If you're tired of the predictable plots of your favorite rom-coms, maybe you should check out a few unconventional romantic movies. In most romantic comedies, the obstacles men and women face are usually just misunderstandings and personalities that seem incompatible at first. However, couples in unconventional romantic movies have to deal with all sorts of crazy problems, from cravings for brains to cravings for spankings. Here's a look at a few of these twisted movies about love:
Table of contents:
- "warm bodies"
- "safety not guaranteed"
- "lars and the real girl"
- "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind"
When it comes to unconventional romantic movies, they don't get more creative than this one. In Terry Gilliam's dystopian movie about the horrors of bureaucracy, our hero sets out to help the girl of his dreams. And we're talking about a literal dream girl here—he has recurring dreams about a beautiful damsel in distress. He's shocked when he meets this mysterious girl in the real world after setting out to correct an administrative error, and he sets out on a quest to find out who she is. If you're a fan of steampunk and social satire, then you'll definitely enjoy Gilliam's futuristic world. However, it's a violent place where paperwork is more important than people, and the movie explores dark themes like torture, terrorism, and terrifying plastic surgery.
This movie explored the world of BDSM long before "Fifty Shades of Grey" became the most highly anticipated sex movie of all time. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a young woman who uses self-harm to deal with her troubles. After landing in the hospital, she decides to make an attempt to live a normal life by getting a job as a secretary for an eccentric lawyer (James Spader). He turns out to be a dominant who is turned on by his secretary's submissive behavior, and they begin a twisted sexual relationship that involves red pens, saddles, spankings, and dead bugs. It's a love story that you might not be able to identify with, but somehow you'll find yourself rooting for these two oddballs who seem to be made for each other.
If you enjoyed the heart-warming love story in "Amelie," then you might like this movie from the same director—it's a horror movie that's been married to a sweet love story. It's also set in the future, so it might appeal to some sci-fi fans. When a clown and the daughter of a butcher/landlord fall in love, the clown's biggest worry isn't trying to impress his girlfriend's dad—he has to avoid being turned into a steak dinner. Food is scarce in this future world, so the butcher has turned his customers into cannibals by feeding them the tenants of the apartment building that he owns. It's definitely one of the zaniest love stories you'll ever see, and it's one of my favorite dark comedies.
4 "Warm Bodies"
Forget the bestiality/necrophilia in "Twilight"—this supernatural love story is even more twisted. It's pretty amazing that someone found a way to make a zombie and a human fall in love without the relationship coming off as being incredibly creepy. However, Nicholas Hoult is still a cutie with purple lips and a blank stare. If the zombie world portrayed in "The Walking Dead" depresses you, this "zom-com" is a great palate cleanser. But it might be a bit hard for some to get over the idea of a girl falling for a guy who ate her boyfriend's brain.
5 "Safety Not Guaranteed"
If you love Aubrey Plaza, then you'll enjoy this quirky comedy. She plays Darius, an intern at a magazine who sets out to investigate a classified ad that reads in part, "Wanted: Someone to go back in time." The guy who placed the add turns out to be an oddball named Kenneth (Mark Duplass) who wants to travel back in time to save his ex-girlfriend. Even though he might be crazy, Darius starts to fall for him. "New Girl" actor Jake Johnson also stars as a coworker of Darius who gets his own story about a lost love. It's a sweet comedy with a lot of surprises, and it's the perfect movie for misfits or those with regrets about past relationships.
6 "Lars and the Real Girl"
If you can't stand "The Notebook," then maybe Ryan Gosling will redeem himself in your eyes with this unusual love story. He stars as Lars, a socially awkward guy who comes up with a creative way to score a girlfriend—he orders a sex doll named Bianca. His "RealDoll" might not be real, but she has a very real effect on everyone who meets her. It's a great story about acceptance since Lars doesn't get shunned and ridiculed for dating a doll. Instead Bianca actually gives Lars the confidence to go out and meet people who are caring enough to play along by treating Bianca like a real girl. But you'll have to watch it to see if Lars and Bianca live happily ever after.
7 "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey experience a very tumultuous, tragic romance in this surreal sci-fi movie about lovers who decide to have each other erased from their memories. It's hard to blame Carrey's Joel for falling for Winslet's Clementine, a gorgeous free spirit with magical hair that's constantly changing colors. However, she's not a manic pixie dream girl who exists solely to "fix" emotionally withdrawn Joel. Flaws and drastically different personalities eventually lead to the demise of their once-passionate relationship, and this is where the memory-erasing procedure comes in. But don't worry—these early hipster prototypes might still get their happy ending.
I'm sure I missed plenty of unconventional romantic movies (Tim Burton flicks probably deserve their own list), but this is a pretty good grab bag of twisted love stories. So give them a shot whenever you feel like rejecting formulaic rom-coms. Can you think of any other great romantic movies that are bit twisted?
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