There are so many traditionally romantic movies that will be on TV all this weekend that I could name off for you to watch, but why go the normal route. How many times can you watch The Notebook, The Princess Bride or Pride and Prejudice, really? (Okay, you are right. I can never get tired of those movies either.) But for the sake of something a little different, here are some great films you can watch with that significant other that are all about the romance, but don’t really fall into the romance genre.
I’m starting things off with a slight cheat because this movie is more about the adventures of two brothers growing up on the streets of Bombay (later renamed Mumbai). The younger brother, Jamal, does fall in love with a girl, Latika, also living on the streets and hustling for money, but the two are separated by terrible circumstances. Eventually Jamal (Dev Patel) goes on a quiz game show in hopes that he will find Latika (Freida Pinto). The 2009 Academy Award winner for Best Picture is a masterpiece that will have you feeling elated and believing in the power of love and destiny by the time the credits roll.
Before he became Daredevil, Charlie Cox stared in this fantasy/adventure about a young man searching for a fallen Star (Clair Danes) to bring back to the woman he loves. Along the way they have to dodge flying pirates, witches who want to eat the Star’s heart to become young and beautiful again, and a group of brothers fighting for a crown. Based on a novel by Neil Gainman, there is plenty of action, romance, and comedy (there is a wonderfully funny moment when someone is discovered to be a cross dresser) for everyone to enjoy.
Stranger than Fiction
Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is just an ordinary guy leading a lonely ordinary life when he one day starts to hear a woman narrating his life and the narrator just told him he is soon to die. Not wanting to die without first having lived, Harold sets out to change his life and falls in love with a bakery owner (Maggie Gyllenhaal) along the way. His narrator is unfortunately Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), an author notorious for her characters finding happiness just before she kills them off. When you think of Will Ferrell movies, this is not one that springs to one’s mind. It is a strange satire, but not a slapstick comedy he is mostly known for. But it is one of his best movies.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Movie, not the TV Show)
Nothing says romance like a woman who can kick serious ass.
Okay, generally when you think romance you don’t think gothic revenge drama, but The Crow is all about the love a man has for the woman he was supposed to marry. He loved her so much his soul came back from the afterlife so he would have the chance to get justice for her brutal murder. It is a truly beautiful and haunting movie.
Wings of Desire
An immortal angel (Bruno Ganz), who wanders the streets of Berlin listening to people’s thoughts and comforting them, falls in love with a lonely traipse artist (Solveig Dommartin) and must pick between the beauty of being an angel or falling to Earth to be with the woman he loves. City of Angels is a remake of this film, but please for the love of moose and squirrel, don’t watch that one. Stick with the original. Yes it is mostly in black and white and there are subtitles, but don’t let that be a deterrent. Wings of Desire is an epically stunning film about beauty, love, and loneliness. It is virtually impossible to find; but if you get a chance, watch the sequel Far Away, So Close.
If you just have to watch a more traditional romance movie this weekend, here are a few suggestions (because Love Actually and Valentine’s Day are two really terrible movies, admit it):
- The Wedding Singer – Adam Sandler used to be funny and kinda adorable
- Penelope – A modern fairy tale about a woman from an affluent family and cursed with a pig nose, must find “one of her own” to love her or she will be stuck with that nose forever.
- Bride & Prejudice – A Bollywood remake of the Jane Austin classic that is really fun to watch
- French Kiss – Because there is no list of romantic movies in existence that does not have a Meg Ryan movie on it and I like this one so much better than When Harry met Sally
- Moonstruck or Honeymoon in Vegas (Or both cause they are great) – Nicolas Cage before he went crazy but still completely neurotic is actually good combo for a romantic comedy
- Letters to Juliet – Beautiful Italian country side and a search for the man not taken
What non-traditional (or traditional) romance movie will you be watching this weekend? Seriously, don’t tell me Love Actually or Valentine’s Day. You deserve better movies than those. Let me know in the comments section below.