Love is in the Air
Romance films have become an ever-growing industry, and some of its best films have come from the 2010 decade. They make people laugh, make people cry and certainly make a big impact at the box office. In lifetime grossings, the number four box office spot belongs to a romance movie as much as sometimes the genre is taken for granted.
Romance movies have extreme depths to them that are not always recognized. Not all romance movies have happy endings, and not all romance movies are predictable. The 2010 decade has some of the most significant romance movies of its time. If you haven’t watched some of these movies more than once, you are truly missing out.
As one of the best childhood love stories, this book-to-screen adaptation follows the unrequited love trope. As Bryce tries to avoid Juli, she only sees the remarkable things about Bryce. As told over six years, Juli begins to feel as though she isn’t truly in love with Bryce, which is when he begins to fall for her.
First, crushes and first loves are pivotal moments in our young lives. It tells a lot about a person. If Bryce looked beyond the surface sooner, maybe he would have found good qualities in Juli earlier. Conveniently, when Juli stops liking and chasing after him, he starts having feelings for her, highlighting the belief that people want what they can’t have. Through their feelings and lack of feelings for each other, the two further grow as individuals in this coming-of-age story.
2011: No Strings Attached
A friends-to-lovers story for the ages, this movie follows two friends who agree not to have any emotional aspects of a relationship, just the physical. Grossing over $149 million at the box office, Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman prove the lifelong theory that it’s very difficult just to be friends with benefits. Emma continues to suppress her feelings for her lifelong friend Adam, who has the opposite reaction. All he does is feel. The more he expresses his feelings, the more walls Emma puts up, highlighting the fear of commitment some feel before entering a relationship. Emma is pursuing a medical career and sees a relationship as a liability. She finds it impossible to be vulnerable so she can keep her relationship physical. However, deep down, everyone wants to be loved.
2012: The First Time
Another coming-of-age story, The First Time, follows two teenagers who meet at a party and feel a spark. Fan favorite Dylan O’Brien plays Dave, who has a crush on Jane, who has friend-zoned him. Dave confides in Aubrey. The two find a safe space within each other, making them question their current relationships. As the two develop feelings, they realize they want their first time to be with someone they trust and truly like, which is not the person they expected it to be.
2013: Warm Bodies
Romance movies don’t have to be all lovey-dovey, as proven in this horror romance that topped the box office in 2013. R is different from the other zombies during this plague, as proven when he rescues human Julie from a fellow zombie. The two develop an unlikely bond and trusting relationship. R’s journey to develop more human-like qualities greatly affects their diseased world. Moreover, the zombie plague can be seen as a metaphor for depression, as R seems to feel trapped in his own life. He can’t even communicate with other zombies he’s supposed to be most similar to, highlighting his loneliness and isolation from others. As the two are from completely different worlds, it seems they can’t be together, but the two challenge this in a fight for love.
2014: The Fault in Our Stars
A book-to-movie adaptation tells the story of Hazel Grace, who suffers from cancer. Cancer has kept Hazel from experiencing a lot of things, one being love. Despite Hazel’s avoidance at first, Augustus pushes their romance because of his connection with her. Hazel and Augustus bond over a discussion about death and “the end,” which they feel will come earlier for them than the average person. Death has been and always will be a constant reality for them, which makes it hard to care about people in the fear that it will never be permanent. The two journey to meet Hazel’s favorite author to discover the true ending of the book they both read, but their ending was one few saw coming. Suffering is a major theme in the movie and seems to be a requirement in the lives of these two cancer-ridden teens. The sadness felt in the fear of losing one another truly emphasizes how much they care about each other. Augustus feels his life will be meaningless once he is no longer physically in the world, whereas Hazel fears what her death will do to the people around her. The two develop a new understanding of life and death by sharing perspectives and living alongside each other.
2015: Fifty Shades of Grey
Grossing over half a billion dollars at the box office, another book-to-movie adaptation, Anastasia begins a relationship with the mysterious Christian Grey after subbing in an interview for her roommate. Though the movie is overshadowed by sexual experiences, the movie analyzes the abuse between submissive and dominant. Before Christian was dominant, he was submissive to his mother’s friend as a young teenager, which was child abuse. A major aspect of the movie is Christian’s scars, which he doesn’t let anyone touch, partly because it reminds him of the pain he used to feel. This trauma greatly affects Christian, his upbringing, and his present lifestyle. Christian tries to change for Ana, the first woman in his long line of submissives that he seems to want to be different for. Furthermore, the movie dives into the theme of control. Part of the submissive/dominant relationship is having complete control over another individual. Control is not a healthy aspect of a relationship, but these two still have a deep love for each other, which is especially shown as the movie continues in sequels.
2016: Me Before You
Grossing over 56 million dollars in the box office, a girl falls for the recently paralyzed man that she is caring for. In this grumpy/sunshine romance, Will has a cynical outlook on life, especially after his accident two years ago. However, through developing his soft spot for Lou, he begins to see the joys of life again. They both have a huge impact on their lives and depths of love. The romance he finds with Lou is a last chance at happiness, but is it enough for Will to see a meaning in life?
2017: Everything, Everything
In this coming-of-age story, Maddy has been confined to her home but is finally set free. Beyond being a tall, dark, mysterious man, Olly takes Maddy out of her comfort zone. He allows her to find the difference between being alive and truly living, which was taken away from her for so many years. Olly plays a crucial role in Maddy’s self-discovery as she ventures beyond her purified walls. Moreover, he helps her discover the feelings behind romantic relationships.
2018: Call Me By Your Name
Based on the 2007 novel Call Me By Your Name follows the forbidden romance of a seventeen-year-old boy and a grad student who comes to stay with their family to do research over the summer. The two have a bit of an enemies-to-lovers story in 1983 Northern Italy as they explore their identities at the summer home.
This movie was very popular for being an LGBTQ+ movie at the time. Though it doesn’t have a happy ending, the tears that come with the closing scene are an unforgettable moment. Unfortunately, a sequel is no longer in the works due to Armie Hammer’s abuse allegations. However, it really dives into the emotional heartbreak and roller coaster that was experienced and still experienced by those in the LGBTQ+ community for fear of not being accepted by the people they choose to love.
The Wattpad sensation that is still making sequels in 2023, After, follows loyal and school-focused Tessa, whose world is turned upside down with one look at the bad boy, Harden. As much as people like to say negative things about this movie, it has some important themes and aspects. As much as Tessa started out as a bet to Harden, he found the true meaning of love, and it really changed him. He definitely still had other aspects of himself to work on, but he learned that he is able to let someone in, truly care about them, and have a meaningful relationship.
Beyond the romantic aspect of things, Tessa breaks away from her mother, getting her first taste of freedom. After being in such a controlling household and having to live up to perfect expectations, Hardin is the definition of freedom, even though she tries so hard to avoid him. Tessa went through the hardest betrayal of her life because this is also the truest love she has ever felt. Tessa doesn’t just give up her finances for a boy like her mother says; she risks everything for love, the type of love people spend their entire lives searching for.
After (2019) Official Voltage Pictures Trailer
Sammie is an undergraduate student at Arcadia University where she is majoring in English and creative writing and minoring in media and communications. Sammie enjoys writing about her favorite movies and tv shows and hopes to have a career in the media industry.