Romance has a redeeming quality. If one investigates carefully, then the result would show that most of the biggest hits of all time have at least some romantic subplot in them. The truth is that everybody loves a good romance – it helps to forget the mundanity of our daily life in the passionate flames of love, which may or may not have arrived in our lives once, too. In the romantic genre, the best arrives from tragedy. Romance naturally implies an escapade of love, although romance can be of varying types.
This article considers romantic films that are concerned with aspects of love. The age of “Casablanca” might be gone, but quality romantic films are still being released that can melt the heart of the biggest cynic. For example, look no further than the “Before” series of Richard Linklater that had gained universal critical acclaim. Woody Allen is still releasing his niche romantic comedies that continue to warm our hearts. This article lists the films released in the 2010s that have accumulated both critical and commercial love. Without further ado, here are 25 best romantic films of the 2010s.
“Brooklyn” deals with heartbreak. Heartbreak that is painful yet fond to remember. After all, as some poets would attest, love dies when reciprocated. But in “Brooklyn,” the physical distance doesn’t decrease emotional intimacy and the reciprocation is the biggest fulfillment of romance. With the period setting of the early 1950s, the best decade for romance, filmmaker John Crowley creates a poignant tale of lost love covering the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Eilis Lacey, an Irish immigrant in Brooklyn, found love and loses it, only to find it again.
The womanhood of Eilis is slowly and beautifully revealed in stages, so the viewers invest in her journey. When she has to return to Ireland due to a family accident and with the possibility of a forced marriage despite her secret marriage to a Brooklyn lover, the romantic confusion accelerates to the great enjoyment of the viewer. Eilis rises above the small-town gossip of her secret marriage and returns to Brooklyn, but she couldn’t forget her part-time partner in Ireland. As always, it’s a win for some and a loss for the rest. Her partner in Ireland was innocent, but he has to comply with the sad rules of romance. The expressive eyes of Saiorse Ronan guarantee the film to be one of the best romances in this decade.
In romance, there is always something for everyone. “Her” presents a gift for the introverts in the romantic genre. Theodore, an aloof and divorced man is having trouble connecting to his fellow human beings, let alone a relationship. He buys an AI operating system that teaches him the secret of love.
Samantha, the virtual assistant, seductively voiced by Scarlett Johansson, becomes a companion and unlikely romantic partner in Theodore’s life, but the bubble suddenly breaks. With a subtle and effective commentary toward our isolated techno-society, Spike Jonez created a romantic film that is sweet and compassionate, and the groundbreaking act from Joaquin Phoenix assures the film will become a treasured one.
3. Before Midnight
Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy gets a deserving end with 2013’s “Before Midnight.” Jesse and Celine, who once accidentally met on a train and developed intimate feelings for each other, have finally become a live-in couple with children. But Jesse has a son from his first wife, and his custody creates problems for the couple.
The first two entries of this trilogy established their romantic attraction toward each other with intelligent conversation of the duo. Everything was happy or sad then, but the true mid-tones of a romantic relationship are shown in “Before Midnight.” It has the cheerful, spirited vibe of the first two films that centered on the romance, and also a real insight into maturation a la Eric Rohmer and John Cassavetes.
4. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson’s talent can be spotted by just watching this film, even if his other films are bad or not worth mentioning. The romantic tension during innocent puberty has never revealed better before than in “Moonrise Kingdom.” Anderson as usual plays with his eccentric characterization, glowing colors, and pop music that gives the film a rare French feel. The sexual awakening of the film’s teenage protagonists is beautiful to watch with brilliant acting from them. The innocence of romance can never be achieved, but at least relived again if one watches “Moonrise Kingdom.”
5. Blue is the Warmest Color
“Blue is the Warmest Color” is the riskiest entry in this list because of the controversy it generated for the mistreatment of the lead actresses by the director. But that doesn’t take away the fact that “Blue is the Warmest Color” is one of the brightest coming-of-age romance films of this decade. The maturation and the pain of Emma and Adele’s relationship is painfully real, at least in parts due to the horrific process they have to go through. The moment when Emma tells Adele that she doesn’t love her anymore will go on history as one of the best romantic moments in cinema.
6. Cold War
Inspired by the real-life tale of his parent’s relationship, Pawel Pawlikowski has created a moody masterpiece shot in excellent black-and-white academy ratio during the Cold War. The turbulent relationship between Zula and Wiktor has been contrasted with the difficult political situation in Poland and Paris. With an economic runtime, Pawlikowski has created a romantic film that is ripe with tragedy and hopefulness.
7. About Time
A delightfully personal love story that would warm the heart of nearly everyone and represent something different to each of them, “About Time” wins because of its fantastic screenplay and the acting of its lead characters. Time travel and a sobbing love story make for an irresistible combo.
8. La La Land
Borrowing heavily from the old musicals of France and Hollywood, Damien Chazelle has created a masterpiece of heartbreak in “La La Land.” He has shown how love can be compromised in the tragic turn of reality, yet can never be forgotten. The blend of realistic truth against the dreamy style of a Hollywood musical made it a masterpiece of romance.