Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling in a scene from Blue Valentine.
Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling in a scene from Blue Valentine.

Best cliche-free romantic films for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a lot like New Year's Eve - hugely over-rated with far too much pressure to have a great time.

Things get even more problematic when the subject of what movie to watch on a big romantic night in is raised. Cheesy romcom have their place but if its understated romance you're after then we might just have the cliché-free film for you.

Remember the day of love is not just for couples either. Try Frozen for epic sisterly love Disney-style.

 

High Fidelity

A scene from High Fidelity.
A scene from High Fidelity.

Record shop owner Rob Gordon recalls his top five most memorable break-ups ever over a subtext of music's effect on our everyday lives. Men and women alike enjoy this one, based on About a Boy author Nick Hornby's novel.

 

Le Week-End

British couple Meg and Nick return to Paris years after honeymooning there in a bid to rekindle the spark in their marriage on their 30th wedding anniversary. Expect bittersweet humour and charming warmth.

 

The Theory of Everything

Felicity Jones as Jane Wilde and Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
Felicity Jones as Jane Wilde and Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

Still in cinemas, this Oscar-nominated portrayal of famed physicist Stephen Hawking's relationship with former wife Jane Wilde is the best kind of tearjerker. Stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

 

Love is Strange

Scene from Love is Strange.
Scene from Love is Strange.

Elderly gay couple Ben and George try and cope with living apart after having to sell their New York flat. Fans of Pride will enjoy this moving look at "what love, strange and beautiful, can look like".

 

Lost in Translation

Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray in a scene from the film Lost In Translation.
Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray in a scene from the film Lost In Translation.

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson meet by chance while staying at a Tokyo hotel and form an unlikely yet heartfelt bond. Less is so much more in Sofia Coppola's movie as the pair enjoy a night where nothing but everything happens.

 

Blue is the Warmest Colour

A scene from the movie Blue is the Warmest Colour
A scene from the movie Blue is the Warmest Colour

This Palme d'Or winner explores the emotional and sexual relationship between a blue-haired French teenager and the older art student she meets in a lesbian bar.

 

Frozen

A scene from the Disney film Frozen.
A scene from the Disney film Frozen.

 

Who said Valentine's Day was just for lovers? Disney's hit focuses on the sisterly love between Elsa and Anna and best of all, you get to sing Let It Go at the top of your lungs from the sofa.

 

Blue Valentine

This painful, intense portrayal of a marriage breakdown starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams is billed as a "love story for anyone that's ever been in love".

 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Heartbroken that his ex-girlfriend (Kate Winslet) has undergone a procedure to erase him from her memory, Joel (Jim Carrey) tries to the same, but in doing to realises he still loves her.

 

Revolutionary Road

Leonard DiCAprio and Kate Winslet in a scene from the film Revolutionary Road.
Leonard DiCAprio and Kate Winslet in a scene from the film Revolutionary Road.

Based on Richard Yates' novel, the film charts the demise of a Fifties power-couple whose obsession with keeping up appearances leads to destruction. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (just try and keep Jack and Rose from your mind).

 

Before Sunrise

When you spark up a connection with a stranger on a train, do you get off to spend the day with him in Vienna, or continue on your way? In Celine's case, she takes a chance with Jesse, despite knowing his flight to the US departs the next morning.

 

Django Unchained

Jamie Foxx stars in the movie Django Unchained.
Jamie Foxx stars in the movie Django Unchained.

Freed slave Django (the 'D' is silent) sets out to save his wife from a violent Mississippi plantation owner with the help of Christopher Waltz's Oscar-winning bounty hunter. Tarantino's bloody Western may not sound romantic, but you'll be left at the knees after hearing Jamie Foxx drawl "Hey, little troublemaker".

 

True Romance

As established with Django Unchained, Tarantino can do love stories, and this one stars Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. Yes there's yet more brutal bloodshed but, as the tagline reads, "Who says romance is dead?"

What are some of your favourite cliché-free romantic films? Let us know in the comments below.


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