Movies on Love
Films are very much a driving force in my world, much to my detriment I’m sure, and have created a vision of love in various forms. From the unobtainable to the downright questionable. A variation of genres and moods all in pursuit of love. This list contains building blocks of someone, who in the words of Ben Gibbard, “I’d been waiting since birth to find a love that would look and sound like a movie”.
Wings of Desire
Wim Wenders shows us the world through the eyes of angels; after falling for a mortal trapeze artist, angel Damiel decides to throw down his armour and leave the ethereal divinity in the pursuit of true love. With an incredible performance from Bruno Ganz and a hilarious and heartfelt performance from Peter Falk, this is a complex and artistic look into the unknown and how close we can come to touching the divine as humans. Bonus points to the stirring live performance from Nick Cave.
One of the greatest films of all time.
A love where you want someone so bad it’s like acid in your mouth. Keanu Reeves (who is perhaps one of the most beautiful humans to ever walk this earth) is Johnny Utah; an undercover FBI agent on the tail of a group of bank robbers known as the Ex-Presidents, who may or may not be a group of adrenaline junky surfers led by Bodi played by Patrick Swayze. They play sexy beach football, they sexy surf, they sexy fight and they sexy gaze into each other’s eyes A LOT. A true romance wrapped in an incredible action movie.
I feel like skydiving is a fun couples activity, right?
Featuring two tales of lovesick policemen; one who by chance spends a night with a mysterious smuggler, the other falling for a coquettish food stand worker. The latter story featuring the ageless Tony Leung and the ultimate manic-pixie dream girl played by enigmatic Faye Wong. The film that thrust auteur director Wong-Kar Wai into western hearts and in one fell swoop gave us a genuinely beautiful, sad and fun movie, that the MTV generation had been trying unsuccessfully trying to do for years. If the sequence set to The Cranberries Dreams (and subsequent cover by Wong herself) doesn’t fill you with energetic love nothing will.
An age old tale of whirlwind youthful love further stoking the fire that your wildest dreams can come true when you travel abroad. I mean, it helps if you’re intelligent and arty and look like Ethan Hawke or Julie Delpy. The first instalment of Richard Linklater’s beautifully rendered romanticism of the unknown, that for the sake of your feelings you should keep the sequels in the unknown.
Note: watch the sequels, just not for lovers day.
Love and Basketball
The title basically says it all; Monica and Quincy love each other and love basketball, but which love is stronger and can the two coexist? This is a tale of enduring love from childhood to adulthood with all the challenges in between. An early aughts classic with beautiful leads and great side characters, all for the love of the game and each other.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The story of a couple going through a medical procedure in order to erase each other from their memories. The perfect cross section of Charlie Kaufman’s brain twisting writing and Michel Gondry’s visually stunning twee aesthetic. An oddly hopeful surrealist portrait of the difficulty of loving one another. Beauty found in the dark corners of ourselves.
No list of love stories would be complete without the inclusion of at least one movie centred around the most lovelorn of all “monsters”, the vampire. Park Chan-Wook’s (Oldboy, The Handmaiden) story of a priest turned vampire and his newfound pursuit of the pleasures of the flesh is a darkly comedic and often horrifying romp. Like all of us, the vampire just wants to love and be loved and Thirst is the best all around example of a vampire’s journey. Twilight this ain’t.
Scott Pilgrim VS the World
Adapted from Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series; Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend Ramona Flowers’ seven evil exes in order to win her heart. This is one of the most genuinely fun and funny movies that understands its source material and realizes it fully. Featuring a cavalcade of incredible actors who all seem to be having the best time, this one hits all the sweet spots. Also bonus points for a movie being shot in and actually about Canada.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Céline Sciamma’s gorgeously shot eighteenth century forbidden love story is an instant classic. A young female painter is commissioned to an island to paint the wedding portrait of a beautiful, sad young woman. As more and more time is spent in each other’s company, getting closer and closer…you get the picture, errr, portrait.
A sensual story of female love presented far from the male gaze.
The less said about this going in the better but this is a fun little movie that does a lot with a simple concept. Your enjoyment will hinge almost entirely on your acceptance of the movies lead characters played by Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. For those in for the ride, this is an endlessly charming, heart in its sleeve movie, that never drags for a minute. Also it’s just nice to watch a new movie in a cinematic dry spell.
Just One Dummies Opinion
“Love//Sick: Movies on Love.”
by Dan Ferrari