Sometimes I get motivated to watch an absurd amount of movies. This happened to me a couple weeks ago, and I managed a pretty good run from Beasts of the Southern Wild to The Big Ask. Shortly after I watched the movie that is #1 on this list, I saw a commercial for an extremely cheesy RomCom and had a revelation. There are so many fantastic and realistic movies about love out there, why are people watching Blended and How Do You Know over and over when they can watch movies of the 500 Days of Summer/Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind variety? Maybe part of it is that people watch movies to drown their realistic worlds in fantastical Barrymore/Sandler slapstick romance, but I think a big part of it – for people like me, anyway – is that they haven’t heard of them. And while I appreciate Sweet Home Alabama just as much as the next hopeless romantic, this list is for those of you in the mood for something more unexpected and unusual.
Reasons it was almost on this list: The Com aspect of this Rom Com is definitely stronger than the Rom, which is the reason I enjoyed it so much. Also, it never hurts to throw Zac Efron into the picture – especially when the picture is not a High School Musical.
This movie is about two people who find each other and end up caring despite the overwhelming atmosphere of apathy and complacency around them. Reasons it’s on this list: The symbolism alone is so fantastic. The feel of the movie is not romantic, which I guess is part of what makes this “love story” appealing to me. It is labeled a love story, but it does not resemble one until it is one.
Caution (TW): There is a lot of shown suicide in this movie, and while it isn’t entirely graphic, it is definitely present. If that is something you need to stay away from, do not see this movie.
(a link to my 55 Movies to Get You to Christmas post on this movie)
Normally, love story movies build up to a marriage. That’s how you knew a play was a comedy back in ye olde times – it ended in a wedding. This one starts out with a wedding. Unexpected.
Reasons it’s on this list: A story about love can still be considered a love story, even if it doesn’t quite go how you expect; The love is the important part.
This movie isn’t lighthearted or fun. If you want a movie that will give you hope, this isn’t it. It will, however, deliver gut wrenching performances by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling and allow you to watch a love story from beginning to end.
Reasons it’s on this list: This is one of the most realistic love stories I believe I’ve ever seen. It’s brutal. It’s human. It’s unhappy. I love that it’s unhappy. I love that it shows that sometimes what we think is love is unhappy and ugly. I love the rawness of this movie.
Well rounded. This movie is well rounded. It hits all the bases, has loads of ups and downs and twists and turns and leaves you feeling like you don’t regret the last two hours of your life. Also, time travel.
Reasons it’s on this list: The thing about making a list of “love story movies” as opposed to a list of “romantic comedies” is that you can change that to mean whatever you want. Love between two lovers, or love between a family or whatever. You can love anyone or anything, and that is not limited to romantic love. Calm down. This movie has romantic love too. But the love between family members is what really impacted me from this movie.
A movie about love and writers, with the theme of writing about experiences hovering over everything, starring Logan Lerman, Kristen Bell and Greg Kinnear. What is not to like?
Reasons it’s on this list: Realism meets happy ending. Boom. There you go.