“I love how love loves. I know of no other reason to love but to love. What can I say, besides that I love you, if what I want to tell you is that I love you?”
We grow up with the belief that all love stories have a happy ending, but this rarely happens in the real world, because human relationships are complex. Once it’s over, in your heart you know there’ll never be someone like them again. Time heals, and eventually destiny will show us that it was never meant to be. Life requires us to experience emotions and feelings that will make us stronger in the long run. Sometimes they’ll be more extreme than others, but they’ll be just as important.
They say that once you find your soulmate, there’s only peace, tranquility, and calm. But we crave drama, intensity, and would rather be in a complicated tangle of a relationship than a balanced one. These wild rides never end well. When our hearts get broken, we think it’s the end. We start to believe there is not such thing as love and, if there is, we’ll never feel anything like that again. But as humans, we’re always capable of loving. Better yet, we can learn from our mistakes and start again. But this time we need to see love as it really is, instead of idealizing and turning it into a fairytale.
Here are three films that show there are no dashing princes and damsels in distress. There might not be perfect happy endings, but there is true, unbearable, and beautiful love.
The Dreamers (2003) — Bernardo Bertolucci
The Italian director tells the story of a bizarre love triangle that occurs when Matthew (Michael Pitt), an American student in France, meets Isabelle (Eva Green) and Theo (Louis Garrel), a pair of twins. Brought together by their love of cinema, the siblings invite Matthew to their home. Set in 1968, this movie explores the strange fraternal bonds in a world where social and moral norms are left aside. This leaves our protagonists in a free environment where no heart will be left intact.
Candy (2006) — Neil Armfield
This Australian film, based on Luke Davies’ novel, tells the story of Dan (Heath Ledger) and Candy (Abbie Cornish), who love heroin as much they love each other. Seen through the eyes of an addict, the story unravels in three acts: heaven, earth, and hell. It guides us through the labyrinth of a relationship where drugs have become the priority. Feelings are overshadowed by addiction, as both fall into the deepest pits of self-destruction. A film that assures us that love doesn’t always survive, no matter how strong it is.
Twice Born (2012) — Sergio Castellitto
This tale of love during wartime stars Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch as Gemma and Diego, two young adults who meet and fall in love in Bosnia. Alternating through different moments in time, the film shows two scenarios: before and after the war. The leads abandon their free bohemian spirits as they witness the horrors of war. We see their highs and lows as well the hardships they face to become parents. There are possible betrayals and ghosts of the past. The couple’s greatest act of love will not be what you’re expecting.
There’s no doubt that these films will broaden your horizons. They prove love is more than just infatuation. They break clichés because, while love remains at the center, the usual endings are not included.
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