As far back as recorded history can go, the most common human emotion depicted in art has been love. There is no single, universally acknowledged definition for the emotion of love despite every other piece of music, film, novel or lyric dealing with love as its fundamental premise. Perhaps this is what makes it so alluring — almost like an insurmountable math problem.? Because of its unpredictability, love is one of the most beautiful things in the world. To top it all off, the initial release of Oxycontin can be triggered by a wide range of instincts, from sexual, to emotional, to comfort, to anything.
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While the “Romantics” may be offended by a modernist stance that love doesn’t need to be eternal, a rigid, “love at first sight,” “till death do us part” position will allow the more pragmatic thinkers to be mocked. Furthermore, romantic love adds a bodily element to the already hazy emotional state. Since their origin, Hollywood studios have relied on the formula of unrequited love and its eventual reciprocation for their blockbuster successes. As a result, films like “Gone With the Wind,” “Casablanca,” and “Titanic” have become cultural touchstones in the United States.
Art after the ‘Industrial Revolution’ developed a more pragmatic, rational idea of love instead of the ‘romantic’ acceptance of the ‘love at first sight’ occurrence. As the globe entered a more calculated era, so did the definition of love. Love was no longer an impulse, but rather a deliberate choice made by the beholder. Love blossomed more often than not when the two people involved were already acquaintances or familiar with one another.
Soon after, this newly reimagined portrayal of love in the 20th century made its way to the then-emerging medium of film. In the latter half of the 20th century, the romantic comedy genre was bolstered by the idea of friends falling in love, a formulaic addition to the genre. For best friends who fall in love, here’s a selection of great romance movies. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are all places where you can get some of these films.
15. Reality Bites (1994)
From “Edward Scissorhands” through the most recent season of “Stranger Things,” Winona Ryder has been a treat to see on film. In ‘Reality Bites,’ she reprises her role as aspiring filmmaker Lelaine. It was directed by none other than Ben Stiller, a comedy legend, and released to mixed reviews when it first came out. However, it has since developed something of a cult following for its accurate portrayal of the early 1990’s grunge era while also addressing socially relevant issues like class identity, promiscuity, homosexuality, and the spiritual awakenings of young people.
Troy Dryer (Ethan Hawke) and Lelaine Pierce (Winona Ryder) are college buddies who recently graduated together in Houston, Texas, and they serve as a metaphor for the lost youth of contemporary America. Before recognizing that Troy and Lelaine have a mutual need for one other, Troy and Lelaine go their separate ways. “Like the age it portrays so appealingly, it doesn’t see any use in getting all bent out of shape and overambitious,” observed Caryn James in her review for the New York Times. It’s a wonderful party animal, but it also knows how to have a good time. ‘Reality Bites’ is a great movie to watch over and over again after a few initial viewings to get to know its characters. In addition, Ben Stiller, a first-time director, and Helen Childress, a first-time writer, deserve recognition for their sensitive reconstruction of the spirit of the early 1990s.
14. Juno (2007)
‘Juno,’ an Academy Award-winning American independent teen comedy directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, tackles the ever-present topic of teen pregnancy. Featuring a stellar cast including Ellen Page and Michael Cera, Juno MacGuff, a 16-year-old girl from Minnesota, discovers she is pregnant by her longtime lover Paulie Bleeker, whom she has known for years (Michael Cera). As a result, Juno decides to go through with her pregnancy and give up her child for adoption, despite initially considering an abortion. The film’s climax is represented by the juxtaposition of Juno’s labor and her and Bleeker’s final acknowledgment of their love.
13. Definitely, Maybe (2008)
Adam Brooks wrote and directed the 2008 romantic comedy drama ‘Definitely, Maybe.’ An idealistic political consultant (Ryan Reynolds) has a conversation with his eleven-year-old daughter (Maya), who has just attended her first sex education class, raising a host of previously unsettled questions in her mind. The conversation takes place in the ever-beautiful and ever-evolving backdrop of New York City.
In the midst of divorce proceedings, 38-year-old Will Hayes, who is married to his soon-to-be ex, must now explain the same to his daughter. By changing the names of the ladies he met, he tells his daughter the story of his own love life, which forms the film’s primary plot points. She accurately guessed that “Emily” in the narrative relates to her mother, and she also learned that she father is in love with another character named April during the course of reading the book. When Maya brings her father to a point of acceptance of his love for April, the film ends with a happy ending.
12. Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
Before Pulp Fiction, Eric Stoltz was portraying Keith Nelson, an outcast high school student who was in love with his tomboyish childhood buddy. The inclusion of ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ on this list is solely due to its pulsating 80s vibe. It’s one of John Hughes’ most popular 1980s teen dramas, and it’s packed with every cliche in the book. But the film never loses its charm and quickly becomes a hangout movie for casual audiences despite this change of pace. It’s the perfect movie to rent on a Saturday afternoon!
11. Jab We Met (2007)
This is Kareena Kapoor at her best as the lively Punjabi girl “Geet” in Imtiaz Ali’s second directorial effort “Jab We Met.” He has subsequently become a pop culture icon because to his dialogue. According to Rediff users, “Geet” is one of the most popular Hindi film characters of all time, according to the website. ‘Leap Year,’ a 2010 Hollywood production, was said to be inspired by the movie, however the film’s producers deny this. When Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor were cast in the lead parts of Aditya, their careers were elevated to new heights.
10. Friends With Benefits (2011)
‘Friends with Benefits,’ starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, is exactly what it sounds like. The film’s plot, despite being somewhat predictable throughout, is kept intriguing by the vivid and dare I say, seductive, performances by Timberlake and Kunis. “Friends with Benefits” is a visually appealing film that is ideal for a date night with your significant other. It was a huge success when it was released, bringing in a total of 150 million dollars at the box office.
