The 3 Steamiest Movie Kisses

We love to live vicariously through romantic movies. Even when films have a tragic ending, most of us find ourselves relating to the main characters, longing for one of the romantic interests, and cheering at their first kiss. Movie kisses can be hard to pull off, but when the script is written well and the actors have the right chemistry, they’re amazing to watch.

Romance fans also love to compare movie kisses, and lists abound with the best, most romantic, and sexiest on-screen smooches. Here are our picks for the top three movie kisses that really bring the heat.


Moonlight was groundbreaking for many reasons. It was the first film with an all-Black cast to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. On top of that, it was also the first queer film to win the big award. And, of course, you probably remember the fiasco at the Oscars where La La Land was incorrectly named the winner.

Moonlight follows the life of Chiron, from his childhood during the crack epidemic to adulthood. It explores his experiences with parental abuse and bullying, along with his sexuality.

The kiss in question happens midway through the film. Kevin, a childhood friend, meets Chiron on the beach. The two smoke weed and talk. It leads to an emotional kiss and a first sexual experience.

But the moment is followed by a tragic scene where Kevin is coerced into beating Chiron. The scene is hard to watch, but it adds to the bittersweet nature of their kiss.

The memorable kiss even won the two actors who played a young Chiron and Kevin — Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome — an MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Kiss.

‘But I’m a Cheerleader’

But I’m a Cheerleader is a classic queer movie. And despite the homophobic MPAA censorship it faced, it remains a funny skewering of heteronormativity and relatable exploration of developing sexuality. It’s a comedy, not a romantic drama, but that doesn’t mean the kiss between Megan and romantic interest Graham is any less romantic.

This steamy kiss comes at the end of the movie. After fleeing from True Directions, a gay conversion camp, Megan returns to surprise Graham and persuade them to forgo the camp’s so-called graduation. The fact that the main characters decide to embrace so passionately in this homophobic environment adds to their kiss’s intensity and makes it an excellent conclusion.

‘The Handmaiden’

The Handmaiden is an intense psychological thriller, but that doesn’t mean the film’s romantic aspects are less passionate. The relationship between Sook-Hee (a Korean woman intended to help a con artist marry an heiress) and Hideko (the heiress herself) develops during occupied Korea. Lies, deceit, and plots riddle the plot, but the women find they can escape the abusive and manipulative men in their lives when they’re honest with each other.

The movie shows multiple steamy scenes between Sook-Hee and Hideko. However, one of the most passionate moments is their first kiss. As the two lie in bed together, they explore each other’s bodies. Their society isn’t exactly queer-friendly, so they justify their liaison with the excuse that it’s preparing Hideko for marriage. Even so, this sex scene leads to Sook-Hee and Hideko’s developing romance and a surprisingly happy ending to a film that’s thematically dark and, at times, difficult to watch.

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