5) High Art (1998) â€“ Ali Sheedy and Radha Mitchell
Before there was Shane on The L Word, there was Ali Sheedy in High Art, scrawny, hipster cool and slouching her way into the cute straight girlâ€™s bed. In director Lisa Cholodenkoâ€™s jaded expose of the precious world of art, Lucy (Sheedy) is a photographer whose brilliant career was sidetracked by an addiction to heroin. Rediscovered by art magazine intern Syd (Mitchell), Lucy falls in love as much with Sydâ€™s joie de vivre as her luscious good looks. Their awkward, halting conversations in front of strung-out junkies (including Lucyâ€™s girlfriend) are tortuous foreplay for the moment in which Lucy finally kisses nervous Sydâ€”and Syd is surprised to find herself kissing Lucy back.
4) Wild Side (1995) â€“ Joan Chen and Anne Heche
This movie was made before Anne Heche decided she was bisexualâ€”hell, it was made before she decided she was gay! This pervy little thriller stars Heche as trick-turning sex addict (and banker!) Alex, who meets Virginia (Chen) at a business lunch. She doesnâ€™t know that Chen is the wife of one of her â€œclientsâ€â€”a whack job Mafioso (hammily played by Christopher Walken). After a few glasses of wine, Chen follows Heche into the powder room and the resulting kiss is a classicâ€”the impulsive, feral Heche passionately devours the impossibly gorgeous and sophisticated Chen. Needless to say, they end up in bed–having effectively redefined the term â€œpower lunch.â€
3) If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) — Ellen Degeneres and Sharon Stone
This kiss is on the list if for no other reason that Ellen is an out lesbian, and it would just be wrong not to have at least one of us represented here. This installment of the Walls three-part story is set in modern day Los Angeles. In it Degeneres and Stone playâ€¦well, they essentially play Degeneres and then-girlfriend Anne Heche (who wrote and directed the film). They are a committed couple trying to have a baby, and they debate parenthood, sperm donors, and why itâ€™s annoying that they need a sperm donor in the first place. Itâ€™s not exactly new territory, but Degeneres and Stone have great chemistry and fully commit to the roles. Lying in bed watching TV together, they seem just like a real couple. So when they start to make out, itâ€™s sexy in a very naturalistic way. Finally romantically paired with a woman on screen, Degeneres looks happy, vibrant and studly in her sex scenes with Stone. And letâ€™s face it, after Mr. Wrong, she owes us!
2) Mulholland Dr. (2001) – Naomi Watts and Laura Harring
Who cares that the movie is another one of David Lynchâ€™s protracted surrealistic fantasies? Sure, there are rotting corpses, unexplained parallel universes, and Billy Ray Cyrus sporting his trademark mullet. But what makes this film memorable is the palpable chemistry between Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn (Watts) and Rita/Carmilla Rhodes (played by former Miss USA Harring). Betty is a naÃ¯ve Canadian actress who comes to Hollywood in search of her big break. Instead, she has a chance encounter with beautiful Rita, an amnesiac bombshell who canâ€™t remember her real name or how large stacks of cash wound up in her purse. As the two unravel Ritaâ€™s sordid mystery, good girl Betty falls for the enigmatic brunette. When the moment of truth arrives, Betty breathlessly asks Rita, â€œHave you ever done this before?â€ Rita replies, â€œI donâ€™t know. Have you?â€ Betty drops the Girl Scout act, gasping â€œI want to do it with youâ€ as the two plunge into a long, hypnotic kiss.
1) Bound (1996) â€“ Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon
So itâ€™s more than a little vexing that one of the most memorable lesbian movies of all time was written and directed by a couple of straight men (the Wachowski brothers, one of whom is now transgender). But as with George W. Bushâ€™s train wreck of a presidency, one eventually just has to accept it. Bound is a smart neo-noir that would be a great film even if it didnâ€™t include a scorching butch-femme seduction scene. But it does, and thatâ€™s probably why you own at least one copy of it.
In the opening scene, Violet (Tilly) openly cruises Corky (Gershon) while riding in an elevator with her oblivious mafia boyfriend. Later, Violet stages a plumbing disaster so that handywoman Corky can come to her rescue. With their cat and mouse game in full swing, Violet tells a long breathy story about the day she got her tattoo while Corky licks her chops in anticipation. Violet finishes her story by guiding Corkyâ€™s hand to her nether regions and croaking in trademark baby-doll voice, â€œSee? Iâ€™ve been thinking about you all day.â€ Corky has Violet on her back faster than you can say â€œbada bing,â€ and their lusty embrace ends only when the mafia boyfriend comes home from work. Itâ€™s a thing of beauty when he cluelessly extends his hand to Corky and she shakes it (even though sheâ€™s covered in â€œevidenceâ€). Then he hands her a wad of cash.
This and many other memorable scenes in Bound beg the question, â€œWhy canâ€™t real life be just like the movies?â€