Touching coming-of-age drama about the trials and tribulations of a group of young gay friends. Kevin (Andrew Keegan) is new to the group, who all meet to discuss their relationships in Jack's (John Mahoney) restaurant. Then there's Howie (Matt McGrath) whose tendency to overanalyse winds everyone up; whilst Cole is a young thespian whose good looks keep the guys queuing at his door, and Patrick (Ben Weber) feels out of the loop, becoming bitter in his exclusion.
Starring: Zach Braff, Dean Cain, Andrew Keegan, Nia Long, Mary McCormack
This clunky road movie about three drag queens (Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguziamo) who get stranded in a sleepy Nebraska town on their way to a beauty contest, is too uplifting for its own good. Released during drag's mid-90s heyday when RuPaul and the Wigstock documentary were all the rage, To Wong Foo aimed straight for the mainstream with its inoffensive camp and "can't we all get along" morality. While gay-activist groups howled about straights getting the lead roles in To Wong Foo, in the end the filmmakers really couldn't have done better than this trio of actors. John Leguziamo provides real sass and bite as a Latino (or should we saw Latina?) drag queen, and Wesley Snipes is surprisingly fierce as the imposing leader of the pack. Saddled with a cloying Southern accent and off-kilter wig, Patrick Swayze barely holds his own with his co-stars, though. To Wong Foo is best viewed as a cultural artefact of a time when it seemed as though drag could rule all tomorrow's parties.Starring: Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, Stockard Channing, John Leguizamo, Blythe Danner
Based on the life of Arnold Beckoff, a gay New Yorker who spends years trying to break his female impersonator's act into the mainstream, whilst becoming involved in a series of disastrous romantic liaisons along the way. He finally finds stability with a partner (Matthew Broderick), and they decide to adopt a child. Harvey Fierstein plays Beckoff, with Anne Bancroft as his outspoken mother.
Starring:- Anne Bancroft, Matthew Broderick, Harvey Fierstein, Brian Kerwin, Karen Young
From cinema’s maestro of indie queer pop cinema, welcome to Gregg Araki’s messed-up world, a concrete jungle teeming with teenage lust, abundant drugs and all-out infidelity. Before Kaboom, Mysterious Skin and The Living End, there was TOTALLY F***ED UP.
A film for anyone who has grown up gay and lived through the pain of alienation, this self-consciously cool story of the gay teen underground is New Queer Cinema at its edgiest – a humorous yet moving study of an unwanted generation.
Starring James Duval (Donnie Darko), and featuring music from Wolfgang Press, Ministry, Ride, Pale Saints and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Aspiring musical writer and composer Gabriel (Christian Campbell) is not having much luck with either his career or his love life, and ends up spending most of his time with his bitchy friend Katherine (Tori Spelling). When he is advised to go out and get some real life experience, Gabriel visits a Manhattan gay bar and picks up hunky stripper Mark (J.P. Pitoc). The pair are soon heading off for a night of passion - except that Gabriel has nowhere he can take his one night stand!
Starring: Christian Campbell, John Paul Pitoc, Tori Spelling, Brad Beyer, Lacey Kohl
With a tour in Afghanistan behind him, war-torn Chris Jensen (introducing Jack Brockett) struggles to assimilate back to life in California. Drifting and living out of his car, he soon discovers that few are willing to deal with the remnants of a damaged career military man. Chris is self medicating; desperate to silence the echoes from the front lines. When an opportunity finally presents itself, he makes the hard decision to employ his most coveted talents honed in special ops. A job is a job and Chris knows civilian life can be just as cut-throat as time in active duty. But just how close does he have to get to Andrew Warner (Sean Paul Lockhart) to secure the kill?
Starring: Jack Brockett, Sean Paul Lockhart (aka Brent Corrigan) , Laura Reilly, Addison Graham
Gay has rarely been so glamorous as in the American version of Queer as Folk. But the show's success rests on more than hard bodies and glossy, picture-perfect sex (though there's an abundance of that); this series gave its characters a multidimensional richness that rivals more high-profile programs like Six Feet Under or The Sopranos, while tackling an impressive breadth of social and political issues without ever (well, almost never) feeling preachy.
Most TV series would take a topic like this last legal wrangle and stretch it over an entire season, but Queer as Folk is more ambitious. The writers recognise that the resolution of one problem is rarely the end of the story, that muddy consequences can be as dramatically compelling as head-to-head conflict. This aggressive and effective plotting, combined with the show's willingness to explore the complexities of every issue, be it assimilation or the coming out of a celebrity, results in an increasing emotional power as the series steamrolls towards its final episode. Some subplots can be silly (Brian has a ridiculous stud-off with a new hot guy in town), the dialogue can sometimes veer from wit to camp cliches, and the omnipresence of sculpted, muscular physiques is absurd and even a little alienating for some viewers, but Queer as Folk's strengths, the compassion and intelligence of the writers, the commitment and nuance of the acting make this show a true television landmark and a pleasure to watch. And then, of course, there's all that graphic and lovingly photographed sex.