The 13 Best Debut Romance Movies of All Time

by admin
The 13 Best Debut Romance Movies of All Time

Romance films are the epitome of sweet escapism and emotional release. It is truly beautiful to be able to find true, lasting love. Films have always portrayed this feeling and state as both a cathartic experience full of raw emotions from absolute happiness to heartbreak. This genre touches the sweet spot for many people because it plays on a fundamental need in human nature. Thus, seeing two people fall in love on screen with all the cinematic elements that movies use to tug at your heart makes romance films an attractive medium to get lost in.



Over the years, countless romance films have used similar formulas to induce a specific feeling in the viewer. They work because they give the viewer their absolute fantasy and deepest desire whether it be happy endings, extreme romanticism, charming characters, drama, or a sense of adventure. This list of romance directorial debuts has a bit of everything. They portray love in a very romantic way but keep a touch of realism throughout. You can happily indulge them!

13 Before We Go (2014)

Wonderland Sound and Vision

Before We Go is Chris Evans’ delicate and touching directorial romantic debut. Set in New York City, two strangers spend the night slowly learning about each other, forming a very special bond. There is something very seductive about knowing that a moment is fleeting, making most people let their guards down, with the potential of being pleasantly surprised. Before We Go plays on the idea that this moment is finite, and it frames a setting where two individuals can be vulnerable and not be afraid of it.

Each with their own notions of love and their own love lives, they give each other hope that even though you might be fixated on someone being the only one for you, there is always a chance of meeting someone else who might change that idea. Chris Evans and Alice Eve give a heartfelt performance that reflects the feelings of anyone who has been broken-hearted, or not chosen, but who chooses not to give up and turn bitter. Before We Go will pull at your heartstrings as you delve into two human beings’ inner worlds and that our love lives are all about choices that depend on our main narrative. On top of that, the ending will definitely tease you and leave you craving more.

Related: 20 Timeless Romance Movies That Never Get Old

12 A Star Is Born (2018)

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born
Warner Bros. Pictures

Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born was a major success. It has touched the hearts of many for its authenticity in showing the damage two in love people can have on each other as they deal with their own poisonous demons. Starring Bradley Cooper (Jack) a musician and Lady Gaga (Ally), a struggling artist, the two fall deeply in love and become each other’s inspiration. Jack, who is completely enamored with Ally’s talent, goes above and beyond to put her in the spotlight, however as she starts shining, darker sides of the relationship start surfacing and their relationship hits shaky grounds. A Star is Born shows a relationship aggravated by personal differences, which are only exacerbated by Jack’s alcohol and drug addiction.

A Star is Born intricately displays how love can be tainted by tragedy. It also depicts the shift from being an ordinary person to becoming a superstar in a gripping way as we delve into a world of creative artistic choices, which is often full of pressure and doubt. Lady Gaga not only shows an incredible vocal range, but she always showcases an impressive acting range where she steals the screen with her presence. Her role in the film earned her an Oscar. Bradley Cooper was scared to direct the fourth remake of A Star is Born, but he just went in with passion because it moved him and the result is beautiful, something to take note of.

11 Love Actually (2003)

love Actually Sam
Universal Pictures

The beloved Christmas movie is the kind you can watch on a Sunday evening when you want to watch something feel-good with a great ensemble cast. Written and directed by Richard Curtis, the film follows the lives of eight different couples one month before Christmas in London. He brilliantly gives each couple space on the screen and interlaces their storylines together in an impressive way.

Each couple has their own set of challenges, yet you are always entertained through the lighthearted approach that keeps you lifted. The storylines are well-developed and will make you satisfied, for each is carefully considered for a balanced ending. The topic of love is greatly explored through different ages, different nationalities, and different approaches to it. Love Actuallyis a classic you can watch over and over and never get tired of.

10 500 Days of Summer (2009)

500 Days of Summer
Fox Searchlight Pictures

The famous 500 Days of Summer is one of the most accurate portrayals of love that is realistic. It does not adopt the happy ending formula. Instead, it strives to show that falling in love and entering a relationship does not guarantee forever. Zooey Deschanel as Summer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom give an extremely charming performance of taking a chance on love. It explores themes such as the concept of soul mates, compatibility, and mental constructs of perfection that are far from reality.

