OK, falling in love isn’t exactly a unique subject for a film. In fact, pretty much every movie has this subject at its heart! But there are certain films that are just about the process of meeting people – and the awkwardness of it all and that’s what we’re talking about here. So, movies about blind dates, dating services, meeting someone at someone else’s wedding, ending up with the best friend after meeting lots of other people, or falling for the wrong person … you know that kind of thing right?
So, without further ado, here are six films that you have to see first if you’re even thinking about meeting someone new:
Sleepless in Seattle
This 1993 romcom has become a real classic. You might say it’s the mother of all modern romcoms in some ways. Superbly acted in an understated way by Tom Hanks as the widower architect whose son goes on national radio saying his bereaved dad needs a new wife. This piques Meg Ryan’s interest and the rest, as they say, is history. This is heart-warming and occasionally hilarious stuff where the two main protagonists and the boy who made it all happen are united in the end and, presumably, lived happily ever after. It’s a must-see.
Not all such movies end quite so rosily. Some, instead, end in a way that was perhaps deserved by two people who should have known better; a successful and happily married Manhattan lawyer (in this case Michael Douglas) falling for a one-night stand with Glenn Close with bunny-boilingly fatal consequences for her.
What Douglas’s character thought was going to be a quick one-night stand while his wife and kids were out of town turns into something rather different. If ever a movie was going to deter you from straying out of a solid relationship for even a moment, this is it.
It’s fair to say that the way we go on blind dates has changed immeasurably since the eponymously named movie starring Bruce Willis and Kim Basinger hit the big screen in 1987. Dating with sites like Badoo has become a lot more sophisticated now, so the matches are a lot closer, thankfully. But, in the pre-Internet age, things were rather different. People turned up to blind dates knowing either nothing or next to nothing about the person they were meeting.
Such was the case with Bruce and Kim, famously, as the latter’s character begins to knock back the drinks, whilst her jealous ex turns up and starts stalking the pair. Chaos follows in a plot that gets ever more bizarre. Just be thankful that today’s online dating services are a little more organised!
You’ve Got Mail
A little more relaxed now; this movie sees the pairing of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan back together in the early days of the internet, 1998. This is still the best movie about online dating even in today’s social-media driven world, where the game has fundamentally changed. Set in New York from the early AOL days, Meg and Tom meet up in an over-30s online chat room. They don’t reveal their names to each other, but they start messaging and agree not to talk jobs, hobbies, interests, friends, or family.
Of course, there’s a twist. What each character didn’t realize is that Tom Hanks’ character’s new bookstore is killing the business at Meg Ryan’s character’s local bookstore
Nevertheless, they develop a real rapport online and arrange to meet as they realize they’re falling for one another. And when they do meet, it’s all great and they go off to live happily ever after again; aaah!
OK, staying with online romance but bringing things more up to date and being a whole lot more cynical, the 2006 movie “LOL” is a whole other ballgame. Don’t confuse this with the Miley Cyrus movie of the same name by the way. “LOL” 2006 is an indie production starring Greta Gerwig. The movie tells the story of three college graduates Chris, Tim, and Alex, and looks at the dysfunctional relationships they have with the online world and technology in general.
Chris carries out all relationships through his cell-phone (and, remember, this is before the advent of the smartphone – so proved to be quite prescient from the director and co-writer Joe Swanberg). Tim, meanwhile, is glued to his laptop, which demands his attention even while he’s making out with his stunningly beautiful girlfriend – whilst Alex is utterly obsessed with chat rooms. This has dire consequences for a potential relationship.
LOL is remarkable for its foresight but is a bit gloomy. Nevertheless, it reminds us of the folly of too much tech and is a must-see for that reason alone.
Must Love Dogs
Keeping things a little more heart-warming and generally lighter now; if you haven’t seen this movie from 2005, then you really are missing out.
“Must Love Dogs” looks at online dating and what it’s like in this brave new world for divorcees. The film features John Cusack as Jake Anderson and Diane Keaton as Sarah Nolan, both of whom have recently become divorced.
Sarah’s sister is dead keen for her to meet someone new so she creates an online dating profile for her without telling Sarah, telling one or two white lies along the way. She also uses her high school graduation photograph to illustrate the wares despite the fact that Sarah is now 40. She also tells potential suitors that they “must love dogs”. All this leads to some disastrous first dates including one with her own dad!
Meanwhile, Jake’s pal shows him Sarah’s profile, then tells him he’s set him up for a date the next day at the local dog park. Neither character actually has a dog, so each borrows from friends or family. Of course, you’ve guessed it – it goes well despite a few hiccups and they go off together for another happily ever after ending. Well, you didn’t think we wouldn’t end on a high, did you?