Having spent literally all 22 years of my life being single, I cling onto the fictional love stories portrayed in romance movies. They can be the cheesiest stories, but by the end I’m blubbering like a baby, yelling at the screen for my happily ever after. Picture an emotional Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde” for reference.
Even after watching hours upon hours of romance movies, I know relationships aren’t a walk in the park. That I learned from “The Notebook.” But in the end, whether a relationship lasts a night or the rest of your life, there's a lesson to be learned from those who get to know you on a romantic level. At least in my opinion, any time spent with that special someone is better than nothing.
Romance movies literally come in all forms, from your average rom-coms and chick flicks to historical romance and fantasy. Whether you're watching with a partner, a group of friends, or alone, I promise there's a story out there for everyone. Even if you swear that romance movies aren’t your thing, maybe you just haven’t found the right one.
Before you continue, just remember the number one rule of romance films, there is no guaranteed happy ending.
“The Man in the Moon”
Reese Witherspoon has been in her fair share of romance movies, a few of my favorites being “Water For Elephants,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Just Like Heaven,” and of course the “Legally Blonde” franchise.
Her debut film, “The Man in the Moon,” stars Reese Witherspoon at just 14 years old. Since its release date in 1991, the film currently holds a 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film is set in the summer of 1957 in rural Louisiana and follows the Trant family. The parents are played by actors Sam Watertson and Tess Harper who have three daughters and another child on the way in the film. The eldest daughter, Maureen, is a small town girl who helps her mother out around the house and is off to college in the fall. Dani, played by Witherspoon, is the complete opposite. She is more of a tomboy, prefers to help out her dad, and doesn't pay boys any mind. Despite being completely different, the sisters are very close.
Dani’s summer takes a turn when the Fosters move back next door after being gone for many years. Having lost his father, 17 year old Court Foster must step up to get his family farm up and running again to help out his mother and younger brother.
Dani begins to fall for Court and is extremely confused by her newfound feelings. As they begin to form a friendship, Court seems to reciprocate her feelings but is cautious because of their age difference.
The movie begins to pick up when Dani’s mom, Abigail, has a serious fall and is admitted into the hospital due to complications with her pregnancy.
When things with her mother begin to settle down, Dani’s father prompts her to invite Court to dinner so he can get to know him better. Court and Maureen first meet at dinner, instantly feeling a connection and prompting them to begin a romantic relationship.
As Court pushes Dani away, Dani does the same to Maureen. The two sisters rekindle their bond after an unexpected death rattles them both. Dani must learn to move past her anger and realize that negative emotions only push away those who need you the most and vice versa.
In my opinion, “The Man in the Moon” is an innocent film that can be watched as a family. The story is simple and moves slowly but still holds the audience attention. Think “Little House on the Prairie” vibes.
“The Time Traveler’s Wife”
This movie stars Eric Bana and American sweetheart Rachel McAdams, is that not enough to convince you to watch it?
Released in 2009, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” tells the story of Henry and Clare. Henry suffers from a paranormal disorder that causes him to travel through time at random moments of his life. That being said, different aged versions of himself exist throughout time.
Unknown to Henry, his future self has had a friendly relationship with Clare since she was a little girl. Clare, having grown up with a time travelling Henry by her side, is already in love with him when she meets his present self in her own time.
The two begin a romantic relationship and eventually married life together in the present time.
Married life isn’t easy, throw in the fact that your husband can’t control when he disappears to time travel and problems are bound to arise. Their relationship is further strained when they begin trying to have a family. This movie can get a little weird, an example being that Clare can’t bring a pregnancy to full term because her unborn children keep time travelling away before actually being born.
Without saying too much, Clare and Henry successfully have a child with the help from a younger version of Henry. Talk about a weird but a romantic solution?
Clare and Henry continue to live their lives with their child as normally as possible, but Henry can’t live forever.
This brings up the question, if Clare’s present version of Henry dies, will he be gone forever?
A faith driven movie, “The Song” might not be everyone's cup of tea at first glance, but I promise it's worth watching, even if you are not religious.
