Unromantic Romance Movies
Romantic comedies can be light and fun, but I tend to enjoy more towards unromantic romance movies. Movies that have flawed characters and flawed relationships are more realistic to me. There are still laugh-out-loud moments in these movies, but they can also deal with intense emotions. These movies are still romances at their core, but give a unique perspective on life and love.
A movie that does a great job to showcase a city and love issues is Midnight in Paris. Owen Wilson plays a writer who is engaged and staying in Paris with his fiancée. He struggles with life and love, but finds solace in a bar that opens up at midnight. This bar also happens to jump through time, so we get to see fun appearances by Salvador Dali, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, along with a great turn by Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway. Time travel may help Owen’s character write a novel, but it may also tear his relationship apart.
Sideways is a movie about two middle-aged men who decide to have a nice weekend in California’s wine country. These men are still searching for fulfilling relationships while dealing with aging. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church play the lead protagonists as they fall down and try to pick themselves back up again throughout the movie. This film may be cynical about love, but it still showcases how it can come from many different places.
Probably the oddest and most dysfunctional of these movies is Secretary. Relationships are formed in strange ways, and this movie shows a sadistic and masochistic relationship that mostly works for the couple involved. With interesting performances by Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader, this movie shows that messed up people can find love in the weirdest of circumstances.
A seemingly formulaic movie has some unique twists in 500 Days of Summer. Just when you think Tom, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, has met the girl of his dreams, Summer, seasons change and Tom's world spins. Even if someone thinks they know “the one,” it may not be the same for the other person. Fun, playful, but with a bite, this movie shows not everything can be scripted.
Romantic comedies can be fun, but distorting romance can be even better. Let me know what movies you like that twist romance by leaving a comment below.