The hottest lesbian action in mainstream cinema

Until the nineties, lesbianism was resigned to independent cinema, B-movies and films sold by dodgy men outside pubs. Then, for some reason, Hollywood realised it was a crowd pleaser and started inserting same-sex shots everywhere. And by crowd, we mean horny young teenagers.

Since then, a girl-on-girl scene has become a rite of passage for young actresses. Here are the most shameful ones we’ve witnessed… and therefore the best.

Neve Campbell, Wild Things

What better place to start than with the Big Bang of celebrity lesbian make-out sessions?

The Neve Campbell and Denise Richards swimming pool scene was a blazing pioneer of Hollywood lesbianism, going where not even Basic Instinct and Showgirls dared to tread.

It not only presented two celebrities entwining their tongues partially naked, but they were portraying school girls too. It’s no coincidence tATu and Britney Spears arrived shortly after.

Angelia Jolie, Gia

Based on the life of model Gia Marie Carangi, Angelia Jolie’s acting chops are put through their paces when she has to portray a lonely drug-addict. Yet you wouldn’t know it from the buzz that surrounded the movie

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the flick has become infamous for Jolie getting her kit off, even being referenced in Family Guy (surely now surpassing The Simpsons as the benchmark of knowing whether you’ve truly made it).

Jennifer Tully, Bound

We know that Bound came before Wild Things, but it hardly set the box office alight. Instead, it picked up a cult following on disc, where viewers could watch the movie in the privacy of their own homes. For whatever reason.

Notable for actually attempting to portray lesbianism in a realistic fashion, Tully’s seduction of Gina is about the closest Hollywood has come to an all female relationship as more than titillation.

Naomi Watts, Mulholland Drive

These days Naomi Watts might be a respected actress, but those not familiar with Mulholland Drive would be forgiven for assuming the clip above was an excerpt from a dirty movie.

As her part in Funny Games proves, Watts is no prude when it comes to posing nude, if the role requires it. The trouble with Mulholland Drive is that the only person who knows whether the lesbian make-out scene was necessary or not is Lynch himself.

And trying to get a straight answer out of Jimmy Stewart from Mars is more gruelling than deciphering the plots of his movies.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Cruel Intentions

Gellar took the role of Kathryn Meteuil in an effort to shed the morally rigid image she’d garnered as Buffy.

We’re not entirely sure she succeeded (or it was necessary, given Buffy’s antics in season six), but she was certainly on everyone’s lips in the summer of ’99. Particularly Selma Blairs.

Evan Rachel Wood, Thirteen

Back before director Catherine Hardwicke took up the reigns of Twilight, she shot a move about teenage sex, substance abuse and self-harm. Oh… and a smooch between two pubescent girls.

The idea of girls practicing kissing with each other in bedrooms is something that carries many an adolescent boy through his formative years. We didn’t think it actually happened, though. Thirteen says otherwise.

Kristin Scott Thomas, Bitter Moon

Chinatown might boast of a script from one of the best screenwriters of all time, a hot director and compelling lead at the height of his game, but the one thing it doesn’t have is lesbianism.

We like to think Roman Polanski later realised his mistake and made Bitter Moon. It predated Wild Things and it shows in its timidity and lack of sensationalism, but the dancing scene is still effective.

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, New Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Jack Shepherd. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.