8 romantic movies you’ve probably never even heard of

Medicine for Melancholy Image: IFC Films
Medicine for Melancholy Image: IFC Films

We're guessing you've watched all the popular romantic comedies by now: from When Harry Met Sally to Love Actually to Love and Basketball

There are so many beautiful alternatives out there that are not as well-known but deserve an adoring audience just as much. 

Here are a few we thought were worth more than just mentioning:

Cinema Paradiso (1988)

This film focuses on several different kinds of love.

The love the protagonist has for film, the cinema he goes to as a young man and the woman he eventually falls in love with. If you love being swept off your feet and fully taken in by a beautiful romance, then this is the one for you.

It wasn’t the 1988 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner for nothing. Young love seen through the rose-coloured lenses of an adult is a inspiring. 

Medicine for Melancholy (2008)

If you watched and loved the Oscar Best Picture winner Moonlight, then you’ll love Barry Jenkin’s debut film from 2008.

It starts after Jo and Micah wake up from a one night stand and things are really awkward. But then Jo accidentally leaves her purse behind in the cab they were sharing and the pair end up spending the day together instead.

You’ll get a great kick out of their dialogues centered around relationships, race and identity with Jo being a affluent professional and Micah a passionate social activist. 

Weekend (2011)

After attending a house party with his straight friends, Russell eventually leaves early and goes to a gay bar on the prowl for a hookup.

Then he meets Glen, an artist, who next morning records Russell’s experience of the previous night on a voice recorder for an art project he is doing.

Long story short, they end up spending a lot of the weekend together and during this time they discover some really beautiful things about each other and themselves but this can’t last long as Glen is due to leave on a train for a two-year art course on Sunday afternoon.

It’s a beautiful story of how love can happen in a very short amount of time and how it can surprise you. 

Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013)

This French film is the beautiful story of how Adele, a high school student, falls in love with the older Emma.

And it’s not just infatuation – it’s real, deep, intense love that makes you feel like you’re falling off the edge of a cliff and you get to go through that journey with her. Be warned: there are some intense and lengthy sex scenes, so gird your loins.

Map of the Human Heart (1992)

A Canadian Inuit boy, Avik, meets Albertine when he is just 12 years old and is besotted with her. Ten years later, the now grown pair meet each other again in London where Avik is now a combat pilot and Albertine is in a relationship but the two begin an affair.

It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking love story that will crush your soul but also give you an insight into a special kind of love. 

Il Mare (2000)

If you loved the Lake House with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, you’ll love this story which is actually the original story that film is based on.

A lot of Asian cinema is rife with tragedy and melodrama and this story is no different.

Eun-joo moves out of her house Il Mare, leaving behind a Christmas card for the eventual new owner of the house asking for her mail to be forwarded. Sung-hyun, the first owner of the house is moving in and finds in his mailbox the Christmas card from Eun-joo.

He thinks it’s a joke until they realise they’re actually living two years apart but can somehow communicate through letters. This could easily have been a sappy romance, but somehow the magical realism lends itself to a beautiful story filled with surrealism.

Chéri (2009)

With big names like Michelle Pfieffer and Kathy Bates, we’re not sure why this film isn’t better known.

In the unusual love story, Michelle plays Lea, a retired Parisian courtesan who is asked to teach her former colleague’s son the ways of love.

At first it just seems to be an arrangement, until they fall in love and begin an relationship. Then his mother insists that he marry a younger woman and end his relationship with Lea. A complicated tale, it shows that love has no bounds and no age restrictions. 

Saving Face (2004)

Wilhemina is a young Chinese-American surgeon who also happens to be a lesbian but she can’t tell that to her very traditional mother.

Of course, her mother wants to hook her up with the son of a friend even though Wil isn’t interested and instead takes a liking to Vivian, a dancer.

Wil goes on dates with Vivian but cannot kiss her in public due to fear and still being closeted. Then, Wil’s mother turns up at her doorstep and tells Wil she is pregnant but refuses to reveal the identity of the father.

Calamity ensues and things get a bit crazy, but this story is heartfelt and will make you see that love can conquer most things, even societal expectations. 

What's your favourite romantic movie? Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter.

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Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
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Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 952 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 383 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 2081 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 58 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 740 votes