Entertainment, Review

Alternative romance films to watch this Valentine’s Day

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Move over Bridget. We round up the best alternative films to watch this Valentine’s Day.

By Charlie Jordin

1. Secretary

Long before 50 Shades of Grey, there was Secretary. Starring indie darling Maggie Gyllenhaal, the film explores the turbulent relationship between a masochistic secretary and her sadistic boss. Secretary is a charmingly candid insight into BDSM relationship dynamics and a refreshing take on the romance genre.

2. I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK

Park Chan-wook’s wonderfully bizarre romantic comedy about a woman who think she’s a cyborg is often overlooked by his fans but the eccentric characters and quirky visuals makes the film a one of a kind.

3. Brief Encounter

Directed by David Lean, Brief Encounter is a heart-wrenching tale about two married strangers who fall in love and is often considered one of the greatest British films ever made.

4. Heathers

The cult classic stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater as disillusioned teens in suburban Ohio. The black comedy explores its dark subject matter with comedic flourish and becomes a witty parody of the high school romance genre.

5. Roman Holiday

Famed for being Audrey Hepburn’s first film, Roman Holiday is a romantic comedy classic. A journalist’s chance encounter with a princess spirals into a star-crossed romance . The magnetic attraction and sexual tension between the two leads make it one of the best on-screen romances.

6. The Fly

Starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, The Fly is a gruesome Sci-fi horror about a scientist who slowly begins metamorphosing into a fly after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong. His ill-fated romance with a science journalist makes the couple one of the most famous in the horror genre.

7. The Lobster

Yorgos Lanthimo’s dystopian black comedy is set in a world where singles are given 45 days to find a partner otherwise they are turned into animals.

8. Princess Mononoke

This classic Studio Ghibli animation explores the relationship between a cursed prince and a warrior.

9. Chungking Express

Wong Kar-Wai’s masterpiece is one of Quentin Tarantino’s favourite films and for good reason. The film follows two stories of romance and heartbreak in the crowded streets of Hong Kong. The beautiful cinematography and eccentric characters make the film a must-see.

10. Jackie Brown

Quentin Tarantino’s underrated crime thriller stars Pam Grier as Jackie Brown, a flight attendant turned drug smuggler seeking vengeance after being set up by her boss and imprisoned.

11. True Romance

An Elvis Presley fanatic and call girl bond over their love of kung fu movies and fall in love. After getting married and killing her pimp, they must go on the run from the police and mobsters.

12. Boys Don’t Cry

A transgender teen escapes his troubled past and falls in love. The two live happily until his past comes back to threaten their future.

13. My Own Private Idaho

Gus Van Sant’s cult classic stars the late River Phoenix as a narcoleptic prostitute in love with his best friend.

14. Drive

Starring Ryan Gosling as a stunt driver who falls in love with his neighbour, Drive is as famous for its soundtrack as it is for its iconic cinematography.

15. Ex Machina

The multi award-winning Sci-fi drama explores attraction, sexuality and love in the age of cyborg technology. Ex Machina is visually stunning, complex and unrelenting.


About the author / 

Charlie Jordin

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