I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for romantic films - so any movies that teach us about love are winners for me. Okay, okay, so love probably isn't actually like this in real life - not for some of these films anyway. But a girl can dream, right? So here are seven movies that teach us about love, in all its messy, wonderful, hopeless glory.
Amour may be one of those movies that teach us about love, but it’s in no way a fluffy love story. This film has been a firm feature during the awards season this year, and rightly so. The French film, directed by Michael Haneke, focuses on an elderly couple and the process they go through after the wife, played by Emmanuelle Riva, suffers a series of strokes, leaving her unable to speak and paralysed. We follow George, her husband, as he copes with what's happened. It's an unflinching, terrifying and artistically beautiful look at the nature of love, death and ageing.
2. (500) Days of Summer
This film quickly became an indie hit after its release - the unlikely romcom avoids the usual tried and tested formula of couple fall in love, couple fall out, couple make up and live happily ever after. Because there isn't a happy ever after for the couple in this film - at least not together. Hooray for real life relationships in films.
3. Bridget Jones's Diary
I don't know a single woman who doesn't enjoy this film. Bridget, in all her slightly plump, messy-haired, hapless, bunny-tailed wonderfulness, is still one of the most relatable female leads we have. This film shows us that everyone does stupid things, everyone messes up sometimes - and okay, so she gets her happy ending, but it's still a very human look at modern relationships.
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This was another love story with a difference, as it begins with the two protagonists erasing their painful memories of one another. But the film follows them as they start to remember and find their way back to each other. In reality, we might not get the Hollywood ending, but we should know the importance of remembering the bad times and our mistakes, and learning from them so we can move on to something better.
5. Revolutionary Road
Quite possibly one of the most depressing films I've seen in a long time, it is, nevertheless, rather brilliant. Because love isn't all hearts and flowers, and it doesn't always last. Marriages end all too often, relationships break down and we fall out of love with the person we thought we'd be with forever.
6. The Way We Were
There isn't a dry eye in the house when Katie tells Hubble 'your girl is lovely, Hubble.' This film shows that sometimes, no matter how much you might love someone, life stuff just gets in the way. And maybe, just maybe, love doesn't conquer all!
7. The Notebook
Okay, so I'm cheating with this one. The idea of an everlasting love regardless of time, distance and other relationships isn't all that likely. But I would still like to think it happens, even if it is rarely. And really, who wouldn't want a love story like this one?
So, not all of the films Hollywood churns out gives us the glossy, everything-ends-perfectly version of love. It's still there for when we want a bit of escapism, but it's nice to know the reality is too. What are your favourite love films?