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Intimate indies.

intimate indies.

Maudern Movies, a weekly series that curates films for your viewing pleasure.

The aughts provided the setting for a particular type of unrequited, offbeat love. The formula? Drop in a manic pixie dream girl—who was years early for her perfect medium, Instagram—and her prey—a sheepish, 20-something sap with far too many vintage sweaters. Add the sounds of The Shins and Iron & Wine, drag out their union until the end of the movie, and let the audience feel the angst, a contrast to the low slung jeans and bubble gum pop of the era.

So to revisit your youth (or be reminded that all things are derivative), here are five movies that encapsulate the best of this melancholy moment and have equally moody soundtracks to match.

High Fidelity, 2000
Directed by: Stephen Frears
Starring: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso

Recently-dumped Rob (Cusack) owns a failing record store in Chicago. Too stubborn to let go of the "old-fashioned way" of selling music, he finds himself feeling hopeless. After re-examining his life choices, Rob sets out to win back his girlfriend Laura (Hjejle), starting a record label in the process.

Where to watch: Vudu, Amazon 

Garden State, 2004
Directed by: Zach Braff
Starring: Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman

Andrew Largeman (Braff) has a complicated past. When he returns home for this mother's funeral after years of being away, he's forced to reckon with the ghosts of his past. While home, Largeman meets Sam (Portman), an amateur musician with a knack for compulsive lying. The two share a strong connection and together conquer old wounds while cultivating new friendships.

Where to watch: Hulu, Vudu, Amazon

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004

Directed by: Michel Gondry
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo

In an effort to forget her past relationship, Clementine (Winslet) has her memory erased. Upon hearing this news, her ex Joel (Carrey) follows suit. The visually stimulating picture follows the pair as they slip out of each other's minds.

Where to watch: Hulu, Vudu, Amazon

Lars and the Real Girl, 2007

Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson

After many years of being along, introvert Lars (Gosling) has finally found a lady-friend. However, to his family's surprise, Lars' lover is a plastic doll. His therapist urges them to go along with the charade of his bizarre relationship.

Where to watch: Vudu, Amazon

500 Days of Summer, 2009

Directed by: Mark Webb
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel

The film follows Tom (Gordon-Levitt) as he retraces the last 500 days with his now ex-girlfriend Summer (Deschanel). In his flashbacks, he sees the flaws in a relationship and person he once put on a pedestal. 

Where to watch: Hulu, Vudu, Amazon