10 romantic movies couples can mutually enjoy
No need to worry about compromising over movie choice with these selections.
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the evenings grow shorter, and dare I say it, the weather gets wetter. Sunset evening strolls may have to become replaced by movie marathons on the couch, as the rain clatters against the adjacent windows. But instead of fighting over viewing choices this autumn, allow me to offer some food for thought, in terms of motion picture choices!
10. Charade (1963)
A film often regarded as the greatest Hitchcock film that he actually never made. However, one could hardly blame anybody for making such an error. Stanley Donen’s comedic thriller shares many a similarity with the work of said director; a series of mistaken identities, the iconic leading lady and of course, the presence of North by Northwest (1959) luminary Cary Grant. Many casual film fans are deterred by the prospect of viewing a motion picture which is over 50 years old; a concept which has always befuddled me. The story and subsequent pacing in this tale are impeccable and would easily put the majority of the big budget blockbusters of modern times to unmerciful shame. Its primary cause for inclusion on this list is the fantastic rapport between Audrey Hepburn and Grant. The two, despite being megastars of the day, have more chemistry than a chunky science book. All too often films are weighed down by a stellar cast, causing the overall product to be clunky and too self aware. Luckily, this isn’t the case here. So for those who sit at home, with a canvas print of starlet Ms. Hepburn on a bedroom wall, but cannot attest to viewing any of her movies, let me assure you this is a fitting place to start.
9. Closer (2004)
The next instalment in our mutually pleasing list of cinematic romance is drama Closer (2004) starring Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Natalie Portman. Invariably, the themes of infidelity may not be the most comfortable for young couples to acknowledge, yet this remains necessary viewing. The acting is so irreproachable; one cannot help but be engrossed. Also, Damien Rice’s iconic track The Blower’s Daughter features prominently, adding to its appeal to the Irish audience.
8. The Girl Next Door (2004)
Speaking of memorable movie music, this next entry on our list comes with a soundtrack to rival any compilation. Featuring the exploits of talented musicians such as David Gray and The Who, let me assure you, once you’ve seen and heard it, you will always remember this teen comedy. Despite being met with mere mixed reviews upon release, this flick is right up there with genre classics such as American Pie (1999) and Superbad (2007). Infusing an appropriate amount of wit, humour and heart with an array of likeable characters, this picture really does have something for everybody. If you can get past the obvious crude themes, the juice is most definitely worth the squeeze.
7. Tell No One (2006)
Perhaps one for the hipsters among us! The first and only non-English language film to feature on this list, but for those of you who feel apprehensive at the prospect of reading subtitles, I wholeheartedly feel a single viewing of this Luc Beeson production will totally alter your perspective. Essentially a romance at heart, this French thriller is as pulsating as many of the offerings from Hollywood’s elite catalogue. There was much hype regarding a remake last year, which has seemingly fallen by the wayside. To remake this triumph would be beyond unnecessary, but don’t take my word for it.
6. (500) Days of Summer (2009)
You will most likely remember this fun and quirky film for bringing Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s career to the fore. Much like Juno (2007), this indie style piece somewhat made a subgenre and culture more accessible, as it steadily creeps further and further into mainstream spotlight. What made this sleeper hit so increasingly popular among today’s audiences, was its ballsy yet retrained overhaul of a hackneyed theme. Its subtle criticism on modern relationship dynamics is quite eye opening. Also, not unlike Hepburn and Grant in Charade, the enviable onscreen chemistry between the male protagonist and Zooey Deschanel is the real show stealer.
5. Blue Valentine (2010)
The Weinstein Company
Much to the contrary of popular female belief, not everything Ryan Gosling touches turns to gold. Of course, I am speaking in the cinematic sense! Many old romantics would argue The Notebook (2004) is the best way to spend a Saturday night viewing, but in reality the vast majority of males (myself included) loathe the typical tearjerker. Despite being a very one dimensional performer, Gosling has turned in some very admirable displays. The Place Beyond the Pines (2013), Drive (2011) and this will certainly bear witness to my point. Like (500) Days of Summer, this picture employs a nonlinear narrative to display the alterations in relationship dynamics as time, and indeed life, unfolds. Also, Derek Cianfrance’s colour scheme is incredibly lush amd brings a refreshingly alterative dynamic.
4. Like Crazy (2011)
Definitely the most applicable to the young people of today as its relevancy transcends the face value of the film, which is of adolescent love and its subsequent yet inevitable obstacles. The film features impromptu dialogue, adding naturalism which enables the viewer to become suspended in the realm created. Also, one can easily appreciate the modern day significance of the dominant theme of emigration. This Drake Doremus work pulls no punches, pulls back the curtain on the supposed idealism of young love- a rarity in popular modern cinema.
3. Ruby Sparks (2012)
Enigmatic redhead Paul Dano appears for the second time on this list. This tale led by the young Prisoners (2013) star, focuses on a budding author who wills the girl of his dreams into reality. Moreover, it concentrates on the overemphasised cliché that ‘nobody is perfect’, yet counteracts this with an exacerbation of the often unrecognised notion that despite the former, there are those who are perfect for each other. However, what I most enjoyed about this entry is the casting of Dano as the lead; certainly an atypical choice for a role which had it been allocated elsewhere, may have lost a great deal of credibility.
2. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
There isn’t a great deal that can be said about this movie that has yet to be mentioned. A pure master class by all involved, highlighting the positives of existence, even when the chips are supposedly down. In my opinion, the fondest feature of this film is the positive yet realistic way in which it tackles the issues surrounding mental health, quite reminiscent of the uplifting tone rendered by another coming-of-age film It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010).
1. Don Jon (2013)
Certainly one of the best cinematic outings of 2013, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut came somewhat as a surprise. Not because it was any good, but rather as it carried a great deal more depth than any of us initially anticipated. From the outset, it appeared a mediocre pro-bro comedy at best, which seemingly glorified pornography. But instead it used the concept of adult entertainment as a counteraction to female idealisations of on-screen romance. Both concepts are as artificial as the other, albeit one is far more frowned upon than the other. Also, for the first time in such a commercially popular piece of romantic cinema, is the male character depicted as the hero and the female somewhat as the villain. Also, Scarlett Johansson’s performance here is particularly underrated; in my opinion her best role to date.