It is the mature movie to watch on love if you ever need to be reminded why almosts, failed relationships, and unrequited love and projection are not necessarily the end of the world, but rather an invitation for growth, introspection, and perhaps a chance for something better and more suitable in the future. It was directed by Marc Webb, who wanted to show an honest portrayal of love alongside the writer rather than a glorified version. Given that it was a risky take among all the romantic films, 500 Days Summer truly stands out for its authenticity and depth.

9 Definitely, Maybe (2008)

Definitely, Maybe

Universal Pictures

Definitely, Maybe is a wholesome film with an exciting cast. The main roles are played by Ryan Reynolds, Rachel Weisz, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, and Abigail Breslin. The warm film tells the story of Will Hayes, a political consultant who has had a messy love life that ended up with a divorce. However, when his little girl asks him to tell him how he met her mother and why they are being divorced, she helps him connect the dots he wasn’t always aware of, and they realize something along the way. Told in flashbacks, Definitely, Maybe will give you insight on why every relationship is distinct and how each has its own set of challenges.

Through their analysis of love and different relationship dynamics, the film beautifully portrays how love is not always what you think it is, nor does it always look the way it’s supposed to. Sometimes it takes a long way to get to it through trial and error, but the most important thing is to ultimately show up. Entertaining, sweet, nostalgic, and clever, Definitely Maybe breaks the mold. It was written and directed by Adam Brooks, who wanted to bring something funny and fresh and realistic to the genre with a bit of political backdrop.

Related: 12 Most Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch Next

8 Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Daniel (Hugh Grant) flirting with Bridget (Renée Zellweger) at work
Universal Pictures (International)

In Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget, a 32-year-old woman living in London, is going through an existential crisis as she struggles with her love life. She begins to write extensively in her diary about how she wants to change her life. When she ends up sleeping with her boss, her life begins to spice up, and now she must make certain choices. Can she find her place in the world and the partner she dreams of? Based on the 1996 best-selling novel by Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a witty and entertaining, and charming film with a lovely protagonist played by Renée Zellweger. You can’t help but cheer for her as she figures her life out.

This one is one that many women will relate to. The first-time director felt the story had a lot of authenticity, and that she had a lot of pressure to get it right because she was supposed to bring out one of the most beloved novel characters on screen the right way. It was close to her own narrative of once being a 30-year-old who was having a blast but who deep down wanted to be in love but wasn’t.

7 Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

Dil Chahta Hai
Excel Entertainment

The heartwarming film Dil Chahta Hai takes the romance genre to a whole new level as it explores friendship, love, and personal growth. The coming-of-age Indian film chronicles the life of three friends whose friendship gets hit when one of them deeply falls in love with an older woman. Simply a story about life and how it changes and tests even the closest ones, Dil Chahta Hai is a certified wholesome movie that intimately explores its characters and their different love stories, and their reactions to each other.

Can the friends mend what was broken, and can they ever reach a middle ground? The highly relatable film deals with subjects such as addiction, anger, carelessness, traditions, and pressure. Farhan Akhtar directed this film and co-wrote it in an attempt to show a human story that was very close to him. It hits home for the viewer and hits the sweet spot between being highly entertaining and also full of depth. Despite their closeness, life tests them, and rekindling what’s broken becomes difficult. They end up taking different paths but when years pass

6 Hiroshima, mon Amour (1959)

Emmanuelle Riva and Eiji Okada in Hiroshima Mon Amour
Argos Films

Hiroshima Mon Amour is an iconic film by Alain Resnais about love in times of war. Set in Hiroshima, a French actress is filming a film that’s anti-war. In parallel, she meets a Japanese architect, and a deep friendship is birthed by their deep conversation about the war, their stories, and their differing perspectives. The film was one of the pioneers in showing incidents in flashbacks, which is now one main method used in story-telling.