Released in 2014, the movie follows the life of Jed King, portrayed by Alan Powell. In the movie, Jed is the son of David King, a legendary country music legend. He lives in the shadow of his father’s successful career and finds it difficult to be taken seriously in the industry.
When Jed meets Rose, he immediately begins to court her. Rose, portrayed by Ali Faulkner, is incredibly religious and their relationship is guided by their faith. Eventually, the two wed and start a life together. His love for Rose propels Jed to write her a song, which unexpectedly launches his career.
Years later, Jed is playing to hundreds and thousands of people, no longer stuck playing gigs at local bars.
As his career continues to grow, he begins to spend more time on the road, far from his wife and son. Temptation begins to crawl into his life when a new band, fronted by a female, joins him on tour.
Shelby Bale is a free spirited musician who leads Jed into a life of adultery and drug abuse. Quicker than he realizes, both his career and marriage begin a downward spiral. Jed will have to go back to his roots, and most importantly his faith, to prove to himself and his family that he is a man worthy of forgiveness.
“Where Hands Touch”
This movie provides just a glimpse into the African community during the height of Hitler's Nazi Germany. Before watching this movie, I will admit I was ignorant to the fact of black Germans and how they suffered just as much as the Jewish during this time of war.
Released in 2018, “Where Hands Touch” is a British romantic war film that stars Amandla Stenberg as Leyna, a biracial girl born to a white German mother and a black French father. Despite her skin color, she is a proud German and is even antisemetic at times.
The film begins in Germany in the year 1944. Leyna follows her mother and younger brother to a new life in Berlin, escaping their rural life where Leyna’s skin color was becoming too much of a problem.
But life in Berlin isn’t any easier. Jews are being persecuted at an alarming rate and Leyna is kicked out of school and sent to work in a factory with her mother.
Life becomes more difficult when Leyna begins a relationship with Lutz, the son of a high ranking officer and a member of Hitler’s Youth. Despite her mother’s warnings, Leyna’s secret relationship with Lutz continues and she becomes pregnant.
Lutz is sent off to war and she is sent to a labor camp after being separated from her mother. At the camp, she does her best to keep her pregnancy a secret, having lied about undergoing a sterilization procedure.
To her surprise, Lutz is stationed as a soldier at her labor camp. The two must fight to escape together or live a life of fear, Leyna unsure if she will survive in the camp and Lutz no longer proud of his service to his country.
In the middle of war, will Leyna find peace in a country that wishes nothing but to turn its back
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
With a 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “If Beale Street Could Talk” is a beautifully filmed movie that tells the story of a young couple torn apart by prejudice in 1970s Harlem. It was ranked one of the Top 10 films of 2018 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute.
Clemetine “Tish” and Alonzo “Fonny” have been friends since childhood and eventually begin a romantic relationship in their late teenage years. They plan to build a life together and start by finding a place to call their own. They find a landlord who looks past the color of their skin and rents them a loft space in a warehouse.
That same night, Tish is harassed by a white man in a grocery store and when Fonny defends her, a white policeman, name Officer Bell, attempts to arrest Fonny. Officer Bell is stopped and accused of being a racist by the owner of the store, a white woman who vouches for Fonny.
Later on, Fonny is arrested and falsely accused of raping a Puerto Rican women named Victoria. Despite all evidence proving it would have been near impossible for Fonny to be at the scene of the assault, Officer Bell gives a personal testimony, claiming having seen Fonny fleeing from the scene.
Tish, now pregnant, must lean on her community and family to bring justice to her lover’s case.
Love’s not dead.
The fact that we have the ability to love and be loved in return is one of the most beautiful aspects of life. No relationship is the same and the stories told in these films are a prime example of that. Although, I’m sure you don’t have a time traveling husband.
Unless you do. I mean, I’m still waiting on my vampire boyfriend to literally sweep me off my feet. “Twilight” really set some unrealistic expectations for me.
All five of the romance movies described above can be streamed on Hulu.