The average romantic has been the pawn in the chess game between Indie and Hollywood. Romantics are easily swayed into buying tickets; they simply love to see love triumph. They watch Nicholas Sparks movies, read Neruda, and listen to a lot of love ballads. All of which are totally cool but the real struggle is winning over the cynics. Those who can’t help but point out all of the flaws and lack of character development are harder to charm. A traditional 'rom-com' amuses them but won’t garner an “aww” out of them. To those cynics, I invite you to join the wonderful world of indie movies.
A couple of days ago, I was reminded of why the average indie romance film is superior.Yes, they’re sometimes depressing and they won’t always end the way you want them to but they will get you hooked. Their downfall? They're almost always drawn out and you will undoubtedly be partially annoyed by they director who’s attempting to be artsy with weirdly angled shots but the casting and script is almost always spot on. Here are a couple of films to illustrate my point:
Celeste and Jesse Forever
You wouldn’t think two funny people like Andy Samberg (SNL) and Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) could make a successful serious movie but they do. The thing I love about this movie is how honest it is. It doesn’t tie up the movie in a nice little bow. It’s complicated, messy and funny at the right moments.
(500) Days of Summer
You either love this movie or hate it. The movie chronicles Tom and Summer’s romance from its inception to its end in a chaotic way. If anything, watch this movie for Joseph Gordon Levitt’s great performance and a good soundtrack. Warning: you’ll probably get incredibly annoyed with Zooey Deschanel’s character and Tom’s fickleness.
The First Time
The movie revolves around Dave, a guy who’s been pining for a girl that only thinks of him as a friend and Aubrey, a slightly neurotic girl. They meet at a party and quickly get entangled in each other’s lives. The movie is funny and realistic and addresses issues in a witty way.
2 Days in New York
Chris Rock’s life is turned upside down when his girlfriend’s family from France comes to visit them for her gallery exhibition. Every scene in this movie is hilarious. Meeting the in-laws is always stressful, gets you anxious and is the do-or-die moment between you and them.
Before Sunrise (Part I) & Before Sunset (Part II)
This movie has been released years ago but I have yet to witness something that comes close to it. The film follows a man and a woman who meet on a train to Vienna who spend one night together there. The sequel follows them as they meet again in Paris ten years later. "Can the greatest romance of your life last only one night?"
– Haya Al-Farhan