The two shared such beautiful intimacy as they peel layers of their pain from each other. A story about memories and how they haunt us moving forward, Hiroshima is poetic yet devastating.

5 Keith (2008)

Keith Jesse McCartney and Elisabeth Harnois

Keith is one intense, certified tear-jerker romance that will hit you. Starring Jesse McCartney and Elisabeth Harnois, the two end up being entangled in a world of mystery, secrets, and discomfort where they can resist each other. One of a kind, the teen drama and romance in Keith is powered by its ability to take you on a spectrum of raw emotions that will haunt you. Keith works well because of quirky characters who truly stand out and who have outstanding chemistry.

It’s highly controversial as the romanticism in it can be found to be disturbing, but it is definitely an experience. It was directed by Tod Kessler, who wanted to capture the essence of heightened young love with all its potential dramatic sides.

4 Caramel (2007)

Nadine Labaki in Caramel
Rotana Studios

Nadine’s Labaki first motion picture Caramel zooms in on the lives of five Lebanese women, from their love lives, their fears, and their jobs to their friendships in the city of Beirut. Set in a beauty salon for the most part, where chatter, goofiness, and sadness all happen at the same place, the film brings out the deepest, most honest portrayals of women in film. They all want one thing, to love and be loved and ultimately be fulfilled.

Caramel is interesting as it shines a light on Middle East protagonists, making it fresh and captivating. Nadine Labaki stars as one of the 5 women, and she gives a mesmerizing performance as Layal, one of the salon owners. Its beauty is in its simplicity and lightheartedness despite depicting sad realities. These women want to feel alive, but life doesn’t make it so simple.

3 The Wedding Planner (2001)

Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner.
Sony Pictures

Starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, The Wedding Planner is a classic feel-good romantic comedy. Mary Fiore is a skilled wedding planner who makes sure her bride and groom have the most memorable wedding. When she lands the biggest wedding of her career, she ends up falling for the groom, and now her heart is on one hand and her career is on the other.

The two actors have great onscreen chemistry. The formula for this one is your perfect typical romantic comedy; romantic settings, likable protagonists, the rush of the moment, and a dilemma of feelings. It was directed by Adam Shankman, who actually went through a major problem before filming, as Brendan Fraiser was supposed to be cast instead of Matthew McConaughey. However, he left the project to appear in Bedazzled, which was another box-office hit. Even though there was a last-minute switch of protagonists, the cast duo did really well in bringing this rom-com to life.

2 Say Anything (1989)

20th Century Studios

Say Anything is a tale of first love that is challenged by a father’s disapproval. Written and directed by Cameron Crow, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) fancies straight-A student and beauty Diane Court (Ionse Sky). He wants to give them a chance. To everyone’s surprise, the unattainable Diane ends up reciprocating the sentiment. However, her over-protective father makes it difficult for them and on top of that, Diana is offered a Scholarship in England.

It encapsulated the feelings of first love all too well and how impactful the whole experience can be. Part of why the love story seems so believable is the natural performance between the actors. A lot of times, family figures can be one of the reasons why tension can be born into a relationship, which is why Say Anything is very relevant to many. It’s honest, romantic, and insightful.

Related: 10 Movies With Iconic Breakup Scenes That Left Us in Pieces

1 ’96 (2018)

Trisha Krishnan 96 film
Seven Screen Studio

’96 is a nostalgic trip full of emotions. The Tamil film was directed and co-written by Prem Kumar. Two high school students who were deeply in love meet 22 years later and go on a trip down the memory lane. When a travel photographer goes to a school reunion where his high school sweetheart shows up, they go over what went wrong. Can time heal what was once broken, and can they get another chance?

The film slowly plants its seeds and gives a beautiful premise that will make you feel like you are living their love story rather than feeling like you are watching it. All with our own past, our own love stories that may have not worked out, ’96 will remind you it wasn’t all in vain. The feeling was once a beautiful thing, and sometimes that’s all that matters, even if two people don’t end up building their life story together. ’96 is a story about love and the love we carry, and the memories we hold.

Source Link

You may also like