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5 (kind of) romantic movies to stream right now

From rom-coms to heartbreakers.

Romantic movies are tricky. Should they be about love or about happy endings? I’ll go with the first one. In fact, I don’t think movies about romances necessarily have to be pleasant or at least not entirely. Some of the best romantic movies ever made don’t have happy endings. And yet, they make me love love. Following this logic, some movies on this list are funny and uplifting, while others are genuinely heart-breaking — or somewhere in between.

romantic movies
Sanlian (Ying-Xuan Hsieh) and Jay (Roy Chiu) in a scene of Dear Ex (image courtesy of Netflix)

Here are five titles to stream this Valentine’s Day:

500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer is everything you’d expect from a cult indie movie: quirky characters, great music and a somewhat realistic representation of love. Released in 2009 — not exactly a glorious time for the rom-com genre — it’s a 2000’s gem that I’ll never get tired of rewatching.

Stream it here

Someone Great

Netflix’s Someone Great is a quintessential millennial love story. While it’s technically about a break-up, it does explore love and personal growth in multiple ways. I like that it doesn’t take itself too seriously without falling into the trap of meaningless entertainment. Also, Gina Rodriguez does a great job as Jenny and I’ve had that hilarious scene of her singing Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” printed in my head since I first watched it.

Stream it here

Dear Ex

Critically acclaimed Taiwanese dramedy Dear Ex is about complicated family dynamics and a secret love triangle. When Sanlian’s (played superbly by Ying-Hsuan Hsieh) ex-husband dies, she finds out that he has changed his insurance policy, making his ex-lover, a man named Jay, its only beneficiary. Throughout the story, love is expressed in peculiar ways and that’s what makes the movie particularly interesting.

Stream it here

Marriage Story

So, this one will make you cry. Scarlett Johnansson and Adam Driver give career-defining performances in this family drama by Noah Baumbach. It’s hard to describe Marriage Story as its beauty lies in its masterful and hyper realistic dialogues. More than anything, this is a story about a family staying together.

Stream it here

Love, Simon

Who doesn’t love a good coming-of-age story? Based on the best-selling novel, the movie follows Simon’s quest to find himself as he explores his sexuality and falls in love for the first time. Love, Simon is funny and heartfelt, with just the right amount of cliché rom-com tropes.

Stream it here

5 (kind of) romantic movies to stream right now

Marta Colombo

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