I’ve probably watched Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise too many times—a love story of two strangers on a train, who use a beautiful city as a base to fall in love. Jesse (Ethan Hawk) has a serendipitous meeting with Celine (Julie Delpy), who’s on her way to Paris while his destination lies in Vienna. With Jesse’s flight back to America the next morning, he convinces Celine to explore the Austrian city with him, and the two spend the day and night in perfect harmony. They expand a single day to form a lifetime of memories exchanging surrealist conversations in quaint European restaurants, narrow canals, churches—and of course—a kiss on the giant wheel!
– Sanjana Ray
Cocky, insouciant, prince of acerbic comebacks. Just 17. Lateef as a lazy tea boy on a construction site in Tehran is someone you’d love to hate and hate to love but by the time you decide which of more, he’s moved on, leaving you with another clever quip. When Rahmat, an Afghan refugee, spills more cement than supervisor Memar can afford to waste, Memar swaps their roles: Lateef labours. Rahmat cooks. Agonised, Lateef loathes Rahmat implacably, until he discovers a harsh truth that alters the course of the story, his heart—and him. Trust Majid Majidi to weave an extraordinary love story into the simplicity of everyday life.
– Humaira Ansari
This classic William Wyler rom-com sees a bitter journalist Joe (Gregory Peck) champion his self-serving ways when faced with the irrestably charming primcess Anne (Audrey Hepburn)—a runaway royal who escapes her numbing European tour to live a little in the capital of love, Rome. Ice cream on the steps of the Pantheon, a vespa chase with the Roman police, and a dance night turned brawl on the banks of the Tiber, all moments that will play on your heartstrings like a cupid strumming a harp. Fall in love with Rome as you fall in love Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, both playing roles of a lifetime.
– Julian Manning
La La Land is a delicious dreamwork of poetic performances and a twinkling Los Angeles. The Damien Chazelle musical is delightful in the way it captures the pulse of the city through its neon signage, stylish building fronts, neverending driveways lined with palm trees, and moody, cocktail-coloured skies at the brink of twilight. The story revolves around Mia (Emma Stone)—a barista trying to make it big on the Hollywood block—and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a struggling musician who dreams of opening a jazz bar to honour his love for the genre. The two embark on a love affair fit for the big screens, but as their artistic careers take off, reality kicks in.
– Pooja Naik
This film could be about two interconnected love stories—or director Wong Kar-Wai passing a love note to Hong Kong.
The lives of two heartbroken cops (Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tony Leung) turn after meeting two women: a femme fatale in a blonde wig (Brigitte Lin), and an awkward-gutsy waitress (Faye Wong). At least, the first cop stops hoarding canned pineapple expiring on May 1 (his ex’s name was May), and the other moves on from talking to soap bars in his bathroom. But what the film really breathes is a deep sense of affection for a Hong Kong hidden amid the high-rises—its seedy-lively shopping complexes; snack bars that nourish lovelorn insomniacs; and the world’s longest pedestrian escalator that cuts through Hong Kong’s steep hillside, ferrying people and their dreams and infatuations.
– Kareena Gianani
Place some uppity Edwardian-era English travellers in Florence and what do you get? A whole lotta flushed faces, clutching of silk handkerchiefs and a tender slow-burn romance. This 1985 adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel occupies itself with Lucy Honeychurch, (Helena Bonham Carter), an ingénue summering in the city, whose heart is torn between two admirers: one brooding gent, George Emerson (Julian Sands), and Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day-Lewis), a preening know-it-all back home in Surrey. Lucy’s schooled in hard-nosed pragmatism, of course, but the sensual Italian sun has its way of getting under the stiffest of English collars.
– Lakshmi Sankaran