The main allegation about the teen romance genre is that it is clichéd, boring, and predictable. Then again, the same could be said of many good or bad stories from different genres. Just because a piece of fiction follows the conventions of its category, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s tired or trite; it could surprise viewers with the way it subverts expectations or showcase an otherwise humdrum story in a way that makes it fresh and new. The best teen romance movie offerings around you can find are those that are able to challenge your notions and make you think. These movies can also tug at your heartstrings in more ways than one, making them stand out from the deluge of teen romantic comedies that come out annually. People can never get enough of these stories, which is why in order to make a film stand out from the rest, it should be able to do something unique and identifiable.
The Teen Romantic Film Must-Sees You Must See
Harold and Maude:
1971’s Harold and Maude was able to break the teen romance mold and have itself stand out in a way that puts it above and beyond your typical romance fare by involving the hippy era of filmmaking. It’s a film about a batty old woman, Maude, living with a typical teenage boy, Harold, that isn’t some subtle dramatic tragedy like the graduate. It instead showcases Maude’s philosophy in life and the flipside of having dreams of revolution as opposed to actually living in reality. This May-December romance might seem more platonic than others in this list, but the love shared by this couple is as genuine as those seen in less motherly couplings.
Long story short, Harold and Maude is a charming film showcasing how to survive in a world of emptiness, hierarchy, and conformism. It’s a timeless message. Indeed, new romance movies could learn a thing or two about storytelling by showcasing love that’s not necessarily romance (in many ways, buddy cop films are like romantic films without the romance in that two characters with opposing viewpoints learn to compromise and become buddy-buddy with each other) that’s more profound than infatuation, such that age shall not wither their spirit.
As far as christmas romance movies are concerned, it’s hard to top Edward Scissorhands starring Johnny Depp. It’s a star-defining role for Depp that eventually led to him becoming a bankable, billion-dollar movie star. This is also one of Tim Burton’s magnum opuses that put him on the map. Not necessarily a romance story as it is a coming of age story mixed with “Frankenstein,” 1990’s Edward Scissorhands is about a gothic fairy tale character created by a scientist with scissors for hands (ostensibly).
The humane but inhuman Edward has a little romance of his own with Winona Ryder’s character, Kim. The most iconic scene of the movie was when Edward makes ice sculptures in California in the middle of summer while Kim dances in the resulting snow. It showcases how a character is unable to be with others he’d want to get close to, like a hedgehog trying to hug another hedgehog at the risk of hurting each other. Even amidst isolation and despair, a good, well-meaning, and pure heart can shine through the most unappealing of appearances and circumstances.
West Side Story:
Who could forget West Side Story from 1961? Starring Richard Beymer, Natalie Wood, and Russ Tamblyn, this movie exemplifies romance more than the rest of the entries, making it a true gem of the genre. It’s a film that shows there’s a place for anyone somewhere. This is one of the best romantic movies to watch if only for the part of Maria (played by wood) singing “I Feel Pretty” in anticipation with her date with Tony (played by Beymer) in a scene so iconic, whole parodies and references to it have outlived the popularity of the film itself. It’s an operatic masterpiece that needs to be seen and heard to be believed.
Finger-poppin’ daddies and real hip chicks consider it their Romeo and Juliet the same way Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet defined romance for Generation X (along with highest-grossing mega film Titanic, with both starring Leonardo Di Caprio as the lead). This musical features campiness that would make Adam West’s Batman feel right at home, sure, but it also hits some key emotional notes that keeps it from being a dated film. After all, his classic contains “Somewhere”, which is the ultimate romantic ballad for dreaming and trapped lovers not sung by Celine Dion. It’s both self-mocking and earnest enough to be remembered by generations to come.
Any more suggestions on the best movies? Feel free to leave a comment on what movie made a mark not only on your thoughts but also on your heart.