6 Eclectic Movie Romances + A Look at Notable Film Chemistries

#6: Sound of the Sea (2001)

When love is intoxicating it can be a beautiful thing to witness and it can also be destructive. This mystifying look at an all-consuming love affair and the fine line between devotion and obsession is powerfully displayed in this Spanish drama.

As a window into the romance of two tortured souls lost in their passion for one another. Led by the exhilarating performances of Leonor Watling and Jordi Molla, this a romantic entanglement that portrays two people so wrapped up in each other, they can’t exist without the other and the aftermath is wrenchingly unforgettable.

#5: Heartbreaker (2010)

This flawless French film is the best romantic comedy produced in the last 5 years, featuring a refreshingly original plot and enchanting performances by its leads, Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis. The plot centers on a con-man (Duris) who along with his sister, make a living breaking up couples.

Their latest assignment is to stop the wedding of a wealthy man’s daughter (Paradis). The comedy is situational, its execution hilarious and the chemistry between its leads elevates the romance department to a new level. This is a truly magnificent film, one that stands head and shoulders, among its genre counterparts.

#4: House of Flying Daggers (2004)

The vibrant cinematography of this martial arts film directed by Zhang Yimou is just one of the countless factors that makes this one of the most beautiful films ever made, and with a love story to match, it can only be described as exquisite. 

Set in 859 CE, during the reign of the Tang Dynasty in China, a policeman (Takeshi Kaneshiro) tasked with killing the leader of a rebel group known as the Flying Daggers, goes undercover attempting to earn the trust of a blind dancer (Zhang Ziyi) he suspects is his target’s daughter. 

Ziyi gives the most convincing portrayal of a blind person that I’ve ever seen and her chemistry with co-star Kaneshiro is majestic. So much of chemistry is portrayed through the eyes and with Ziyi’s being out of commission for this performance, she and Kaneshiro rely on pure body language and speech to create theirs and the result is radiant.

#3: Happy Accidents (2000) 

Imagine that you are single after a string of catastrophically awful relationships and then just when you think you’ve found a “normal”, affable, perhaps a little offbeat guy, he drops a bomb on you. He says he’s a time traveler from the future. Brake alert! Not quite though because this guy is so sincere, such is the story of Ruby (Marisa Tomei) and Sam (Vincent D’Onfrio).

If the plotline sounds like a sci-fi film, it isn’t, and that is its most charming characteristic. Director Brad Anderson approaches the story with indie realism with no special effects. Genuinely funny and heartfelt, Tomei brings the quirk; D’Onfrio the heart and together loads of chemistry.

#2: The Family Man (1999)

The Christmas movie about a ‘what if?’ scenario that brings an egotistical businessman into an alternate life as a family man, shines as a metaphor for married life. Nicolas Cage finds his screen equal in the fierce Tea Leoni.

Seldom do movies revolve around the love stories of married couples and when you strip away the dream aspects of the story, it is essentially a story about reconnecting with a love that’s befallen dormancy. Cage and Leoni’s performances are vulnerably candid and quintessentially perfect. Read the full review here.

#1: Far and Away (1992) 

Ron Howard’s pioneer epic has enough grand romance to fill the wildest of prairie frontiers. What could be a cliche, class-war romance instead, melts into the journey for the allusive American dream in the 1890’s. Centering on the struggle of two different people, a debutante and a passionate dreamer, both are united as immigrants, a romantic bond is forged in the fight for a better life.

This movie is “far and away”, a must-see. Anchored by the adventurous chemistry of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, a soaring original score compliments an inspiring love story, with a thrilling up-to-the minute finale. Read the full review here

Notable Movie Chemistries

There are films that often have exceptional chemistry featured between its actors and for whatever reason, whether due to its unexpected nature or the script only calling for its use as a side story, the romance is never fully realized as a storyline. No recent missed opportunity stands out more than, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain’s sizzling chemistry in 2012’s “Lawless".

These two shared a few spoken lines and yet they filled the film with enough heat to carry a full length endeavor, focusing solely on their characters’ relationship. Sadly, most movies cannot muster that after 3 hours on the subject. Hopefully they will reunite and be given an outlet for their on-screen connection in the future. Read a full review here

Another chemistry that left an indelible impression was Alfred Molina and Salma Hayek’s in 2003’s “Frida”. The film was correctly billed as mainly being a biopic of Frida Kahlo’s life, which it was. While, Hayek made the film with her astonishing leading performance, Molina brought a whole new dynamic to her portrayal.

Whenever they shared a scene, their passion ignited an inevitable union. On paper, it seemed impossible for them to surmount their conflicts, however with chemistry like theirs, there was no doubt they might just do it.