Monday, July 09, 2012

50 Favorite Romances: The Devastating Ones

We successfully moved to Minnesota, everybody! Our house is mostly unpacked and I'm supposed to be applying to jobs right now, so here I am blogging. Anyway, on with the 50 Favorite Romance list!

Also see: 1-10: The Sweet Ones , 11-20: The Sexy Ones, and 21-32: The Slow-Burning Ones.

I know all y'all are like, enough with the happy (and/or ambiguous) endings, can we get some depressing shit up in here? Or at least you would say that if you are my husband. But anyway, I do quite like several films that are not so happy, but have love stories I adore nonetheless. Not all of them kill somebody off at the end.

33. Blue Valentine (2010)
So much Ryan Gosling hotness/hipster adorableness.
This movie will mess you up. Interspersed between images of their deteriorating marriage, we see flashbacks to Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams sweetly falling in love. Also, Gosling is at his chain-smoking grungiest best as he utterly fails at being a good adult partner but is totally adorable and fabulous as a fun dad to their young daughter. It is so good, and so sad, and so sweet (but only in flashbacks).

34. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Who knew shepherding could be so sexy?
Yeah, I kind of love this movie. The bro wrestling turning into making out is kind of totally hot. The whole "we live in a homophobic culture and cannot reveal our love and we have semi-sham marriages and children and all that and it is sad" part is less sexy. But sporadic"fishing trips" keep these two dreamboats going as the years pass. Two highlights to this film: Gyllenhaal's amazing '70s/'80s 'stache and the fact that his on-screen wife Anne Hathaway's hair becomes bigger and blonder and more amazing over the years. But mostly it is just pretty and slow and sad.

35. Eyes Wide Open (2009)
Forbidden foreign gay romance with lots of BEARDS? Netflix, how do you know my SOUL?
Aaron is a fabulously-bearded butcher living in an Orthodox community in Jerusalem. This neighborhood is full of nosy people and religious enforcer-types. Ezri is a sexily bestubbled young yeshiva student who needs a place to stay. Aaron lets Ezri stay in the back of the butcher shop and takes him under his wing. Unbeknownst to Aaron's wife and children, it's not just his wing Ezri is under (on? in?)--GET IT, BECAUSE GAY SEX? What this movie lacks in actual sexytimes on film though, it makes up for by making you feel lots of feelings of longing and guilt. When the people around Aaron find out that Ezri has a "reputation" and begin to suspect something isn't quite right, everything turns out for the best. JUST KIDDING EVERYTHING TURNS OUT TERRIBLY. So, so good.

36. Lady Jane (1986)
We are so young and idealistic and basically our parents' pawns. This won't end badly, will it?
Lady Jane Grey (played by a very precocious Helena Bonham Carter) became heir to the British throne as a teenager due to various royal and political wranglings in the mid-16th century. Married off to the (conveniently dreamy young Cary Elwes) son of an ally, Lady Jane and her new husband Lord Guildford Dudley find they actually like, nay, LOVE one another. Also, they are Protestants and also want to help poor people and whatnot and when the Lady becomes Queen briefly, they hope to enact all their social justice plans. However, others are not so pleased with her being placed on the throne and she is deposed after like a week by her cousin Mary I who was a Catholic and let's be honest, the rightful heir. Anyway, RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION, imprisonment, execution, blahblahblah. Based on a true and terrible story!

37. Moulin Rouge (2001)
Blood on the handkerchief ruins EVERYTHING.
Ewan McGregor's voice melts your soul over and over again in this beautiful musical spectacle of a film. Even though one of the first things his character tells us is that his lover is dead, you can't help but root for it to work out between the 1890s proto-hipster/writer and his courtesan ladyfriend. But, you know, death. I can only watch this movie if I'm not already sad. So good. This one also made my sister's list.

38. Veronica Mars (2004-2007)
Oh, Logan. So desirable. So broken. Such a terrible boyfriend.
A classic hatred turns into a grief- and guilt-heavy love situation, then kind of hate again and then back together (don't remember how many times, but a lot for a show that only lasted three seasons). But Logan is BROKEN and FLAWED and kind of a ridiculous spoiled rich bro but he was abused and his parents are terrible and also he is secretly really sweet and often quite funny and handsome in a richbro kind of way. And Veronica is wonderful and smart and funny and a TEEN DETECTIVE and let's all be honest about how motherfucking boring Duncan is (he's pretty much this show's Dean). Their love is full of witty quips and sexy times but also lots of emotional rollercoaster-iness and actual scary violence and murder times and SPOILER ALERT maybe is not the healthiest place for Veronica to be. While I am pleased she eventually finds a normal boyfriend, I kind of wished their ill-fated love was more neutral-fated so I could actually hope they'd get back together someday.

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