more could you possibly want from your coming of age movie? And only one of those kids is white, because the Power Rangers reboot was truly great at diversity and deserved better.

inbtwn

Hearts Beat Loud (2018)

dir. Brett Haley
Letterboxd
Rep: Black sapphic mc & li

Why Should I Watch It?

I say this is a sapphic movie and I am absolutely 100% right. But it’s also a movie about a daughter and her father. And really that’s its strength, that’s the kind of movie we need more of. Because while it’s ostensibly sapphic (the girls literally kiss more than once, no het will deny this), it’s not the center of the story, just one aspect of it. It’s not a movie about being gay, just a movie which one of main characters happens to be gay.

inbtwn

Booksmart (2019)

dir. Olivia Wilde
Letterboxd
Rep: lesbian mc, sapphic li

Why Should I Watch It?

If you want to understand my sense of humour, just watch this movie. Every second of Booksmart makes it obvious that it’s written and directed by women (in a different way than The Portrait of a Lady on Fire, but equally revolutionary). It touches upon so many things and each topic is discussed openly, honestly, without shying away from uncomfortable details. Yeah, I was stressed out by the end, but it was so worth it!

inbtwn

Mosquita y Mari (2012)

dir. Aurora Guerrero
Letterboxd
Rep: Chicana sapphic mcs

Why Should I Watch It?

Well, yes, this is the friends to lovers sapphic movie you’ve been looking for. It keeps things light, doesn’t dwell on anything, but that doesn’t have to be a flow, does it? It’s also super cute and warm, and soft, just like a heart of a teen sapphic girl.

inbtwn

Kase-san and Morning Glories (Asagao to Kase-san) (2018)

dir. Takuya Sato
Letterboxd
Rep: Japanese sapphic mcs

Why Should I Watch It?

A jock and a nerd dynamic. Literally what could be better, right? The answer is: when they’re both girls & ride a train together & aren’t too shy to yell their feelings out. Oh, and the art here is so beautiful, that alone makes it a must-watch!

inbtwn

Rafiki (2018)

dir. Wanuri Kahiu
Letterboxd
Rep: Kenyan sapphic mcs

Why Should I Watch It?

Closing my list with a super vibrant, loud movie, that somehow still manages to be quiet & personal. It will make you feel things, and it will make you root for the girls & hope for them to figure out how to be themselves (and together), against anything the society throws at them.

inbtwn

Is your favourite sapphic coming of age movie here? Or do you have something else to recommend?

anna

10 Replies to “Film & TV Recs: Sapphic coming of age movies”

  1. The half of it is one of the best movies of 2020, hands down! I still haven’t watched Cameron Post, though I really need to because I LOVED the book. And Princess Cyd is so lovely and underrated! Ahh this made me really excited to watch Hearts beat loud and Rafiki too ๐Ÿ˜„ Thanks for this wonderful list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE Power Rangers!! I actually didn’t expect to love it this much so thank you for introducing me to the movie in one of your previous posts!! And yesss Kase-san has a very pretty art and animation that is worth watching for!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still want to see the Power Rangers movie! I gotta figure out where to watch it

    and I love Hearts Beat Loud SO MUCH, I don’t understand why I hardly ever hear people talk about it!

    before I clicked I was expecting But I’m a Cheerleader to be on the list, but I see that these are are all movies from about the last 10 years and Cheerleader’s much more dated so that’s valid lol. I’ve been planning to rewatch it soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i watched it in the movies and then bought a dvd, i have no idea if any streaming service has it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
      i know!! that movie deserves so much more attention!
      tbh i was thinking of putting it in but then i already had more than enough just going with movies that came out recently lmao
      – anna

      Liked by 1 person

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