The last two years were a lot on us. From losing the hope of it all to finding new beliefs in humanity to prioritizing new goals in life, the healing will take a lot of time. While enclosed in the four walls, we returned to the comfort and happiness radiated by small things, from re-watching our favorite story to making that cup of coffee, it redefined things. And while we are being grateful, it will be ignorant to not mention the film industry that kept us in high spirits throughout. From new emotional stories to new robberies, the pandemic was action-packed.
One genre that always has and will stand out is romance, the easiest and yet the most difficult challenge for any filmmaker. To find the perfect element of romance, actors that are meant to play the role, to ignite the spark between those with perfect musical notes, the expectations from romance movies have always been high. It’s an art to make people like even clichés, a skill many are yet to master, and perhaps this also explains why so many romantic movies are released around the year, yet only a few stay as fan favorites.
While we have classics like Notebook and Titanic and other inspired deviations, a good romantic movie doesn’t need a guy helplessly in love with the girl. It has evolved to show more of the complications and sometimes the not-so-happy endings. Here are some of the most interesting romance stories that will restore your faith in the alignment of stars and destiny.
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- Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset/Before Midnight:
The Before trilogy is the epitome of ‘love finds you in most unexpected places.’ A classic comfort of love at first sight and meant to be strangers. Jesse on his trip to Europe meets Celine, travelling to visit her relatives in Parise. Wandering the streets of Vienna, the two fall in love under the stars. Eventually, they decide to go their separate way, letting fate reunite them in the future. The sequel, Before Sunset, follows the journey of a couple on a single set of afternoons, nine years later. Jesse, now an established author and father of one, on his tour, spots Celine in a café. This time on the streets of Paris, the unkept promises of the past are brought up with bittersweetness. In conclusion, Jesse opts for Celine over his life, missing his flight home. Before Midnight, the last of the story, follows married Jesse and Celine, nine years later, spending an afternoon on the coast of Peloponnese, Greece.
Parents to twins, Jesse wishes to move back to Chicago in hope of mending things with his son, while Celine roots to stay in Paris for a government job. When the argument threatens the marriage, the couple must make some hard decisions. Don’t worry though, the ending is happy reconciliation and a happy family.
- High Fidelity
A gem from the 2000s, the movie has all the essential components of success, a man failing at relationships, lost about the future, and incredibly good at pinning. Rob Gordon is a man in love with music, and he shows this by working at his record store and keeping flawless knowledge of songs. However, his skills in relationships need a polish. When his long-time girlfriend Laura breaks up, he revisits his every relationship for self-re-evaluation, a nice move. Meanwhile, on the side-line, he has signed two teenagers under his Top 5 Record, impressed by their creation.
When Laura’s father dies, Rob accompanies the lady to the funeral, coming back with an epiphany of his own, realizing his commitment issues. In an attempt to win back Laura and show her she is the one, she proposes marriage. Laura thanks the man for his proposal and suggests he revisit his passion for being a DJ. Long story short, Rob makes a mixtape for Laura, finally feeling he has found the key to happiness.
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Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, Moonlight is one of the classics that stays pure with time. The story of a black guy, Chiron, is told in different stages of life, this film has tears, abuse, growth, and unconditional love. While successfully portraying a guy finding his identity and sexuality in a world unkind to him, the director has expressed a love story cleanly and beautifully. Chiron is the son of an addicted mother, living in Miami, during the peak of what many call crack pandemics. He finds solace and support in Juan, a dealer who often fights with his mother for her neglect of her son. The first arc shows Chiron finding the reality of his mother and his profession of Juan while facing verbal abuse from his mother.
The middle part is about Chiron’s journey in high school, dodging bullies and exploring his sexuality with classmate Kevin. The ending is brutal as a forced Kevin takes swings at Chiron, leaving him heartbroken for years. The final arc is the adulthood of Chiron, who has become a dealer himself. The ending is chased by police and a reunion with Kevin, as the young boy finally breaks down, grieving all wrongs he endured.
- Portrait of a Lady on fire
What is a love story without an ambitious lover hiding their true identity from their partner in hopes of a better future until they are so head over heels in love with them, it becomes painful to keep the truth? Story of burning passionate love is this film portraying the romance of Marianne and Heloise, set at the end of the 18th century. When a student of painter Marianne questions about a particular painting, she is taken back to her love story. Heloise is a young beautiful woman, forced to marry after the death of her sister, reluctant to let anyone paint her portrait. Hired by her mother in the disguise of a companion, Marianne falls in love with Heloise while secretly painting her.
However, when her painting is completed, she cannot keep the truth hidden any longer and reveals her true intentions. Heloise hates the painting and accuses Marianne of not capturing her true self, Heloise officially poses for her. While making the second painting, the two girls share a kiss and spend the night. Marianne officially completes her painting and is forced to be separated by a marriage-bound Heloise. Keep the tissue box, always nearby.
- When Harry Met Sally
A finest comfort movie after a long week, while the take-out is in the microwave, this movie taught us to never give up on the happy ending. The story has longing glances, friendship, denial, anger, drama and beyond everything the perfect romance. Harry and Sally are fresh graduates of the University of Chicago, travelling to New York to build a future. During the journey, the topic of relationships comes up and Sally strongly disagrees with ‘men and women can be just friends’ thesis. Not further augmenting over it, Harry praises Sally’s beauty over dinner.
Misunderstanding it, Sally accuses Harry of cheating her friend Amanda, parting on bitter terms. Five years later, the two happen to share a flight where Sally is dating Joe and Harry is engaged to Helen. While Harry proposes to rejuvenate the friendship, things don’t fall back into place that easily, the two separate again. Five years later, the stars make them meet again, this time in a bookstore, both broken up and single. While comforting a downhearted Sally over an ex-marriage, Harry and Sally take the next step in their relationship.
Confused by the new dynamics, Sally proposes to break the friendship and move on. However, when New Year rolls around the couple realises each other’s importance and life and reconcile to never separate again. Took a decade but worth the wait, right?