I love movies about love. I don’t just mean movies where one of the plot points is a romantic connection. I enjoy films where all forms of relationships are explored: family, friendship and romantic. Of course, these types of films can be seen as “cheesy” if they employ any or all of these plot points so they’re often ignored or underrated. But to me, they’re movies that don’t shy away from the reality of being human and our desire to have human connection. Here are some of the best underrated movies with plots about love:
5. “I Am Number Four” (2011, D.J. Caruso)
Okay, so two of the main characters aren’t actually human in terms of biology, but they are human in every other way. The main character, John, is on the run with his guardian, the only form of family he has left. John gains a best friend at school who is loyal even though he’s put in danger just by knowing him. Not to leave out the romantic love plot, John meets Sarah. Aliens like John can only truly fall in love once and for him, Sarah is that person.
4. “The Young Victoria” (2009, Jean-Marc Vallee)
I don’t know if this movie is historically accurate, but I like it anyway. It’s about Queen Victoria before she is Queen and, of course, during the start of her reign. She struggles against a family that mostly wants to manipulate her but she finds the strength to stand up for herself. When Victoria meets Prince Albert, he is instantly drawn to her tenacity and becomes her biggest support when her life and reign become turbulent.
I told myself I shouldn’t watch this one because the premise is sad, but I watched it anyway. The plot: Tessa is dying of leukemia and has a list of things to do in her remaining time. Tessa’s parents and little brother all cope with the reality of her illness in different ways while she tries to be strong for them (and for herself). Her best friend Zoey helps her try to check things off her bucket list. Of course, Tessa meets and falls in love with Adam. All of these relationships are beautiful yet strained because of the loss they know is going to come. This movie left an impression on me.
I saw this movie in high school and liked it more than I expected. It may seem like a ridiculous plot – a girl is born with a pig nose thanks to a family curse and struggles to find a man who will break the curse through love – but underneath that it isn’t really about the fairytale aspect at all. It’s about learning to love yourself. If you don’t accept and love yourself, then you can’t be happy.
1. “Remember Me” (2010, Allen Coulter)
I saw this movie around when it was released in theatres and it stayed with me. It’s about more than just the romantic love plot, it’s also about a family. Tyler, the main character, struggles with a father who is absent, a brother who committed suicide, and a little sister who is being bullied. In the midst of this, he meets Ally and eventually they fall in love, though not without challenges. The ending is surprising but it’s a movie that leaves an impact well after you’ve watched it.