15 Underrated Romance Movies

Table of Contents Sometimes it lights you up inside, like the fourth of July. And…

15 Underrated Romance Movies

Because love is always meant to be embraced and celebrated.

Sometimes it lights you up inside, like the fourth of July. And sometimes it’s just a nightmare dressed like a daydream. But whatever form it takes and regardless of whether it culminates into a happily-ever-after or not, these movies represent how love is always meant to be embraced and celebrated.

1.

Blue Jay (2016)


Duplass Brothers Productions

Not every Jim is destined for a happily-ever-after with a Pam. Blue Jay’s Jim (Mark Duplass) is childhood sweethearts with Amanda (Sarah Paulson). As it happens, luck adapts the role of anti-Cupid and pushes them apart. Years later, they chance upon each other once again. They look really good, especially in each other’s arms, but what will the next morning bring?

Where do I watch it?: Netflix.

2.

Sir (2020)


Platoon One Films

Ratna (Tillotama Shome) is employed as a domestic worker at Ashwin’s (Vivek Gomber) Mumbai apartment. Life is soup and the social hierarchies foisted on us are forks. But elitism and class structures don’t have a patch on the workings of the heart, as we see Ratna and Ashwin falling into a rhythm of easy intimacy. In love, there’s “no need to be anybody but oneself”.

Where do I watch it?: Netflix.

3.

The Lunchbox (2013)


UTV Motion Pictures / Via giphy.com

Sometimes, the only way of finding hot singles in your area is by packing delicious lunches for your husband that will, however, mistakenly reach an about-to-retire widower, Saajan (Irrfan Khan). From exchanging cute notes with Saajan to leaving her cheating husband, romantic love enables Ila (Nimrat Kaur) to step into her own power.

Where do I watch it?: Netflix.

4.

Ruby Sparks (2012)


20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on GIPHY / Via giphy.com

Calvin (Paul Dano) is a novelist who literally writes his girlfriend, Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan) into existence (how does one manifest this level of manifestation skills?). Calvin introduces Ruby to an incredulous Harry (Chris Messina), Calvin’s brother, who can’t wrap his head around the fact that Calvin’s writing directly impacts how Ruby operates in the real world. In time, Calvin will realise that Ruby deserves to be more than just a female character written by a man and get over his school teacher urge to always be in control of others.

5.

Our Souls At Night (2017)


Netflix

After spending years alone following the death of her husband, Addie (Jane Fonda) approaches her neighbour, a widower named Louis (Robert Redford), to sleep with her…**insert dramatic break that comes before a plot twist**…non-sexually. Addie’s motive is to ward off their respective loneliness. This leads to nights full of emotionally fulfilling conversations and deep companionship. Louis and Addie’s is probably one of the few talking stages to evolve into a fully-fledged romance.

Where do I watch it?: Netflix.

6.

Once Again (2018)


JAR Pictures

While running a small restaurant and delivering Amar’s (Neeraj Kabi) meals, who knew Tara (Shefali Shah) will even start sharing her days with him over the phone? Tara’s adult son is about to get married and Amar is an ageing actor. However, despite what cynics say, finding love is like the Vicks VapoRub jar your grandma bought in the 1950s — its expiry date is a scam.

Where do I watch it?: Netflix.

7.

Supernova (2020)


British Film Institute

Tusker’s (Stanley Tucci) diagnosis of dementia is putting a strain on his relationship with Sam (Colin Firth), his partner of two decades. His decision to die by suicide before his state exacerbates is further making a train wreck out of Sam. Will Sam learn to respect Tusker’s decision and embrace Mary Oliver’s words — “To live in this world you must be able to do three things — to love what is mortal, to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it, and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go”?  

8.

Her (2013)


Annapurna Pictures

Depressed and lonely, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), is bearing the weight of his impending divorce when he meets Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). This could have been a perfect meet-cute had Samantha not been an AI. Yes! Director Spike Jonze takes the interspecies love story up a notch by portraying a human-AI love story and does a stellar job at that. The end of their relationship doesn’t come with a bang, nor a whimper. Rather, Samantha, like her fellow AIs, goes away, leaving their human companion tender-hearted, “despite despite despite”.  

Where do I watch it?: Prime Video.

9.

Something’s Gotta Give (2003)


Columbia Pictures

Dating women three decades younger than him is all fine and dandy, until Harry (Jack Nicholson) realises that his OG HOE (heaven on earth, duh) is a playwright in her fifties named Erica (Diane Keaton). Will the fact that she also happens to be his ex-girlfriend’s mother come in their way of being together?

10.

Letters To Juliet (2010)


Summit Entertainment

God gives Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal) another day and he decides to make it Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) problem by being standoffish during their pre-honeymoon in Italy. But fear not, as while helping an elderly lady find her lost love, Sophie will also meet someone who might as well be the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires. 

Where do I watch it?: Lionsgate Play.

11.

Lars And The Real Girl (2007)


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Via giphy.com

Bianca’s body is not a temple. It is actually a life-size doll that Lars (Ryan Gosling) orders from an adult website. Even though she is non-human, her role is imperative to Lars getting over his social awkwardness and delusions, unpacking childhood trauma while also looking for friendship and romance, and journeying towards becoming a functional adult.

12.

Happy Accidents (2000)


IFC Films

Ladies, if he:

Claims to be from the future;

Refers to all forms of alcohol as merlot;

Seems like eccentricity personified;

He’s not yours, but Ruby’s (Marisa Tomei) man. He is called Sam (Vincent D’Onofrio) and time-traveling is his one true jam.

13.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)


Focus Features / Via giphy.com

Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) are cowboys who meet in the 1960s and fall in love. Even though they’ll go on to marry different people and try their best to acclimatise to a heteronormative society, their love for each other will stay the same. Part of the reason why they are separated time and again is their internalised homophobia and the unaccepting world they inhabited. Why are you, as a society, trying to keep lovers apart? My brother in Christ, #LoveIsLove.

Where do I watch it?: Prime Video.

14.

Blue Valentine (2010)


Hunting Lane Films / Via giphy.com

Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) date for a while before getting married. But love isn’t enough to sustain a marriage. Their different priorities, Dean’s lack of ambition, Cindy’s past relationship, and the overall stress of adult responsibilities pose a threat to their marriage. On the verge of its collapse, their love for each other becomes, “the rhyme between lost and most”.

Where do I watch it?: Lionsgate Play.

15.

Barfi! (2012)


UTV Motion Pictures / Via giphy.com

Help! Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) is drowning…drowning in his love for Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra). Barfi is a man with disabilities and Jhilmil is autistic. The world, including Jhilmil’s money-embezzler father, has been cruel to them. Notwithstanding the brutalities, they look at each other the way you look at the stopwatch while doing a plank — earnestly and with great fervour.

Where do I watch it?: Netflix.