Memorable storylines, unbelievable adventures, plotlines with heart—there are some movies that are classics for a reason. In the case of the following films, they stand out because of their dynamic and sometimes dangerous romantic pairs.
The romantic thrillers—Rear Window, an Alfred Hitchcock cult film, and Breathless, the 1960 criminal affair—explore the nature of romance in moments of suspense and fear. The remaining films showcase less common relationship styles and taboo adventures of the onscreen couples. Cher falls for her fiance’s brother in Moonstruck and Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It follows Nola Darling and three suitors in the 80s in Brooklyn. Lastly, Harold and Maude, show an unlikely couple who meet at a funeral—Harold in his 20s and Maude in her 80s turn heads as they step out onto the town.
Selected by individuals and couples form our Maudern People series, here are five noteworthy love affairs worth binging this weekend.
Rear Window, 1954
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr
A photojournalist confined to a wheelchair after an accident spends his days observing his neighborhood (and neighbors) out the back window of his Manhattan apartment. One evening, he believes he witnesses a murder in the building across the way, as a flirtation with another tenant grows. The duo aims to solve the crime, as the suspect begins to catch onto their sleuthing.
Selected by: Natalie Shirinian
Where to watch: Amazon, Vudu
Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard
Starring: Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Daniel Boulanger
Criminal Michel (Belmondo) accidentally and unintentionally kills Police Officer. He hides with his girlfriend—an aspiring Journalist—in her Paris apartment as he quietly gathers money to move them to Italy. When uncovers the truth, she begins to question whether her love is strong enough to support murder.
Selected by: Shannon Maldonado
Where to watch: Amazon, Criterion
Harold & Maude, 1971
Directed by: Hal Ashby
Starring: Bud Cort, Ruth Gordon, Vivian Pickles
After meeting at a funeral, a relationship between Harold & Maude begins. The taboo pair, Harold, a 20 year old obsessed with suicide and Maude, an eccentric 80-year-old, defy the norms and turn a few heads as they continue their romance.
Selected by: Arpana Rayamajhi
Where to watch: Amazon
She’s Gotta Have It, 1986
Directed by: Spike Lee
Starring: Tracy Camilla Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks and John Canada Terrel
In the mid-80s in Brooklyn, Nola Darling (Johns) is dating not just one but three men, all with different personalities and careers. She maintains and anti-monogamous and care-free sex perspective on love and intimacy throughout the film; although is pushed by her suitors to choose. Ultimately, even as she tries both a relationship with one lover, she rejects the confinement of monogamy. The film was shot over 12 days in Brooklyn and is one of Spike Lee’s earliest feature films.
Selected by: Shanika Hillocks
Where to watch: Netflix
Directed by: Norman Jewison
Starring: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello
After accepting a proposal from her less than desirable boyfriend Loretta, an Italian widow (Cher), begins to fall for his younger brother Ronny (Cage). The brothers have a tenuous past and Ronny uses this as an excuse to get revenge. As the secret lovers continue to pursue a relationship, she discovers another undercover romance in the family.
Selected by: Fran Tirado
Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon
For their full interviews see our maudern people series.
She's All That, 1986