7 Romantic Films for Non-Fans of the Genre

Valentine’s Day came and went, without any list of romances to watch from TMFF. While romantic films are certainly not my cup of tea, I’ve watched a few ones over the years, and a select few I even enjoyed. So, now that it’s far too late to contribute to the V-day hype, I thought I might as well make a top of some semi-romantic films that even non-fans of the genre such as myself can enjoy. They are not all exactly light romatic flicks, though – you’ll see what I mean.

Before Sunrise (1995)

Let’s kick things off with a dose of pure cinematic magic courtesy of one of my favourite directors, Richard Linklater. “Before Sunrise” follows Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy), two strangers who meet on a train and decide to spend a magical night wandering the streets of Vienna together. As they share intimate conversations and explore the city’s hidden gems, Jesse and Céline’s connection deepens, leaving viewers rooting for their fleeting romance to defy the odds. It’s a perfect combination of deep dialogue and interesting ideas, and the chemistry between the two leads is a real treat.

Her (2013)

In a not-so-distant future where technology reigns supreme, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) finds solace in an unlikely relationship with an artificial intelligence operating system named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). As Theodore navigates the complexities of love and loneliness, “Her” offers a thought-provoking exploration of human connection in the digital age. With its poignant storytelling and stellar performances, this film is sure to leave you contemplating the nature of love long after the credits roll. A nice mix of modern ideas about love, and Eastern philosophical concepts make for an added treat.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Director Ang Lee’s groundbreaking masterpiece “Brokeback Mountain” shattered barriers and touched hearts with its powerful portrayal of forbidden love. Set against the sweeping landscapes of Wyoming, the film follows the tumultuous romance between two cowboys, Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal). As their passionate affair unfolds over the course of decades, “Brokeback Mountain” confronts societal norms and celebrates the enduring power of love in the face of adversity.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Jane Austen’s timeless tale of love and misunderstanding gets a sumptuous adaptation in director Joe Wright’s “Pride and Prejudice.” Keira Knightley shines as the spirited Elizabeth Bennet, whose initial disdain for the aloof Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) gradually gives way to unexpected affection. With its sweeping romance, lush cinematography, and memorable performances, “Pride and Prejudice” is a delightful treat for fans of classic literature and timeless love stories.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Brace yourself for a mind-bending exploration of love, memory, and second chances with “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergo a radical procedure to erase each other from their memories after a painful breakup. However, as their memories begin to fade, they realise that some connections are too powerful to be erased. With its inventive storytelling and heartfelt performances, this film offers a fresh perspective on the complexities of modern romance.

La La Land (2016)

Transport yourself to the dazzling world of Hollywood with Damien Chazelle’s enchanting musical romance, “La La Land.” Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling light up the screen as Mia and Sebastian, a struggling actress and jazz musician whose paths intertwine as they pursue their dreams in the City of Angels. With its toe-tapping musical numbers, vibrant cinematography, and bittersweet romance, “La La Land” is a modern classic that is most famous for winning the Best Picture Academy Award for a few seconds before losing it – but it is certainly much more than that.

The Notebook (2004)

No list of romantic films would be complete without mentioning “The Notebook,” the quintessential tearjerker that has captured the hearts of audiences around the world. Based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel, the film follows the epic love story of Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams), whose passionate romance transcends social barriers and withstands the test of time. I must admit that I never watched this one, and I don’t think I ever will, but I have heard so many good things about it from people who know their romantic films much better than I do, so here it is.



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