Maudern Movies, a weekly series that curates films for your viewing pleasure.
In the romantic comedy-canon, the defining moments and grand gestures often are displayed with music—John Cusack and the infamous boom box, Heath Ledger’s public performance of Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, even Meryl Streep’s reminiscence of her past loves in Mamma Mia. Music sets the mood and sometimes does a better job of expressing our feelings then spelling things out.
Baz Lurhman’s iconic portrayal of Moulin Rouge! starring Nicole Kidman and Ewen McGregor is set in the clubs of Paris. Across the Universe bring the Beatles legendary tunes to the big screen with an epic love story set in the time of the Vietnam War. Both Once and Been So Long are tales of finding romance set to modern song. And musical thriller The Lure centers around sisters in a band who fall for the same guy. Here are five films that showcase how tightly romance and music are intertwined.
Moulin Rouge!, 2001
Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Ewen McGregor, Nicole Kidman, Richard Roxburgh
In Paris in the late 1800s, burlesque performer Satine (Kidman) secretly falls for a young Englishman. The two begin to see each other under the nose of the club’s manager, who has promised Satine’s hand to a Duke to pay off his debts. Unbeknownst to either her lover or her future husband, she is slowly dying while continuing to perform nightly.
Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon
Bride and Prejudice, 2004
Directed by: Gurinder Chadha
Starring: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Martin Henderson, Daniel Gillies
With four daughters ready for marriage, an Indian father begins to explore the offers of the young gentleman eligible to wed his daughters. At a wedding, the eldest daughter Lalita (Bachchan) falls for an English man, going against her father’s conversations.
Where to watch: Vudu, Amazon
Across the Universe, 2007
Directed by: Julie Taymor
Starring: Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood, Joe Anderson
Based on the songs of the Beatles, Across the Universe, follow British student Jude (Sturgess) who moves to New York to find meaning in his life. There he meets Max (Anderson) and his sister Lucy (Wood). He quickly falls for Lucy as the US erupts in the Vietnam War.
Where to watch: Amazon, Hulu
Directed by: John Carney
Starring: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Hugh Walsh
This low-budget film turned Broadway Musical focuses on an aspiring Irish musician who spends his days as a vacuum repairman. One day he meets a young floral salesman who shares his dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter. As the two begin to play together, feelings develop.
Where to watch: Vudu, Amazon
Been So Long, 2018
Directed by: Tinge Krishnan
Starring: Michaela Coel, Arinze Kene
The musical film centers around Simone (Coel) a single mother who sole focus is her daughter. Her friend convinces her to let loose and take a night off. While out, she meets striking man who she begins to fall for, things get complicated when her daughter’s father returns from prison.
Where to watch: Netflix