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8 of the most memorable gay movie kisses of all time

Today (6 July) marks International Kissing Day, and what better way to celebrate than with some iconic same-sex smooches?

By Will Stroude

This article was first published in June 2017.

The feeling of seeing a part of yourself represented right in front of your eyes is a powerful one, and not something that you quickly forget.

Because of their (still) relative rarity, we attach so much meaning to the same-sex snogs we do see in films, and they become special to us as we fondly remember them.

Here are some of the most memorable gay kisses in movie history…

Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black – Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Long before Bradley Cooper hit it big in The Hangover series, he starred as Ben in the sex comedy spoof Wet Hot American Summer. The film showcases the exploits of a group of camp counselors who engage in plenty of raucous behaviour.

In one memorable scene, Ben and fellow summer camp counselor McKinley (Michael Ian Balck) sneaked off together. After a kiss, things quickly heat up and it’s not long before the pair are going at it in a tool shed.

The couple finished with a happy ending, with a lakeside wedding ceremony later in the film.

Aston Sanders and Jharrel Jerome – Moonlight (2016)

In our review of the 2016 Oscar-winning film, we called Moonlight “an essential, heart-wrenching exploration of sexuality and masculinity”. This is most evidently on show in the beach scene, in which teenagers Kevin (Jharrel Jerome) and Chiron (Ashton Sanders) share their first kiss.

The sequence is incredibly intimate, and considering where the two characters end up by the end of the film, it’s a first kiss that leaves a lasting impression.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair – Cruel Intentions (1999)

Cruel Intentions remains the greatest cinematic achievement of the late ’90s – don’t @ us. Based on the film Dangerous Liaisons (which itself was based on the play Les liaisons dangereuse), the film tells the story of a group of wealthy teens in New York City’s Upper East Side, all of whom are just plain awful.

The most memorable scene comes when Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) gives Cecile (Selma Blair) an explicit kissing lesson, complete with tongues and a little drool, in order to further her master plan of getting her step-brother Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe).

Sure, this kiss was likely included solely to get teenage boys to the cinema to watch the female-skewing drama film, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal – Brokeback Moutain (2005)


Who knew a film about two gay cowboys would get us so emotional? Since its release in 2005, Brokeback Mountain is still regarded as one of the greatest gay films of all time.

The story of cowboys Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis (Heath Ledger), who fall in love in the wilderness together before returning to ‘straight’ society is romantic, touching, and tragic.

This kiss is Brokeback Mountain’s most passionate. Separated from each other for four years, Jack and Ennis reunite. The moment is filled with tension. We don’t know whether they are going to fight or kiss as they pull at each other’s clothes, all under the nose of Ennis’s watching wife Alma (Michelle Williams).

Colin Firth  and Matthew Goode – A Single Man (2009)


Colin Firth was nominated for an Oscar for his role as moribund professor George Falconer in Tom Ford’s exceptional 2009 drama film A Single Man.

In the aftermath of the loss of his partner Jim (Matthew Goode), George plans to end his own life rather than continue without Jim. His friend Charley (Julianne Moore) is there for George, but she has her own agenda that clouds her concern for her friend. George tries to distract himself from his grief by going out with student Kenny (Nicholas Hoult), but the pair’s interactions are met with nonchalance by George, who remains committed to his late partner.

In the end, it’s the relationship between George & Jim that stands as the film’s love story.

Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal – Y Tu Mama También (2001)


This Mexican drama is an interesting take on the road trip movie, which takes place in Mexico around the turn of the millennium. Two friends, Julio (Gael García Bernal) & Tenoch (Diego Luna), who meet up with Luisa (Maribel Verdú) in search of an elusive beach. The three then embark on a trip together which challenges their assumptions about the world and brings them closer together.

In the film’s most emotionally-charged scene, the three characters engage in a threesome which ends with the two men sharing a passionate kiss. We won’t spoil the ending, but the moment is the closest the characters come to exploring any kind of physical relationship.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Gorden Warnecke – My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)


My Beautiful Laundrette is unique among gay films of the 1980s, in that it doesn’t end in misery for either of the main characters. Omar (Gordon Warnecke) becomes the caretaker of his uncle’s laundrette with the help of his punk friend Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis). The two become close, eventually resulting in a secretive sexual and emotional relationship between the pair.

Their tryst is almost discovered by Omar’s uncle as the pair have sex in the laundrette’s backroom in the film’s most memorable scene.

James Van Der Beek and Ian Somerhalder – Rules of Attraction (2002)


An adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ critically acclaimed novel, Rules of Attraction tells the story of drug dealer (James Van Der Beek), bisexual student Paul (Ian Somerhalder) and the latter’s ex-girlfriend (Shannyn Sossamon) who are all searching for love while at University.

When Paul sits down to smoke some weed with James Van Der Beek’s character during a wild late-night dorm party, he begins to fantasise about sharing an intimate moment with him while subtly pleasuring himself under a pillow – and we get to see both scenarios play out in full.

Exploring themes such as suicide, drug use, sexuality and self-acceptance, the drama doesn’t shy away from hard-hitting issues – and at the end of the day, who doesn’t want to watch pretty people doing nasty things to one another?