Darkness, cuddles and the crunch of shared popcorn has been seared in our dating psyche. It’s the fall-back plan for love-struck teenagers and adults alike, providing a level of intimacy that can only be found in the hush of a pitch-black cinema crowd, or the swaddle of a sofa blanket. But do you actually pay attention to what movies can teach us about romance? Whenever you come up for air, give it a go – there’s a lot the good ones have to offer.
In this spirit, here are our most cherished romantic films, analysed for whatever lessons they have regarding laws of attraction:
Annie Hall (1977)
Have you ever had a Woody Allen moment? A stuttering, stumbling verbal parade through your anxieties, practically daring the person you care about to leave the room? We’re guessing yes, but this enduringly smart American director reminds us that there’s someone out there who’ll be able to cope with it.
Take the famous lobster scene, held in such regard because it’s perfectly natural: just two people messing around in the kitchen, unafraid to be idiots together. Woody might not get the girl in the end, but the end happens a couple of times; we can’t help but be drawn back to the partners who complete us.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Relationships can feel like the same struggle over and over again – how to charm, how to relate to another life, what you should say and do and feel. For Bill Murray in this comedy gem from the 90’s, he’s literally stuck in the same 24-hour loop, trying to woo Andie MacDowell for (potentially) thousands of years.
After numerous suicides, snowball fights and piano lessons, he manages to be effortlessly good to everyone he meets, which obviously gets her falling for him. The sentiment is obvious: spread joy to the world, and you’ll genuinely seem like romantic gold dust.
Déjà vu is a strange experience, especially with lovers who remind you so much of the past. Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece is a warning of having a ‘type’, and prescribing to it forever – in this case, the ice cool blonde, who may or may not have faked her own death.
Clearly, that’s a niche attraction you won’t find on a typical dating profile. But this timeless, dream-like detective story ruthlessly looks at our need to lump old impressions on new beaus. Much better to take each girl or guy as they come, eh?
Love is whatever we want it to be, but a workable definition might suffice as “commitment, no matter what.” That’s where Michael Haneke’s heart-breaking drama takes its stand on the pantheon of Things That Make Us Think. I mean, honestly, it’s really scary to grow old, and more so when your soul mate might wake up one day and not recognise who you are.
Yet, dry those tears on your sleeve, because the French couple in this movie are a testament to true devotion. You can help but fight furiously against the realities of life, and that’s what makes a relationship what it is – two people holding back the forces of chaos, arm in arm.
So, you should never roll a single eye again at the idea of ‘soppy’ movies; they aren’t all sugar-coated, and the best ones have a wisdom that never ages. Being open to the lessons of a romantic story can inspire a ton of awareness about your own dating history, and what might be around the corner.
Speaking of which, signing up to FreeAndSingle will let for your fairy-tale narrative unfold. Singles in your local area will be dying to be seen in close-up…
Photo credit: starsoflace