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Two Days in Paris (2007, dir. Julie Delpy)
How people, not just lovers, act while traveling reveals a lot about them. Something about not being in one’s comfort zone and under particularly pressurized circumstances can bring out the worst and best in people. Every action is subject to judgment, like when the person you’re traveling with wants to go to all the most touristy spots and stick to a rigid itinerary, while you just want to wander, meet some locals, and see where the day takes you. Cultural differences heighten tension between Jack (Adam Goldberg) and his girlfriend, Marion (Julie Delpy), when they visit her home city, but these trying times eventually bring them closer.
Revolutionary Road (2008, dir. Sam Mendes)
April (Kate Winslet), and her husband Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio), can’t figure out how to turn back time after selling out to the white picket fence, suburban family dream. April is unhappy and dreams of moving to Paris, Frank is less motivated to get out of the funk. I suggested this movie to my roommate without prefacing how depressing it is and she made the mistake of watching it with her boyfriend on Valentines Day. Let’s just say they couldn’t have sex that night. Oops!
(500) Days of Summer (2009, dir. Marc Webb)
Ignoring all of the poorly attempted “indie” cinematic choices (the soundtrack contains not one, but two Regina Spektor songs), I can appreciate the deconstruction of Tom’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) jaded perspective on his relationship with Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Tom analyzes situations with his best interest in mind, convincing himself that Summer is right for him. It’s easy to get caught up imagining an idealized version of someone and failing to see the flaws in a relationship with them.
Catfish (2010, dir. Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman)
Yaniv Schulman sets out to meet an admirer, Megan, with whom his relationship predominately exists on Facebook. The film exposes what can happen when you fall in love on the Internet. There’s been debate about how “real” this documentary is. You don’t want to believe it’s true, but even if it’s not, the number of people the film prompted to confess their own involvement in similar situations says enough. This documentary exposes how accurately our social media selves represent who we are IRL and how we shouldn’t be so quick buy into online personas.