When we think of romantic movies, some of us go for dram, and others com. But there are shades of grey out there, and we would argue far more than fifty. So open your heart (and your hard drive) to these five other varieties of romantic movies.
1 The True Fantasy Romance
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
Buttercup and Westley’s romance is the sole thing played straight in the whole movie, and palpable longing between the two leads anchors the movie and forces us to care – even during the kissing parts.
YOUR NAME (Kimi No Na Wa)
A teenage body-swap comedy might seem like an unlikely contender for a tear-jerking love story, but suffice to say destiny, mysticism, and shit getting entirely real result in ruined eye-makeup for much of the audience.
While on the outside a sweet French pastry of a movie, look past the whimsy and this is stealthily one of the sexiest movies on this list. See the scene on the ghost train if you don’t believe us.
2 The Very Extremely Sexy Romance of Ultimate Sadness
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
The movie that sparked renewed use of the peach emoji is also a rare cinematic translation of the impatient, mad desire that strikes in the dead heat of perfect, otherwise uneventful summers.
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE
This doomed platonic affair between the cheated-on spouses of an adulterous couple in early 60s Hong Kong is never consummated, but manages to be sexier than more explicit movies with extended shots of the lovers looking beautiful and agonized over a series of meals.
What a way to lose a pair of gloves.
3 The Action Adventure Romance
“I have to warn you, I’ve heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.” So warns Jack in Speed, but nevertheless, a romance rooted in adventure, teamwork, and saving a bus full of people from the destructive powers of Dennis Hopper will always be one that captures our hearts.
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
She’s flighty, he’s grouchy! They detest each other immediately! A series of circumstances force them to work together! This 1934 film remains a rare beast: still as funny and sexy as it was 84 years ago.
You cannot tell us Nick and Danny were not made for each other. Alas, same-sex romance has often been relegated to subtext throughout movie history (we’re looking at you, Point Break), but here it has never been so lovingly (or hilariously) pastiched.
4 The Evenly Matched Romance
LOVE & BASKETBALL
Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps star as lovers with a past both on and off the court in this exploration of love, competition, and the free throws in between. They share hoop dreams and chemistry, and to quote the NBA JAM Tournament Edition Sega Genesis game, this couple is ON FIRE!
Alicia Silverstone and Benicio Del Toro in a pairing as foxy as it is unlikely. Highlights include a kiss made to fish out a handcuff key, appearances by Christopher Walken and Harry Connick Jr, and the best use of a yellow leather jacket since April’s in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
HEAR US OUT. Tangled is the best adventure romance to come out in the past decade, working with and transcending the fairy tale genre for a sweet tale of a couple of evenly matched energies connecting whilst on the lam.
5 The Bad Romance
An object lesson in not underestimating the robots you build for pleasure; this thriller plays with ideas of trust and connection like a kitten would a laptop charger.
WILD AT HEART
Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage star as Lula and Sailor, lovers as wild for each other as the environment they inhabit is for destruction. Don’t turn away from love, Sailor. And don’t turn away from Willem Dafoe or Crispin Glover in guest-starring roles.
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
A love story about a couple who shouldn’t be together. This movie posits that despite this heart-breaking fact, the relationship was all still worth it and worth remembering. What could be more romantic than that?
My Lady’s Choosing, an interactive romance novel is out now from Quirk Books.