+ various additions:
Oh man, NOT ENOUGH.
I can rec these few that I’ve seen personally:
Imagine Me and You - LENA HEEEEAAADDDDEEEYYY
Guys and Balls - German comedy about a dude who puts together a gay football team to take on his hometown’s homophobic counterpart.
The Gymnast - It’s not a traditional “happy ever after” but it ends optimistically. Also AERIAL SILKS.
Shelter - I watched this with two girlfriends and we spent the entire movie fangirl flailing around in our PJs.
I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone (Portuguese: Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho) (on youtube here) - WATCH THIS IMMEDIATELY. It’s only about 20 minutes long but it’s disgustingly beautiful. They’re also filming a feature length version right now.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch - it’s a MUSICAL. A beautiful, beautiful musical!
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - If you haven’t seen this you need to look at your life and your choices.
Kinky Boots - Less sexuality, more gender identity and performance. I heart it so much.
And these two are next on my list (somebody come at me if I’m wrong about the happy ending thing):
Saving Face - A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.
I love you Phillip Morris - A cop turns con man once he comes out of the closet. Once imprisoned, he meets the second love of his life, whom he’ll stop at nothing to be with. (EDIT: I have been told this does not end happily - DAMMIT!)
If anyone has any other additions to add to this list, PLEASE DO. I need ALL of the happy ending queer movies!
The Birdcage - I’ve seen this and it’s amazing. I’m offended with myself that I forgot to include it in my original list.
But I’m a Cheerleader - Ditto to the above
Mambo italiano - The son of Italian immigrants to Canada struggles to find the best way to reveal to his parents that he’s gay. (recced by anon)
Were the World Mine - A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself. (recced by @starwilson)
Touch of Pink - A gay Canadian living in London has his perfectly crafted life upset when his devoutly Muslim mother comes to visit. (recced by @deviousness-carter)
Weekend - After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what’s expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special. (recced by @haleswallows - “the ending isn’t an “happily ever after” but is good none-the-less" )
I’d like to throw:
D.E.B.S -Spies and Criminals! Handcuffs! Fake Kidnappings! The movie also contains the line: “I didn’t even want to be a criminal I wanted to be a pirate!” Also it is wonderful and ends happily ever after. Honestly one of my favorite movies ever. Ignore the IMDB rating this movie is wonderful.
Make the Yuletide Gay About coming out to your family and make sense of the person you were and the person you are now. There are bunk beds and candy canes and Filthy jokes and a dad character who is stoned this entire film and joy to watch. The family stuff ends happily, the central gay male couple ends happily, you will end this movie feeling happy.
Maurice - a gay man in the Edwardian era struggles to come to terms with his sexuality.
Big Eden - after moving home to care for his ailing grandfather, a man finds love with the local storeowner (thanks to the ENTIRE TOWN’S matchmaking schemes.)
Private Romeo - Romeo and Juliet at all all-male military school. (Yes, it has a happy ending!)
Tipping the Velvet - a Victorian-era lesbian travels through London’s gay subculture.
Fire - a relationship begins between the a shopkeeper’s young wife and her older sister-in-law.
And Then Came Lola - a photographer has to run across San Francisco to get a set of prints to her girlfriend on a time limit…and then time resets.
(I just wrote a more detailed post about it as well as the need for happy gay movies like it.)
“I didn’t even want to be a criminal I wanted to be a pirate!”