We all enjoy seeing different things on screen. Some of us crave the transcendent images that only our most beloved filmmakers can conjure up. Others favor low-key, character-and-dialogue driven material that’s more immediately relatable. Some people like seeing giant robots duking it out and, for better or worse, there will always be an audience for something like “Ted 2.” But one thing we can all presumably agree on is that we all enjoy watching people fall in love on screen.
Love stories have been a staple of Hollywood storytelling since the Tinseltown days, and with good reason. As cinematic spectators, we all get a vicarious thrill out of watching beautiful, more likeable surrogates of ourselves find love, lose love and then get it back again. As modern attitudes have changed, so too have our cinematic reflections of contemporary courtship. A new video collage by Rohan Gupta gives us a well-selected list of some of the most moving and original movie romances of the last fifteen or so years, and it’s a refreshing reminder of the power that a well-told love story can hold over an audience.
Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” rightly takes its place at the number one spot. It’s hardly a surprise: even if director Gondry’s subsequent work has been spotty and sometimes precious to a deadly fault, ‘Eternal Sunshine’ is a nakedly emotional picture under its high-concept veneer, and a love story for the ages. Drake Doremus’ emotionally exhausting “Like Crazy” also places high, as does Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine,” a film that took its sense of intimate human drama and barely-concealed hysteria from the classic, defiantly personal relationship dramas of the great John Cassavetes. I’m not so sure I consider “Lost in Translation” a romance, per se, as much as a tenderly observed study of bored, lonely souls searching for connection. But no matter: this is a carefully chosen and undeniably intriguing selection that highlights some of the most affecting and heart-tugging movie moments of recent years.
What do you think? What’s your favorite cinematic love story of the century so far? Check out the video and sound off below.