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Top 8 Movies to Watch in Every Stage of a Relationship


By Meilan Solly

Stage 1: Initiation

When you first meet the boy/girl you want to be your significant other, it’s time to turn to sappy rom-coms and classic romance movies that remind you why relationships are worth it in the first place.

Since the romantic drama you’re going to watch focuses on true love in its most epic proportions, start with a lighter film. She’s the Man, starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum, offers a modern day version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Girl likes boy, girl dresses up as brother to meet boy, boy falls for girl, etc.). It is equal parts comedy and romance – the perfect combination for the not-so-serious start to a relationship.

While you do want to remind yourself that this relationship is just starting, it is also helpful to watch a classic romance movie that showcases the heights your relationship could reach. You have a few options – if you prefer actual classic movies (i.e. filmed during the Golden Age of Hollywood), try Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman star as reunited war-torn lovers, and while the ending is not your typical happily ever after, the film rightly holds a spot as one of the greatest films (romantic or otherwise) of all time. If you prefer modern movies, watch Titanic, the film which launched Leonardo DiCaprio to male heartthrob status and inspired true love at the same time.

Stage 2: First dates

You’re past the awkward yet exciting stage of getting to know each other, and you are on to first dates. It’s time to meet the parents and figure out where the two of you stand – what better way to do that than watch a movie?

In this case, it is a good idea to catch a movie at the theater. Figure out which movies are playing, decide which genre you both like, and go.

Stage 3: Commitment

You’ve committed to your significant other and vice versa, and now it’s time to commit to movies besides those in the romance genre. Try a horror film like Alfred Hitchock’s Rear Window (starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly), or opt for a drama/romance such as Silver Linings Playbook (starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper). Neither film is your typical romance; while Rear Window focuses more on murder, paranoia, and an agonizing build-up of suspense, Silver Linings Playbook is a love story that also highlights real human problems like mental illness.

Stage 4: Trouble in paradise

Maybe you can no longer relate to your significant other, or you wanted different things – either way, stage 4 is the polar opposite of stages 1 and 2, and as such, it warrants a different type of movie.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind suggests an alternative to suffering through the pain of a break-up. Simply erase all memories of your significant other and move on. While Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey choose this option (albeit with an eventual positive outcome), watching this film may help you decide what you truly want: to be able to forget your significant other’s existence or to reconcile with them and move on together.

Stage 5: The break-up

Regardless of whether you were the dumper, the dumped, or half of a mutual agreement, break-ups are never fun. Watch these movies to remind yourself that a) he/she wasn’t worth it, b) he/she simply wasn’t right for you, and/or c) you will be okay.

(500) Days of Summer starts off as a quirky yet wonderful relationship between Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), but towards the end of the film you may find yourself relating to Tom. However, just as Tom comes to realize, your story is not over. While one relationship has ended, the opportunity for another is just around the corner.

Like (500) Days of Summer, Once is eccentric. It’s centered on music and is decidedly low-budget, yet Once still manages to capture many of the emotions you’re probably feeling right now. Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who fell in love during filming, are your reminder that happiness is still possible, while the fates of their characters emphasize that even when people who love each other do not end up together, they can thrive.

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