192 Best Movies to Watch With Boyfriend/Girlfriend (Page 8)

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New York, especially in older movies, seems to be an enchanting place with endless possibilities, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. With Hong Kong’s handover to China, it’s no wonder plenty of Hong Kong natives decided to emigrate to the Big Apple. That being said, this experience isn’t always smooth. Mabel Cheung’s An Autumn’s Tale is a fairly simple romance, but it also captures the rough times of the assimilation process of Hong Kongers, the way they have to toughen up to eke out a living, and the joy they manage to hold, even just for a while. And as the young Chow Yun-fat softens his edge to guide the blindsided, sweet Cherie Chung, we can’t help but root for them.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Brenda Lo, Cherie Chung, Chow Yun-fat, Danny Bak-Keung Chan, Danny Chan Bak-Keung, George Gerard, Gigi Suk Yee Wong, Gigi Wong, Huang Man, Wu Fu-Sheng, Yun-Fat Chow

Director: Mabel Cheung

Rating: N/A

Given that hookups are inherently quick and casual and impersonal, they are rarely portrayed in a romantic light. But Weekend flips the script on one-night stands by giving its two lovers enough time and space to explore how far their feelings can take them. While both Russell (Tom Cullen) and Glenn (Chris New) are gay, they have more differences than similarities with each other. Russell is reserved, awkward, and not entirely open, while Glenn is the exact opposite. 

This makes for intriguing conversations, which then makes for a smart, thought-proving watch. It’s talky but meaningful, and slow but assured. But most of all it’s romantic, and it’s sure to pull at your heartstrings the whole time. 

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Chris New, Joe Doherty, Jonathan Race, Kieran Hardcastle, Laura Freeman, Loreto Murray, Mark Devenport, Sarah Churm, Tom Cullen, Vauxhall Jermaine

Director: Andrew Haigh

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The director of one of the few esteemed horror sequels (Wrong Turn 2: Dead End) adapting H. P. Lovecraft? Yes please. Joe Lynch reimagines "The Thing on the Doorstep" with the tropes of 90s erotic films and a tribute to classic possession horror cinema, meriting all our admiration for his effort. Suitable Flesh (even the title is erotic!) is fun, daring, very dark, and very horny. Heather Graham (Boogie Nights) delivers a strong lead performance, but Judah Lewis's (The Babysitter) sleazy Asa is what stands out here. Because of the horror's nature, all the actors will have a go at playing a demonic version of their characters and it's mostly good fun, but Lewis channels a certain scary nihilism that fits in very well with the film's attitude towards sex and possession... Without revealing too much hereafter, I must say that the film takes the phrase "an out of body experience" to the next level, when relating it to sexual pleasure.

Genre: Horror

Actor: Ann Mahoney, Barbara Crampton, Bruce Davison, Chris L. McKenna, Heather Graham, J.D. Evermore, Joe Lynch, Johnathon Schaech, Judah Lewis

Director: Joe Lynch

Grand gestures, over-the-top declarations of love, and elaborate gifts… These normal romcom acts can sometimes make it seem that romance can only be done by the wealthy. But, in reality, love can happen anytime, and the first film of Aki Kaurismäki’s Proletariat Trilogy suggests that love is ultimately necessary in a world where two lovers are disenfranchised. As Nikander tries to woo a slightly disinterested Ilona, and as Ilona decides to depend on him for support, Shadows in Paradise might not have the usual frills of a romcom, but Kaurismäki finds the bare essentials in a depressing Finnish town, and captures the small ways it blooms in spite of it, through the lovers’ humorous blunt dialogue and the color their love adds to their world.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Aki Kaurismäki, Esko Nikkari, Haije Alanoja, Jaakko Talaskivi, Jukka Mäkinen, Jukka-Pekka Palo, Kati Outinen, Kylli Köngäs, Mari Rantasila, Mato Valtonen, Matti Pellonpää, Neka Haapanen, Olli Varja, Pekka Laiho, Safka Pekkonen, Sakari Kuosmanen, Sakke Järvenpää, Svante Korkiakoski

Director: Aki Kaurismäki

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Rye Lane knows it’s treading familiar ground by having its charming leads fall in love as they walk and talk their way through a beautiful city. So instead of experimenting on a tried-and-tested setup, it smartly focuses on specificity. It hones in on the characters’ Gen Z woes and cranks up the British references, giving itself character and charm for days. It also finds other ways to be inventive as it trades plot twists for bold editing and camerawork. Rye Lane is a refreshing entry into romcom cinema, but it is also obviously a big fan of it as it holds plenty of homages and subversions of the genre. This one is made for and by romcom fans, and it's always nice to see a modern love story set during our times.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alice Hewkin, Benjamin Sarpong-Broni, Cain Aiden, Charlotte Melia, Colin Firth, David Jonsson, Delroy Brown, Esme Molly, Gary Beadle, George Taylor, Karene Peter, Levi Roots, Llewella Gideon, Malcolm Atobrah, Marva Alexander, Michael Dapaah, Munya Chawawa, Omari Douglas, Poppy Allen-Quarmby, Raine Allen-Miller, Sandra Daley, Simon Manyonda, Vivian Oparah, Yasmin Al-Khudhairi

