Romance is an essential part of life. Even the most cynical among us attempt to woo someone they admire. It doesn't always work, but one can never blame someone for trying, as long as the gesture isn't some form of harassment or in bad taste. Given that it is such a big part of life, one can be sure that romance makes up for a good chunk of cinema, from films centering solely around a developing relationship to love interest side plots in other genres.
When done right, it can be sweet and sentimental. When done wrong, it feels forced, uncomfortable, and gets in the way of the rest of the movie. However, a certain audience will bemoan a romance regardless of how it is tackled. It's hard to blame someone for hating romance so much. Maybe someone recently hurt them, they don't believe in love, or they have a huge crush on one of the actors and are filled with jealousy that somebody else is hugging and smooching on them. Whatever the reason, romance in film can really hinder an otherwise solid viewing experience.
But there must be some movies where the romance is acceptable for these scrooges, and perhaps even delightful. To test this theory, this list will present 10 romantic movies for people who absolutely abhor the idea. Some of them are straight-up romantic comedies, while others are different genres that lean heavy into the romance.
From the director of Alien Resurrection comes Amelie. This film will have the audience's chests bursting, not from hosting alien babies, but from how sweetly the love blossoms between the two main characters. The titular character doesn't fall into the awkward manic pixie dream girl trope.
Instead, Audrey Tautou's character is so shy and uncomfortable that it's debilitating. The unique thing about the two lovebirds is how they never exchange a word throughout the whole thing. It also helps that the film is brimming with comedy, colorful characters, and a unique visual style.
9 On Her Majesty's Secret Service
One wouldn't exactly call what Bond does in the movies "romance," but On Her Majesty's Secret Service is one of the few films where the secret agent develops a real emotional bond with a woman. It also helps that it is one of the best action films of the 1960s.
If anyone is bored of the sappy moments, they just have to wait a little while before people are getting shot, blown up, or thrown into a grinder. Casino Royale deserves a special mention for also featuring a genuine relationship between the main character and a woman.
8 Groundhog Day
Maybe love at first sight is real, but what about making somebody fall for you in a day? If that one day repeats over the course of thousands of years, maybe it is a possibility. This is what happens in Groundhog Day, where the main character slowly turns from a selfish, unenthusiastic reporter to a multi-skilled charitable man who appreciates life and those around him. Bill Murray also brings all his comedic charm to the table.
7 The 40-Year-Old Virgin
This raunchy comedy stars Steve Carell as his friends try to help him spend the night with a woman for the first time. All their efforts end with hilarious, disastrous results.
He eventually meets a woman who falls for him but doesn't know his secret. For those who completely hate romance, plenty of jokes will thoroughly entertain anyone through the two-hour run time.
6 Shaun Of The Dead
Edgar Wright's early output deals with resistance to growing up. Does becoming an adult mean leaving all of your youthful activities behind and changing who you are? Throughout the course of a zombie apocalypse, the titular Shaun deals with this dilemma.
RELATED: 10 Best Zombie Movies Of All Time
His relationship with Liz is just one aspect of his complicated feelings. And if all of that stuff is boring, one can always focus on the gore and jokes.
5 Knocked Up
After a regrettable one night stand, a woman finds out she is pregnant. The unlikely pair try to forge a relationship with one another because of the situation. They first cannot stand each other, but eventually form a loving bond. It is a sappy story on paper, but the film is chock full of raunchy jokes.
4 Harold And Maude
In Harold and Maude, a death-obsessed young man—who could be the 1970s equivalent of Aubrey Plaza— befriends an old woman who teaches him the joys of life. The whole movie is every bit as unconventional as its premise, making it a perfect fit for those who decry the normal portrayal of romance on the screen.
3 Chasing Amy
Kevin Smith came off of two ridiculous comedies with this more somber tale about a relationship between a man and a bisexual woman that hits a rough patch when the man finds about previous encounters she had with men. The idea of someone irrationally judging people based on their past escapades gives this romantic comedy more weight than its peers.
2 The Big Sick
Kumail Nanjiani is a wickedly funny stand up comedian. When he finally got the chance to write and star in a film, his talents translated flawlessly to the big screen. It helps that the story he penned with his wife is a true tale about their relationship. Emily V. Gordon really did end up in a coma for several months before they tied the knot.
1 City Lights
Some people don't need sound to make the audience cry. Charlie Chaplin's City Lights is obnoxiously funny, but can make even the most cynical people tear up from its emotional beats. The tramp tries his best to raise money for a blind girl with whom he has fallen in love.
His numerous schemes and failures result in hilarity, but the real heart is behind the whole thing. Chaplin was an absolute perfectionist, and the effort paid off in this film that is fondly remembered almost 90 years after its initial release.