What’s with all these ‘Happily Ever After’ dramas?
Apart from being lauded as the leading producers of unachievable couple goals, they also happen to be the ones that have filled us with unrealistic expectations of love. Fuck ’em.
Love needs to be understood in all shades of complications that it comes. It needs to be seen as the struggle to continue being with a person, irrespective of differences that you’re ready to work out. Love stories need to show mutual respect, they need to show that sometimes things don’t work out between the best-suited-for-each-other kind of people, they need to show that it’s a continuous struggle to co-exist with the person you love – but it’s just as wonderful.
If the cynic in you has constantly pondered over how relationship troubles are always so easily worked around, here are a bunch of movies and TV shows that’ll make you look at love like the mess it is.
1. Silver Linings Playbook
After being taken out of a mental health institution for attacking his wife’s lover, Pat decides to deal with his life issues his own way. He tries to reconcile with his wife and meets someone who’s faced loss in love, but in a way so different from his own. Two people cheated of love try to make sense of the chaos that life is.
2. Punch-Drunk Love
Barry Egan is the owner of a business, the only boy in a family of seven overbearing sisters. Fortified with insecurities, filled with self-doubt, he is superlatively confused when a young beautiful woman begins to be interested in him. This is the movie that will tell you why it’s important to be at peace with oneself to be able to love another freely.
3. Lars and the Real Girl
Lars has problems interacting with people. He stays away from the lunches or dinners he’s invited for by his remaining family, with his neighbours, and also the people he attends church with. Then he introduces people to his ‘girlfriend’ who later becomes the reason why he begins talking to people, but she’s also the reason why his family and therapist are concerned.
4. Like Crazy
A British girl and American guy fall in love but are forced to live apart because of their nationality. They try their damn best to be together, to the point where she stays back in America illegally and is consequentially banned from the country. It’s a crazy, realistic take on how difficult it becomes to keep the fire alive, to trust, as time takes its toll on them.
5. Blue Valentine
Two people from two broken families are now a married couple. They have a daughter together. But the baggage that they carry catches up and they try everything in their might to make their family lives work. But are they able to?
6. Blue Is The Warmest Colour
In a world that limits sexuality to male and female, Adele is dissatisfied. She has dated a few men but feels nothing for them, the friend she’s attracted to pushes her away, and in the middle of all this she meets Emma, a woman who knows and accepts her sexuality. It’s Adele’s story of love, evolution, and then loss.
7. Brokeback Mountain
Ennis seems to have been living in his shell of complacency until Jack Twist happens to him. Working together on a field, sharing the same tent, and in the cold of the night, Ennis realises that Jack is the man he loves. It’s a story about everything love’s meant to be – loss and regrets.
8. Leaving Las Vegas
A screenwriter by profession, Ben Sanderson is a drunk. Las Vegas is shown in full lit glory, as he bumps into a hooker who changes his life forever. What was supposed to have ended in a night takes an altogether different turn. But alcoholism is quite a bitch and ruins things, probably in ways it can never be worked out.
9. Ruby Sparks
Calvin has earned enough out of his writer profession to be called successful. But in the middle of a writer’s block, he’s not able to string together words that make any impact for him. In the middle of all this, he writes about the girl of his dreams and by some fluke of… well something, he wills her to life. She does exactly what he wants her, all he has to do is write about it. That’s what we want from love, right? Or is it?
10. Begin Again
Being cheated on can be one of the things that changes you forever. Greta is a budding songwriter who discovers that her wonderful boyfriend is cheating on her on his band tours. After the breakup, she sets out on a journey of rediscovery where she realises an immense talent for singing. Love can change you in ways you never know.
11. Lost In Translation
Bob is in Tokyo to shoot an ad film. Charlotte is Tokyo accompanying her husband, a photographer. They both bump into each other and find understanding in a country where they know nothing. There’s a long list of people who’ve googled what Bob whispers into Charlotte’s ear at the end of the movie. This, friend, is gold.
12. Never Let Me Go
It’s nothing you’ll expect it to be and each chapter opens itself to slowly let itself sink in and shock you. It follows a love triangle between three people who’re just passing out from school. Upon entering the big, bad world, they discover a truth about themselves that makes us question the longevity of everything.
How about we sing the love we feel? Two people meet in Dublin, a singer and an immigrant. In the course of seven days they open up about how they feel, but in lyrics and songs. In the movie, they have no names and the chemistry will get to you in all its freshness.
14. 5 To 7
A relationship with a two-hour timeline and the quest for more is what this movie is about. Brian meets an older French woman in an open marriage. But there’s a catch, he can only see her between 5 to 7. As he continues with the arrangement, he begins to yearn her company for longer, complicating things.
This movie smashes together technology and emotions, two mutually exclusive things. It shows how AI, with all its advancements, can fool people into feeling things for the nonexistent. Is it possible to love just a voice with no body? Is this the recipe for disaster?
16. Before Series
Two people meet over two decades and shell their idealistic ideas along the way. Just like it happens with all of us. The series, spread into three parts, chronicles their life and relationship that began with a meet-cute on a train ride. Love can be real funny like that.
17. Vicky Christina Barcelona
A Woody Allen masterpiece, this movie depicts everything love can be cracked up to be. Two beautiful women agree to spend a weekend with a soulful seducer. They both come back feeling baffled, only completely realising what they do not want in life.
18. Celeste and Jesse Forever
Married young and deeply attached, Celeste falls out of love with Jesse over a period of time. She lets him know, telling him that she needs a divorce. But once he’s gone, Celeste cannot seem to be able to get through all alone making her and everybody else wonder just what’s it she wants.
The things you watch opens your world to a parallel one of possibilities. So make it the medium to break the shell of the mundane. This list should keep you busy in one for some time. Cheers!