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Top 5 romantic movies that anyone can appreciate

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I’m definitely not a sentimental person, so I rarely watch romantic movies. But there are some love stories out there that even the most hard-boiled person will enjoy. No, I’m not talking about “Top romantic movies that will make you cry”, this won’t be another one of those lists. I will not list the obvious love stories like Notebook, Diry Dancing or Titanic. Sure, these movies can probably give you a good cry. I mean, watching Rose leave Jack to a very unnecessary death definitely deserves a good rage-cry.

No, this list is for movies that display love with realism, a unique manner or just something out-of-the-box. Let’s get to it. Here are 5 romantic movies that anyone with a taste for film will enjoy. I bet you’ll find some gems you’ve missed.

Candy (2006) – A love story tainted by addiction

Candy movie sad romantic movie

Wow, I can’t believe Candy hasn’t gotten more attention, especially after Heath Ledger’s death. The movie sits with only 42,030 votes on IMDB and 1901 ratings on Rotten Tomato. Were people angry with him for returning to Australia to make an indie flick at the top of his career? Or were they like “I watched Dark Knight, so now I’ve paid my tribute”? I really don’t understand it.

Based on the book Candy: A Novel Of Love And Addiction, a story inspired by writer Luke Davies’ own heroin addiction and relationship. Candy, rated R, is a heavy movie to watch. The movie displays the dysfunctional love between two heroine addicted lovers. What makes this different from other love story movies about drug addiction is that main characters Candy and Dan are very self aware. They know that heroin is a key element in their relationship.

Candy is a sad, macabre love story. Abbie Cornish and Heath Ledger do an outstanding performance conveying the toxic effects addiction has on a relationship. The movie might be too realistic for some to bear, but if you can – it is one you should watch. THIS is the movie that should be on every “Top romantic movies that will make you cry” -list out there!

Perfect Sense (2011)- A romantic movie set in a dystopian world

Perfect Sense Pandemic Love Story

David Mackenzie’s Perfect Sense is a genre-hybrid, a disaster-movie with the focus on a beautiful love story. Europa is faced with a mysterious new epidemic, one that causes you to feel uncontrollable sorrow before losing your sense of smell. As scientists try to figure out its origin and how to cure it, panic quickly spreads like wildfire across the globe. We soon realize sorrow and loss of smell aren’t the only symptoms of this disastrous epidemic. Irresistible hunger, followed by the loss of taste, uncontrollable rage, followed by loss of hearing is also spreading like wildfire. The last sense to disappear is sight, and so the world finally fades into darkness and silence.

We follow Susan (Eva Green), an epidemiologist, and Michael (Ewan McGregor), a chef. They have the misfurtone to meet and fall in love just as humanity descend in despair. Finding comfort in each other, they adapt and help each other through the process as sense by sense leave them. While the movie is sad and melancholic, it does offers hope. The movie displays mankind’s capability to adapt even to the most devastating circumstances.

Boys Don’t Cry (1999) – The poster child of an unfair NC-17 rating

Boys dont cry unfair NC-17 rating movie

Boys don’t cry, where do I even start? This movie is one of the reasons I wanted to start Cinesister. It is the poster child of the unfairly NC17 rated movies of our time. NC-17 is considered a harsher rating than R  because rating X (=porn) was dropped/renamed NC-17. When a movie gets rated NC-17, it is considerably harder to reach the cinemas and the screens of the average person, ultimately damaging the movie. With Boys Don’t Cry initially rated NC-17 the movie had to be re-cut in order to receive an R rating. Sex scenes are totally fine, but focusing on a woman’s face too long as she is about to climax – is apparently not. I get furious even writing this, so let’s continue with the plot of the movie, shall we.

By the way, as I’m sitting here reading some summaries about the movie in order to refresh my memory, I can’t help but be disappointed at humanity yet again. Several reviews describe the movie as “She is transsexual, dresses like a man and assumes the identity of a man named Brandon.” Some reviews are truly disgusting. Wow people, wake the f**k up.

Now to the story already! Boys Don’t Cry follows Brandon Teena (starred by Kimberly Peirce) as HE(!) embarks on the journey of re-starting his life in a small town of Falls City, Nebraska. He moved as a result of being under threat in his hometown, when his ex-girlfriend’s brother discovered that he’s biologically female. Re-settling in Nebraska Brandon quickly falls for Lana (starring Chloë Sevigny). Their romance is challenged and the love story turns sober when Lana’s ex-convict friends learn of Brandon’s secret.

Lars and the Real Girl (2007) – A love story between man and doll

Lars and the real girl unusual love story

Ok, let’s bring some light (or rather dark comedy) into this so far macabre-love-story-list. Lars and the Real girl is a romance movie unlike any other. Lars Lindstrom (starring Ryan Gosling) is a painfully shy 27-year old. He is somewhat functional, at least enough to maintain an office-job. But during the evenings he is alone in a bedsitter attached to the garage of his family home. Tired of feeling lonely, Lars goes online and orders a lifelike (sex) doll for companionship (not the kind you’re thinking).  And then- falls in love with the doll. As one naturally does I guess? Things couldn’t get weirder, but then Lars introduces her (yes, the doll) to his brother and pregnant sister-in-law.

This is not a slapstick comedy, but an emotional romantic movie filled with dark humor but also a great deal of rawness. Director Craig Gillespie and writer Nancy Oliver do a marvelous job conveying Lars’s real emotions. The movie explores the life of a social deviant and how his family responds to him. You might even shed a tear as the doll gets “sick” – and then it’s officially a love story, right?

The Reader (2008) – A morally ambiguous romantic affair

The Reader Morally challenging

The movie which is divided into 3 chapters, plays out in Neustads, West Germany in 1958. The first chapter follows 15-year-old Michael (starring David Kross) as he by happenstance meets Hanna Schmitz (starring Kate Winslet) who is more than twice his age. They embark on a summer-long affair, spending their days in bed, her teaching him about sex in exchange for him reading to her. As the summer ends we’re moved into the second chapter and a new era, 1966. Michael, now 23 years old, is a young law student who is still missing his first love, Hanna. Thought the story was morally problematic already? Then brace yourself. To his horror Michale finds out that his long lost love Hanna is on trial, accused of appalling conduct at Auschwitz concentration camp.

It’s a grim love story, thought provoking and morally challenging to say the least. Definitely unlike any other romantic movie you’ve ever watched. Based on the novel Der Vorleser by Bernhard Schlink, a book that Director Stephen Daldry describes as “the singular novel addressing the problem of –How do we continue after what we have done?-“. The Reader does not shy away from this problem.

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cinesister

I've always had a deep love and fascination for movies, being an especially strong advocate for the weird, foreign, underrated, under-budgeted and unfairly NC17 rated films of our world. Cinesister is the embodiment of this passion (which some might call an obsession).

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