It’s Valentine’s Day which got us here at Cinema on The Sofa thinking of some of our favourite films about love. Here they are!
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of the most heartbreaking films out there. After a breakup Clementine undergoes a futuristic procedure to erase the memories of her now ex-boyfriend Joel. When Joel learns of this he decides to undergo the same procedure. Most of the films takes place in Joel’s mind as we travel with him through the memories of his relationship. He eventually realises that in no way does he wish to forget all about Clementine and frantically tries to hide her in the memories. It’s a bittersweet taste of real relationships and an insight into loss.
Lost in Translation
There’s something entirely electric about Lost in Translation. Take two characters who couldn’t be more outwardly different yet internally similar and then drop them in an extravagant hotel in Tokyo. It’s a love that is seemingly platonic though people have been debating that final scene since 2003 when the film was released. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson perform brilliantly as the tired old actor and bored wife who both seem to be quite lost in life. The whole film is chock full of low key adventure and simmering excitement. It’s enough to make your heart ache.
Love is simple when you’re twelve years old and have all the necessary skill to make it on your own thanks to a stint in the boy scouts. Sam and Suzy fall in love, make a secret pact and run away together into the wilderness of New England in the 60’s. What follows is an endearing journey as they outrun the pursuing adults in the middle of an oncoming storm. This film is one of Wes Anderson’s best and his signature style shines through.
On first appearance Juno seems to be a film about a young girl dealing with pregnancy but really it’s a love story. It’s the story of Juno finally coming to declare her love for Paulie Bleeker. It’s the story of parental love, middle-aged love and faded love. Amongst the quirky dialogue and ‘hipster’ feel of the movie there lies a shockingly true insight into the varying aspects of love on every level.
Silver Linings Playbook
Two outsiders with debilitating mental health issues fall in love but it takes them a while to realise. We are taken along this journey that's full of laughs, pain and raw human emotion. You can’t help but smile at their frank attitudes towards one another and dialogue that pulls no punches. This film could have easily fallen into the cutesy realm but real down to earth performances from Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper usher Silver Linings Playbook onto the list.
When Harry Met Sally
Can men and women really just be friends? Arguably the pinnacle of romantic comedies, When Harry Met Sally is the heart-warming story of two friends struggling to navigate their way through their thirties, whilst looking for love in all the wrong places. There are few love stories as smart, funny and uplifting surely making it a must-watch this Valentine’s Day.
500 Days of Summer
This love story that’s not a love story is an honest and unpredictable depiction of a one-sided relationship that will most certainly demand the presence of tissues. Despite an unconventional style of story-telling and it’s unique sense of style, this is one of the most realistic and heart-breaking takes on the ups and downs of love and relationships. With great performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, 500 Days of Summer will have you laughing out loud one moment and crying the next.
You can read our review of 500 Days of Summer here
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are excellent in this study of marriage and divorce that offers a real and somewhat tragic insight into the complex evolution of a married couple. Despite offering a more depressing take on love, Blue Valentine deserves applause for showcasing the dark side of marriage. Just maybe don’t make this a first date film.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
For many people it goes without saying that Hugh Grant is the king of romantic comedies, but Four Weddings and a Funeral is one of his most charming outings to date. The film follows an unlucky in love Englishman who quickly falls for an American woman after a one-night stand, but is found wondering what could have been when she heads home to the states. As their paths continue to cross he soon begins to believe that it might just be meant to be. A timeless classic, Four Weddings and a Funeral is one of the best British rom-coms around.
When a young American man meets a French woman on a train to Vienna, they make the decision to spend the day together, but they get far more than they bargained for in this intelligent and thought provoking film about falling in love. Richard Linklaters unconventional style of story-telling is at its absolute best in Before Sunrise offering a unique and unflinchingly believable look at what it’s really like to fall in love.
So there you have it, our ten favourite films about love. Do you agree? Any you think should have made the list? Sound off in the comments below!
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written by Bradley Allen and Louis Bray