A unique perspective within the coming-of-age genre is presented in Girl Friends, a series that focuses on girls, friends, girlfriends, and girl friends. Three films, all directed by queer women, present varying and poignant themes about queer girlhood and friendship. While each film centers to some extent on a romantic storyline, often the most interesting moments revolve around the interactions between friendship and queerness: crushes on friends, social ostracization, the murky distinction between romantic and platonic feelings, sexual discovery, identity and presentation, allyship, and many forms of intimacy.
But I’m a Cheerleader, a 90s campy cult classic about conversion therapy, finds high schooler Megan Bloomfield living happily as a cheerleader until her friends turn her in for alleged lesbian behaviors. In Water Lilies, Céline Sciamma’s first feature film, the lines of friendship and love blur as three teen girls in France discover their burgeoning sexualities. A sweet story of awakening, The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love — starring Laurel Holloman before her role as Tina in “The L Word” — takes on acceptance and allyship in sexuality and race.