9. Jules et Jim (1962)
This is a prize for those of you who have worked hard enough! On this list, ‘Jules Et Jim’s’ story, emotions, and relationship dynamics are all as hazy as the concept of love itself. Filmed by Francois Truffaut, the first ‘French New Wave’ boy to emerge, ‘Jules Et Jim’ chronicles the lives of Jim (Henri Siere) and Jules (Oskar Werner), as well as the love triangle they construct with Jules’ girlfriend and later wife, Catherine (Jeanne Moureau). Jules et Jim’s effect on Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker can be seen in their edit of ‘Goodfellas; the pacy energy is a product of the influence of ‘Jules et Jim on Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker’. It’s also supposedly Stephen Hawking’s favorite film, according to reports!
8. Forrest Gump (1994)
‘Forrest Gump’ didn’t make the cut for me since I didn’t like his love interest, ‘Jenny,’ enough. However, the focus of the show is not on whether or not I like her; it is all about Forrest. With multiple Academy Award wins, Forrest Gump follows the story of a slow-witted, kind-hearted man named Forrest in the 1986 Winston Groom novel by the same name. Tom Hanks, in his best performance, is like a Mozart sonata that soothes you to sleep. Although he has grown apart from ‘Jenny’ over the years, Forrest still has a soft spot in his heart for her. One-sided love relationship Jenny is Forrest’s continuous companion as he moves through life’s various stages. If you haven’t seen it yet, do so immediately!
7. Call Me by Your Name (2017)
I am Love (2009) and A Bigger Splash (2011) were both part of Gudagnino’s ‘Desire’ trilogy, and ‘Call My Name’ is Gudagnino’s third film in the series (2015). Oliver, a 24-year-old graduate student assistant to Elio Perlman’s father, a professor of archaeology, is the subject of a romantic relationship throughout the film. The 35mm picture was shot in Crema (Lombardi), a gorgeous town, and the film’s breezy editing further enhances the film’s spectacular visuals. Three tracks by American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens were selected by Guadagnino for the film’s soundtrack.
6. Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
Including ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ in the list is purely because I grew up on Shah Rukh Khan movies, like millions of other Indian kids of the 1990s. “KNKH,” despite its reliance on melodramatic Indian audiences, manages to get many aspects of love and grief right, creating characters that are both empathic and realistic. When Naina (Preity Zinta) falls in love with her neighbor Aman (Shah Rukh Khan), she soon discovers that he is terminally sick and must be put on life support. For Naina, Aman’s final wish was to help her find love for herself in Rohit, a mutual acquaintance (Saif Ali Khan). An excellent cinematic experience is provided by the film, which smoothly blends humor and drama, with just the appropriate amount of ‘Bollywood’ tropes.
5. Fight Club (1999)
This is the list’s final wildcard entry. The 1999 cult masterpiece ‘Fight Club,’ directed by David Fincher, deals with far too many themes to be confined to a single genre. There is a unique dynamic between Edward Norton’s unnamed protagonist and narrator of the film and Marla Singer, an eccentric character (Helena Bonham Carter). Love (or hate) between Carter and Norton is the glue that keeps the anarcho-nihilist tale together. For both of them, the closest human touch is with the other, and what follows is “mischief, mayhem, soap” (as the saying goes).
4. Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (1965)
‘Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors’, Sergei Parajanov’s first directorial effort, is based on Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky’s classic book. To date, it has been hailed as one of the best depictions of pre-industrial Ukrainian culture by worldwide film critics. Young Ivan’s life is the focus of the film, which takes place in a Ukrainian Hutsul village in the Carpathian Mountains. Throughout his life, Ivan is haunted by the death of his childhood friend Marichka. The longevity of love and sorrow is demonstrated in Parajanov’s tale of a remote but timeless love affair. It doesn’t matter if you are from a different culture or time period; everyone has a hidden Ivan and Marichka in them.
3. Harold and Maude (1971)
‘Harold and Maude’ is right up there with ‘Bonny and Clyde’ when it comes to iconic film pairings. ‘Harold and Maude,’ Hal Ashby’s unique view on romantic relationships, has subsequently gained a significant cult following and is included on Roger Ebert’s list of great films he loathed (together with ‘The Usual Suspects’). Harold Chasen (Bud Cort) is a melancholy, young man who has a strange relationship with a 79-year-old woman, Maude, who thinks that life should be lived to the fullest. The result is a heartwarming, yet slightly melancholy, filmic portrait of a one-of-a-kind friendship.
2. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
It is my sincere apologies if my list appears to be skewed towards “Bollywood” films. If you’re a kid in India in the ’90s, you owe it to yourself to watch this movie about two closest friends who fall in love. Iconic in India as “Frankly My Dear, I Don’t Give a Damn” in the West, “Pyar Dosti Hai” is as popular in India. Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee and Kajol in the most well-known love triangle in Hindi cinema make ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ one of the most beloved films of all time for me and millions of other Bollywood fans around the world.
1. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Other than that? As the more astute among you may have suspected, this was the final entry on the list. “When Harry Met Sally,” a romantic comedy directed by Rob Reiner, can be considered a turning point in the history of American romantic comedies. A twelve-year period of chance encounters in New York City serves as the backdrop for the story of the two protagonists. Roger Ebert referred to Rob Reiner as “one of Hollywood’s very best comedic directors” after seeing this picture. Since the film’s release, Nora Ephron has received fan mail from all around the world. A Lot Like Love, Hum Tum and Definitely, Maybe are just a few of the many romantic comedies based on it (on the list).