Will’s Word on The Best Movies About Love


Will Eaton, Writer

Valentine’s Day. A day many enjoy with their partners while the rest sit in misery eating cheap boxes of chocolate. The only way for these choices to be respected is if the films they are watching are good. There are many beautiful movies about love, and my list showcases just a fraction of the best. Do yourself a favor and watch these movies at some point in your life and you’ll understand why I’ve watched each one multiple times in my handful of years. Most of the films on the following list do not have happy endings, so watch with caution and when you’re in the right headspace. 


    5.) Romeo + Juliet  

Baz Luhrman’s 1996 drama is nothing short of beautiful. While the film stays true to the dialogue of William Shakespeare’s source material, it also gives a fresh and modern look to the iconic and tragic tale. The young stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, deliver unforgettable performances. Though Lurhman’s directing style is nothing short of stressful, his use of overstimulating imagery and cinematography were like nothing done before. I will always enjoy the whirlwind of emotions but compared to the other films on the list, it falls quite short. Romeo + Juliet helps audiences understand what Shakespeare’s work was truly talking about some 425 years later.  


4.) Casablanca 

The 1942 romantic drama starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid will always be known as one of the best American movies of all time. Set in the Moroccan city during World War II, Casablanca focuses on Rick, an American expatriate who must decide if he will risk his business to help a Czech resistance leader, who also happens to be the husband of his past love. The film transcends the idea of what it means to be a movie goer and the mainstream of films in general, people didn’t feel personal connections to films before this. The polished script along with the masterful acting makes for a Golden Age classic and earned itself an Acadamy Award for best picture for good reason. Though it can be a slow 2-hour film for our 21st century small attention spans, mine included, it is a film that everyone should see in their lives.  


3.) Brokeback Mountain  

Shifting gears to American West cowboys, Brokeback Mountain in 2005 has been regarded as a turning point for queer representation in mainstream cinema. Adapted from a short story by Annie Proulx published in 1997, the plot focuses on rugged cowboys, Ennis and Jack, who develop a sexual and emotional relationship in the summer of 1963 while sheep farming in Wyoming–romantic to say the least. Their relationship turns into a profound yet secretive bond which becomes complicated because of their families and life’s ultimate truths. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of the confused and scared men will linger in my mind for years. This film was a sort of slap in the face for many of the ignorant people trying to force the idea of love to fit into their twisted view. Brokeback Mountain gives a raw depiction of love and all its trials that will haunt viewers for years to come. I don’t go back to it as much to save myself the hurt.  


2.) Love Actually 

Love Actually includes some of the best romances–ever. This 2003 Christmas romantic comedy from the United Kingdom is just bloody brilliant. It features an ensemble cast of classic British actors from the 2000s with prime performances from the likes of Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, and many more. The film’s screenplay intertwines 10 different storylines, all of which center around a common theme: love. The interlinked stories are charming, witty, tough, and cheeky, but it’s this self-observed cheesiness that makes it even better. Though audiences have always appreciated it more than the critics, it is a modern-day Christmas classic and one of the best romantic movies of all time, period. Even so, this film doesn’t quite earn that number one spot.  


1.) Moulin Rouge!  

Now, hear me out. Baz Luhrman’s 2001 film, Moulin Rouge! ,and his second film on this list, is my favorite movie of all time. I have loved this musical romance since middle school and would listen to the songs in our school computer lab while poorly spelling on typing.com. But that’s not as far as this love goes. While writing this article, I listened to the reprise of “Come What May” on YouTube a total of 6 times in a row. The jukebox musical Moulin Rouge! follows the story of English poet Christian and the cabaret star of the Moulin Rouge, courtesan Satine. As the young lovers become infatuated with each other, they are forced to meet in secret to hide their relationship from Satine’s to-be-husband the Duke. However, Satine hides a fatal secret from both men. Set against the turn of the century 1900’s backdrop and costumery, the quirky musical samples love songs spanning decades, all of which depart from the original sounds of the music. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor’s spectacular performances make for a notable love story that was even recognized for eight Academy Award nominations. This film is somewhat controversial – it’s both loved and hated, but in my eyes, it’s one of the best. So, grab yourself some Adderall and tissues and have a good ole time.