Romantic Movies and More!
The team have chosen their favourite romantic (and not so romantic…) films and books about love and all its facets. There’s bound to be something to curl up with for Valentine’s Day, on date night, or even for a laugh or a cry if you’re on your own!
Okay, I know. The theme of this post is supposed to be romance. But sometimes romance goes wrong and this flick got all sorts of awards buzz for portraying just that. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, Marriage Story is a very raw and intense film about a marriage splitting up. It follows a couple intending to divorce amicably, only for the process to slide into a bitter battle. It’ll definitely make you think twice about whether or not your husband’s annoying little habits are all that bad. In some ways, the film examines what makes a good marriage after all, and is there happiness on the other side of divorce. A beautifully told story, it’s made all the better by the supreme acting, particularly that of Adam Driver. I was never a big fan of his, but after this film, I truly see him as one of our next great actors. Just wow.
– Melinda Murphy
A Walk to Remember
One of my favourites as a teen was A Walk to Remember. Featuring Mandy Moore and Shane West, the 2002 melodrama is about a pastor’s daughter and a rebellious boy who fall in love. But it’s not all butterflies and rainbows; like in many of Nicholas Sparks’ stories, it’s not too long before tragedy strikes. Looking back, I’d admit that some of the scenes can get pretty cringe-worthy, but it was still such a classic for that time. I’ll always remember the final line of the movie: “Love is like the wind; you can’t see it but you can feel it.”
– Lindsay Yap
This Amazon Prime series is based on The New York Times column of the same name. Every episode is adapted from essays that were featured in the column. Each one explores the definitions of love in all of its messy, complex beauty. These are not your standard-issue romance girl-meets-boy-stuff-happens-first-bad-then-good-then-they-are-happy-the-end stories, either. Instead, they examine love in many forms: romantic (naturally), parental, platonic and self-love. The stories are brought to life through characters that are beautifully portrayed, and, while there may be a lavish helping of dramatic license applied in some episodes, each story has stayed recognisably intact from its original essay. These are real stories written by real people. On that note, get thee to Amazon Prime and start watching. But don’t forget the mega box of tissues… you’ve been warned. There’s also a podcast by the same name with readings by well-known celebrities, some reading their own stories. Take a listen.
– Kate Marsden
What happens when romance is toxic, or even deadly? Watch You on Netflix and you’ll find out. Season 2 has recently dropped, so start from Season 1 if you’re new to the series. Gossip Girl fans will delight in the return of Penn Badgley to the small screen. However, be warned. While his character has some of Dan Humphrey’s signature bookish charm and intelligence, he’s no longer playing the nice guy. In You, he’s hiding a darker side. This psychological thriller is based on a novel and follows one man as he falls in love and becomes obsessed.
– Rebecca Simpson
And don’t forget to revisit these classic rom-coms!
- 10 Things I Hate About You
- Failure to Launch
- How to Lose a Guy in 10 days
- 50 First Dates
Red, White & Royal Blue | Casey McQuiston
This book was a runaway winner in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2019. It’s about two kids who fall in love, one living in the White House and one from across the pond. That’s complicated enough, but what makes it a bit different is that it involves two men: the son of the President of the US and the Prince of Wales.
The Girl He Used to Know | Tracey Garvis Graves
Love second chances? Then this page-turner is for you. It’s all about a girl who gets the chance to see a boy she liked ten years ago, before things went wrong. Can she turn things around?
The Bride Test | Helen Hoang
This book shows up on several Best Romance Novels lists. From the same author who wrote The Kiss Quotient (another popular romance novel), this Cinderella story features a hero with autism. He thinks love isn’t for him, so his mother returns to Vietnam to find a bride for him. It’s a sweet story proving that love comes in many forms.
Verity | Colleen Hoover
If you like a little mystery with your romance, check out Verity, a book about a writer hired by a hot husband to finish his injured wife’s novel. In the process, she finds an unpublished autobiography that reveals some pretty overwhelming things. What should she do?
This article first appeared in the February 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!