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Romance Over the Years: The best of romance on screen & what you should be watching

By: Natasha Santana

If you need some recommendations, or you just want to add some good watches to your Netflix list, this article is for you!

I am an avid television and film watcher, there is never a day where I am not watching something. I have collected all of my favorites when it comes to the romance genre and narrowed it down to 5. These top 5 films and TV shows range from rom-coms to passionate love stories and carry a lot of weight within the media industry.

#1 A Heart-Clencher:

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TW: Mentions of death

Where do I begin? Pushing Daisies is a staple in the romance genre. Pushing Daisies takes place in a Roald Dahl-esque universe where a not-so-ordinary man, Ned the pie maker, uses his ability of bringing back the dead to solve mysterious deaths. During Ned's many encounters with the dead, he stumbles upon a death that takes him back to when he first discovered his curse of a gift: his childhood sweetheart. Within the two seasons your heart will clench whenever you see how loving the two main characters are. Pushing Daisies dates back to 2007 and paved a way for quirky romances and the sweet guy trope. The relationship built between Ned and his childhood sweetheart is the definition of “if they wanted to, they would.” Every time I tell friends or family to watch this series, they gush over the utter wholesomeness of the show. If you pay close attention, you will recognize two characters that actually inspired the downstairs neighbors of Coraline in the 2009 adaptation of the novella by Neil Gaiman. If you are a lover of crime and cuteness, you will love this series.

#2 A Work of Art:

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The Shape of Water is not your typical love story. This Guillermo del Toro film received 60

nominations and won 21 awards in 2018, including winning Best Picture

and Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Feature Film. This story follows an awkward woman who is a cleaning lady at a confidential facility where scientists work. This woman, played by Sally Hawkins, discovers the top-secret work that the scientists have been experimenting on. Sally’s character gains empathy and love for an amphibian being and finds a place in her heart to view this creature outside of being just a monster. You get to experience this abnormal romance trope while gaining your own perspective of love outside the normal boundaries of romantic film. This film is a divine experience that teaches the viewers a valuable lesson of loving with acceptance and passion.

#3 Something Refreshing:

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Mr. Church is a film everyone needs to watch, and cry over! This film does not depict a romantic love, but a blossoming nurture between a hired cook and the little girl he is cooking for. This unique friendship between Henry Church and Charlotte is so refreshing within the film industry because it still hurts in the way a romance film would. While you watch the growth of little Charlotte, and the relationship between Charlotte and Henry, you get a sense of longing that sticks with you long after the movie is over. It is especially refreshing to see Eddie Murphy step away from his usual comedic role, and into the role of Henry Church, who takes care of Charlotte at such a pivotal point of her life. Everyone needs to watch this, and cry the way I cried too!

#4 Heartache:

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TW: Mentions of death and suicide

Words can not explain the pain I felt when I clicked exit after finishing this movie. If you want to genuinely cry, this movie will do it for you. All The Bright Places follows the story of Violet Markey, who is grappling with her sister’s death and struggling to pick herself up, until a school project sparked the interest of Theodore Finch who helps Violet through the journey of overcoming grief. Within the lines of grief, we get a glimpse into the mind of Finch and his struggle with mental illness. This story lets you, an outsider, look into the mind of someone who is struggling to keep up with their own issues while they put someone before themselves. You will be left feeling very upset, so bear that in mind and keep your heart open to how this movie really targets the on-going conversation of dating someone with a mental health issue.

#5 No para los débiles de corazón

(Not for the weak hearted):

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This is a Latin movie starring Eugenio Derbez, who also directed the movie and created this hilarious, but mostly endearing, movie about a solo bachelor whose party of a life comes to an abrupt stop when an ex-lover leaves a child at his door. In this story, you get to relate to a father who is a man-child raising his child daughter. As light-hearted and unforgiving as the characters are, it’s also a tear-jerker. You sit back and start to appreciate the things that were given to you, and that this life that is just too short for some people. The humorous tone of this movie will make you hold your chest as you develop this love for Eugenio Derbez’s character and his bond with his daughter.

P.S. Gather the tissues, and get some makeup wipes because you will be in for a ride!

Written by writer Natasha Santana

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