Understatement of the year: There’s a lot going on right now that does not exactly “set the mood,” if you know what I mean. Stressing about a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, for starters. But it’s just not sustainable (or healthy) for couples to go weeks or months on end without catching their breath and making time for their relationship. So even the most exhausted among us must hit “pause” on whatever havoc COVID-19 is wreaking and take a few hours off every once in a while. There’s never a wrong time to snuggle up with your significant other and watch a movie that re-confirms the power of love. (Cue Peter Cetera song.)
Here are 6 movies that will provide just the romantic break you and your partner need:
The Photograph – New to the Box and Redbox On Demand, this 2020 drama features two of Hollywood’s most buzzed-about stars: Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield. Stanfield plays Michael, a journalist, and Rae plays Mae, the daughter of a recently deceased woman whose life Michael is investigating after being inspired by a decades-old photograph. Michael and Mae’s chemistry is instant and undeniable, and the movie’s overarching message about taking a chance on love is just as beautiful as its stars.
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Based on one of my all-time favorite books, this 2009 adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s best-selling novel stars Rachel McAdams as the title character (Clare) and Eric Bana as the time traveler (Henry). This star- and time-crossed couple’s challenges will make everything we’re going through right now seem surmountable. Because, ummm, he is always leaving her against his will and literally traveling through time and she never knows if he’s still alive or will return. It’ll put 10 weeks of somebody leaving their dirty dishes all over the place in perspective.
The Notebook – If I didn’t include this movie on a list of romantic movies, am I even human? Rachel McAdams graces us with her presence again in this movie that came out 5 years before The Time Traveler’s Wife and is another adaptation of a beloved novel — this one from Nicholas Sparks, Master Heartstring-Puller. Real-life (at the time) love Ryan Gosling co-stars, and the chemistry between him and Rachel in this 1940s-set love story will make you weep.
Titanic – “Rose!” … “Jack!” … “Rose!!” … “Jack!!” … “ROSE!!!” … “JACK!!!” You know how this one ends. It’s up to you whether or not you want to just sit there sobbing or spice things up by taking a drink every time Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio shout each other’s character’s names. (It is seriously a RIDICULOUS number of times. But that doesn’t make this epic tragedy any less romantic. There’s a reason it was the #1 film of the entire decade of the ‘90s.)
Before Sunrise – The original installment of Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy is still the best, IMHO. Watch a young Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy fall in love as they spend one glorious night getting to know each other while walking the streets of Vienna.
Sleepless in Seattle – This movie is the equivalent of “comfort food” to me. And you’ve got to hand it to Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan for making one of the most romantic movies of all time despite their characters spending the majority of the movie apart. It’ll give you and your special someone reassurance that as long as you’re together, everything is going to be OK.