Director: Raine Allen-Miller

Rating: R

Watching Love at First Sight, there are times you catch it almost falling into eye-rolling clichés, like when Hadley loses Oliver’s number or when their first kiss is interrupted by someone suddenly opening the door. But the film’s self-assured and self-aware charm subverts conventions and saves it from being just another cheesy rom-com you’d sooner skip on Netflix. The statistic-heavy narration by Jameela Jamil manages to be both amusing and romantic, and casting Jamil as an omnipresent chameleon who is fate-personified is an inspired move that helps the film move along smoothly. Though they lack sensual chemistry, Richardson and Hardy are individually, abundantly charming. It’s hard not to be moved by their stories, as common as they may be in movies like this. Love at First Sight is fluffy and familiar, but it is also the sort of heartwarming fare you’ll want to watch again and again, especially at Christmastime, when the movie is set.  

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Andromeda Godfrey, Anthony Warren, Ben Hardy, Dexter Fletcher, Doña Croll, Haley Lu Richardson, Ibinabo Jack, Jameela Jamil, Jessica Ransom, Katrina Nare, Kerry Howard, Philip Bird, Rob Delaney, Sally Phillips, Sam Booth, Tom Taylor, Tracy Wiles

Director: Vanessa Caswill

Rating: PG-13

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, 2023

Director Garth Davis (who worked with Jane Campion on Top of the Lake) adapts Iain Reid's novel Foe with little concern about realism and veracity. The psychologically dense event at the film's centre—an impending separation of husband and wife—renders the whole world around them meaningless. Saoirse Ronan stars as the self-assured Henrietta (Hen) and Paul Mescal, as the belligerent Junior, two of the last remaining people in rural and farm areas. The year is 2065 and Earth is unrecognizable (peak Anthropocene) and life can be reduced to the impossibility of letting go. One fine day, a stranger comes to visit (Aaron Pierre), informing the couple that Junior has been drafted not to the military, but to a space colonization mission. A most curious triangle forms when Pierre's character decides to stay in the family guest room: there is no telling where Foe will take you, but it will be a long, hard fall; either to the pits of despair or desire, ambivalence galore. 

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

Actor: Aaron Pierre, David Woods, Jordan Chodziesner, Paul Mescal, Saoirse Ronan, William Freeman, Yesse Spence

Director: Garth Davis

Rating: R

Making a good erotic thriller out on Wall Street is no easy feat, but Fair Play has just the right ratio of wit, sex, and sleaze to spice up a Friday night viewing. There's also undeniable pleasure in watching a fairytale love story corrode, especially under the influence of money and power—here's one for the romantic capitalists! And even if the script feels a bit uneven and Emily's character a bit too silent until the film's third act, it's a heightened yet realistic depiction of exactly how solidified heteronormative standards still are: in bed, at home, at the workplace. Who would have guessed that's where the true horror lies? 

Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller

Actor: Alden Ehrenreich, Brandon Bassir, Buck Braithwaite, Eddie Marsan, Filip Todorovic, Geraldine Somerville, Greg De Cuir, Ivona Kustudić, Jamie Wilkes, Jelena Stupljanin, Jim Sturgeon, Katarina Gojković, Laurel Lefkow, Leopold Hughes, Linda Ljoka, Patrick Fischler, Phoebe Dynevor, Rich Sommer, Sebastian de Souza, Sia Alipour, Yacine Ramoul

Director: Chloe Domont

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Without focusing on just one team, career, or fateful game, Bull Durham avoids every sports movie cliche—using Minor League baseball as a way into the complicated relationships between a rookie, a veteran, and a longtime fan. By stripping away our expectations of there needing to be a winner and a loser, writer-director Ron Shelton allows these characters to blossom in their own unique ways, allowing us to observe how each of them views life from their stubborn, little boxes. Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon are sex appeal personified, while never smoothing over the thorniest parts of their characters. And Tim Robbins takes what could have been a two-dimensional caricature and gives him real depth.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: C.K. Bibby, Danny Gans, David Neidorf, Garland Bunting, George Buck, Henry G. Sanders, Jenny Robertson, Kevin Costner, Lloyd T. Williams, Rick Marzan, Robert Dickman, Robert Wuhl, Stephen Ware, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Tom Silardi, Trey Wilson, William O'Leary

Director: Ron Shelton

Blind Date Book Club packs many times unnatural mouthfuls of dialogue and writing, but at the same time conveys an incredibly wholesome, adorable earnestness at its core. The movie has such a pure meet cute, thanks to the chemistry of Meg Tompkins (Erin Krakow) and Graham Sterling (Robert Buckley), which is all it really needed to succeed. Writing critique scenes and author characters almost always come with a mild cringe—always seems like the lines are aimed at the work itself, or a tool for deflection—but when the world around it is wrapped in a nostalgic young love à la Flipped, that stuff makes it even better. It's light fun, and it stays tonally the same throughout, but it's so unapologetically sweet you've got to respect it.

