9 Films That Try To Understand Love

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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. TC mark

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  • Anonymous

    Closer ruined my lovelife.

    • Guest

      no, your lovelife is ruined by the fact that you pay too much attention to movie plots..

    • Guest

      no, your lovelife is ruined by the fact that you pay too much attention to movie plots..

    • ELLA Y

      ..why

    • guest

      That prone to influence? Scary man. By the way, I mean scary in general.

  • Anatola

    I watched Revolutionary Road the evening of a bad break-up. Bad ideas, I’m good at them.

    • DARKSTAR

       One night I stopped by my friend’s house after she broke up with her boyfriend and I was making small talk with her brother as I was leaving and told him I was going to see Revolutionary Road.  Fifteen minutes in to the movie I see her walk in to the theater.  She sits right next to me and proceeds to have a meltdown for half of the movie.  It was the worst. 

      • DARKSTAR

        WHY ARE PEOPLE SO ATTRACTED TO WATCHING THIS MOVIE AT THE MOST INAPPROPRIATE TIMES? 

      • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

        They want art to imitate life instead of the other way around, for once.

      • DARKSTAR

        WHY ARE PEOPLE SO ATTRACTED TO WATCHING THIS MOVIE AT THE MOST INAPPROPRIATE TIMES? 

      • guest

        Um, one time my mom wanted to take my cousins and I to the movies and my cousins’ mother had just died of cancer and their father had remarried.  So what movie did my mother choose?  STEPMOM

        STEP
        MOM

        OMG

      • guest

        *cousins and me, me and my cousins, whatev

      • guest

        *cousins and me, me and my cousins, whatev

  • Anatola

    I watched Revolutionary Road the evening of a bad break-up. Bad ideas, I’m good at them.

  • http://twitter.com/t_baugh Travis Baugh

    no Punch Drunk Love??

  • http://twitter.com/t_baugh Travis Baugh

    no Punch Drunk Love??

  • Anonymous

    I liked the movie Love Actually. While it was a little cheerier than most of the films on this list, it did portray a wide variety of relationships, how the end, begin, or exist, and how they are sustained. Some may call it idealistic, but I thought it was a good film for showing how things can go right in life when it seems a lot is going wrong, and that relationships can work, even when they seem impossible.

  • Anonymous

    I liked the movie Love Actually. While it was a little cheerier than most of the films on this list, it did portray a wide variety of relationships, how the end, begin, or exist, and how they are sustained. Some may call it idealistic, but I thought it was a good film for showing how things can go right in life when it seems a lot is going wrong, and that relationships can work, even when they seem impossible.

  • goldinmyhead

    Revolutionary Road is probably one of the most depressing movies about love and marriage that I have ever seen. I think that movie and Closer completely changed the way I thought about marriage. 

    Shopgirl is awful.

    • Hopeful

      Is there hope really? Is monogamous fidelity a lost dream?
      It seems like too much to ask for in today’s world. Or am I wrong? I’d loved to be proved wrong, especially in the course of my life itself.

      • hopeful

        I don’t know why I posted this as a reply to your comment. :|

  • guest

    I didn’t like any of these.  GRUMP

    • guest

      Wait, I liked Rev Road.  

    • guest

      Wait, I liked Rev Road.  

  • Anonymous

    where’s Blue Valentine?

  • http://www.facebook.com/m.paigekelly Megan Kelly

    What about High Fidelity? That movie seems to go along with how a lot of people approach love. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/m.paigekelly Megan Kelly

    What about High Fidelity? That movie seems to go along with how a lot of people approach love. 

  • http://kylelamar.com/ Kyle LaMar

    Junebug.

  • Feli

    2 days in Paris makes me see everithing diferente. I’m mexican and my ex boyfriend was french. Even when we met here in Mexico he totally lost his mind when we travel to my hometown, and I better don’t talk about being in Lyon with his family and friends. We broke up two months after that trip, then I see the movie…
    BTW, sorry about my english

    • Sylvain

      it´s kind of weird date a mexican girl, I should know…

      • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

        why?

      • Sylvain

        I date twice with mexicans. The first time I was in Mexico and we start to live together inmediatly, everything with her was very intense, our times of joy were awsome, she was so cute and charming, like lo care of me. But also our fights were huge! she like to throw dishes and that kind of crazy things. She was awesome and I still love her…
        The nex time I met the girl in Canada, she was a student and we starter to see each other as an open relationship… but she didn’t understand it and when she discovered that I’m dating another girl make a biiiig drama. She is kind of crazy, and she keep on sending e-mails saying I’m her big love and once she came to France and try to meet me. I lied that time and I say I was in other place…
        So that’s my history. Now you can understand when I say it’s a weird thing date mexicans. But I also love mexicans and I like to go back there and find a gorgeous blak eyed girl.

      • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

        Hmm.. Sounds like the women you dated were.. passionate.. Maybe you go for the same type every time, I don’t know if it’s all Mexican girls that do that.
        And it has to be a black eyed girl? Haha.

  • http://www.facebook.com/seikel Steve Seikel

    HAPPINESS – Perfect Love Film guys. perfect.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkQ_JxoWUP8   

  • http://www.facebook.com/seikel Steve Seikel

    HAPPINESS – Perfect Love Film guys. perfect.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkQ_JxoWUP8   

  • JJ

    What about He’s Just Not That Into You?

    • http://twitter.com/sandraaa_xo Sandra NB

      haha many many people would benefit from seeing this. 

    • http://twitter.com/kelvin_lee Kelvin Lee

      …Seriously?

    • Anonymous

      hahahah

      NO

    • kristina

      AHAHAHA. Cute.

  • Aura Felicia Ríos Morales

    have you ever seen Los Amantes del Circulo Polar? it’s an spanish movie, and it’s also a great

  • alex

    No Before Sunrise or Before Sunset?

  • Michael Pitt

    the dreamers

  • Grant Sorenson

    A la folie…pas du tout is a brilliant movie. So, so good.

  • http://theopenend.com/ Simplicity

    I get off on realism. I get off on it so much I can’t stop myself. Why bother with anything else? speaking of anything else, ANYTHING ELSE was such a proper film. Woody Allen knows things about the soul. If you want an offscreen rec, something more literary, give AUSTIN NIGHTS by this dude named HEROCIOUS a swirl. It’ll love you back without being sweet.

  • http://twitter.com/kelvin_lee Kelvin Lee

    Really well-considered list. Not just an amorphous “films about this I like” but it’s engaging that you examined (love) through different angles with film. No one ever knows about Broken English but I think it’s such a great definition of trying to love ourselves, and others in the world today.

  • http://amateurcartographer.tumblr.com elizabeth wisker

    nice/simple/straightforward/clean style. my dad really loves a lot of the movies on this list – that’s not a negative comment, either. i respect his taste a lot; and, if not for him, i wouldn’t have watched many of them. i think you’d get along. 

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    I’m watching the trailers for the ones I haven’t seen. Good material for next lonely weekend.

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