Genre: Romance, TV Movie

Actor: Erin Krakow, Robert Buckley

Director: Peter Benson

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Sophie Compton and Reubyn Hamlyn's British-American documentary about the harm of deepfakes won the SXSW Special Jury Award for its innovative storytelling and deservingly so. The two filmmakers use a clever and considerate way to let a young woman fictitiously named Taylor share her story of how she found deepfake pornography of herself online. With testaments, desktop form reconstructions, and lots of deepfakes, Compton and Hamlyn alert the audience to how terrifyingly widespread this kind of abuse is, and even more: how unregulated it is. Across the globe and 48 US states deepfake pornography is legal to make and spread, while victims remain helpless and unprotected. More than 90% of them are women. These chilling statistics are only part of the reason this documentary takes an activist stance and wants to raise awareness against the uncontrolled spread of face-swapping algorhythms amidst heated discussions around AI and ethics.

Genre: Documentary

Director: Reuben Hamlyn, Sophie Compton

Rating: NR

A movie about a 16 year old girl who gets involved with an older more sophisticated man and how the relationship changes her life. Carey Mulligan's performance is nothing short of perfect, inevitably making herself the center of the movie. The coming-of-age story is also quite exceptional, and conveys  impressive load and variety of emotions. An Education is one of those movies that make you live an experience you haven't lived yourself, but because it is so exquisitely and realistically done, the character's problems and joys will feel like your own.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Alfred Molina, Amanda Fairbank-Hynes, Bel Parker, Cara Seymour, Carey Mulligan, Connor Catchpole, Dominic Cooper, Ellie Kendrick, Emma Thompson, James Norton, Kate Duchêne, Matthew Beard, Nick Sampson, Olivia Williams, Peter Sarsgaard, Rosamund Pike, Sally Hawkins, William Melling

Director: Lone Scherfig

Rating: PG-13

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This story involves a jealous sister and a boy, which is enough of a foundation for a suspenseful story. Though a bit lacking in depth, onscreen interactions carry a lot of emotional weight and strike the balance of having enough said and unsaid. The upbeat pop hits and casual banter throughout goes a long way to at least break up the film's heavy atmosphere. At its heaviest, it is raw and glorious in its unraveling, placing the ugly side of grief next to the alluring side of envy. But throughout it all, it treats the plot with enough respect to not just be some cheap glorified fantasy.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Alva Bratt, Edvin Ryding, Felicia Truedsson, Ida Engvoll, Mustafa Al-Mashhadani, Zara Larsson

Director: Sigge Eklund

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Most sports biopics are centered around winners– their drive, their spirit, and their determination to beat the competition, and maybe win some glory for their respective teams, hometowns, or countries. The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki instead focuses on a Finnish boxer that lost a match. Shot in 16mm black and white film stock, writer-director Juho Kuosmanen captures the man, not the legend, in sequences that feel like decades-old memories that draws you into his story, his humble character, and the motivations that drive him, a yearning for love rather than bragging rights, trophies, and nationalistic pride. It’s such a charming twist to the genre, one that recognizes a different kind of masculinity. While Mäki might not be the world’s best boxer, this film suggests that he might be one of the happiest, forgoing an important match for a marriage that ended up lasting his lifetime.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Aaro Airola, Anna Airola, Claes Andersson, Deogracias Masomi, Eero Milonoff, Elma Milonoff, Emilia Jansson, Esko Barquero, Heikki Metsämäki, Iiris Anttila, Jarkko Lahti, Jarmo Kiuru, Joanna Haartti, Joonas Saartamo, Leimu Leisti, Mika Melender, Olli Rahkonen, Oona Airola, Pia Andersson, Salla Yli-Luopa, Tiina Weckström, Viljami Lahti

Director: Juho Kuosmanen

Rating: NR

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Amongst the google searches for this one you'll find "Is Slotherhouse a real film?" and that says a lot. When the first poster and trailer dropped, I suspected it the work of AI, but now that the film is out on streaming, we should be glad it exists. A ludicrous horror-comedy that hits all the right notes in gore, cringe, and puns, Slotherhouse is quintessential fun cinema. It may be set in a college where internalized misogyny is completely off the charts as young women bruise and batter each other's egos in service of the queen bee Brianna (Sydney Craven) and may attempt just a tiny bit of character development to keep the ball rolling, but honestly, who cares? It's a film that completely leans into the absurd, the over the top, the ridiculous, and it does it surprisingly well.

Genre: Comedy, Horror, Thriller

Actor: Andrew Horton, Annamaria Serda, Bianca Beckles-Rose, Bradley Fowler, Cady Lanigan, Grace Patterson, Jelena Rakočević, Juliana Sada, Kelly Lynn Reiter, Lisa Ambalavanar, Milica Vrzić, Olivia Rouyre, Stefan Kapičić, Sydney Craven, Tiana Upcheva, Tiff Stevenson

Director: Matthew Goodhue

Rating: PG-13

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