5 Realistic Romance Movies (With Real Love Lessons)

Movies constantly portray unrealistic scenarios, especially where romance is concerned. Full of seemingly flawless relationships and romantic clichés, romance movies often leave us wondering where exactly our perfect, big screen Prince Charming has been all our lives.

But before you let frustration take over and write off romance movies completely, go back through some old flicks and take a good, hard look. Hollywood has come up with movies that teach you true lessons about love, whether they have happy or sad endings. Read on for your list of romance movies that are accurate and true to life!

1. (500) Days of Summer

The Plot

Greeting card artist Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) sees beautiful, quirky Summer (Zooey Deschanel) in a classic tale of boy-meets-girl. But from there, the story takes a turn once we realize that while Tom believes in love, Summer denies that it exists. What begins as a whirlwind romance gradually fades away as Tom realizes that his love for Summer isn’t mutual, and that he could very well lose who he thought was The One.

Love Lesson Learned

As much as we wish that every person who falls for someone gets the guy or gal, the truth is that feelings aren’t always reciprocated. At the time, unrequited love may feel like the worst possible thing to happen to you, but remember that not getting the guy you fall for isn’t the end of the world. There’s always someone out there who will feel the same way for you as you do for them, so don’t let one unrequited love bog you down! Plus, that person could appear at the most unexpected time...

2. Bridget Jones’s Diary

The Plot

Meet Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger): a 30-something, clumsy, slightly chubby woman who is the opposite of every picture-perfect Hollywood star. Worst of all, she’s single. As she dreams about her boss, Daniel (Hugh Grant), Bridget re-meets childhood family friend Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) at a Christmas party. The pair immediately dislike each other in this modern Pride and Prejudice-inspired story. But as time goes on, Bridget discovers that there may be more to Mark than meets the eye in this hilarious but touching romantic comedy.

Love Lesson Learned

Bridget is an ordinary woman who has firsthand experience with a truth about love: you often fall for the most unexpected person! Love is surprising and hard to sort out a lot of the time, especially when you have to choose between your hot boss and a real-life Mr. Darcy (who are duking it out in a public fountain). Choosing Mr. Right is often not easy at all, but the man who you once never even considered could end up being a great guy. So the next time you’re at that family Christmas party, don’t write off that guy standing by the tree in the ugliest sweater you’ve ever seen, because there could be more to him than you think.

3. Like Crazy

The Plot

British exchange student Anna (Felicity Jones) and design student Jacob (Anton Yelchin) meet and fall in love, with Anna eventually overstaying her student visa to be with her new boyfriend. But little did the couple know that the legal fallout from Anna’s decision would keep them apart, complicating things for the couple as they struggle to start new careers post-college. Full of ups and downs, Like Crazy follows a long-distance romance through the years as Anna and Jacob try not only to stay together, but also to decide if their love is worth fighting for.

Love Lesson Learned

In Anna and Jacob’s case, distance, adjusting to post-college life, legal battles, and the possibility of meeting new people were all factors that could break their relationship. Most of those are also factors that take their toll on our real-life relationships, too. No matter whether you’re doing long distance or not, there will always be situations that pop up and threaten your relationship. Love doesn’t necessarily triumph over all, but by working through your issues together with a lot of cool-headed communication, you can definitely get through a lot, especially if you love each other like crazy.

4. Blue Valentine

The Plot

One of the most depressing movies of 2010 was this ill-fated romance between high school dropout Dean (Ryan Gosling) and nurse Cindy (Michelle Williams). Through flashbacks of their romantic past and emotionally-charged scenes of the present, Blue Valentine tells the story of a couple who fell in love, but whose marriage eventually crumbled through the years, leaving all of us watching in a teary mess.

Love Lesson Learned

So what changed, you ask? The truth is that what we want in a relationship changes through the years, and that means that the kind of person we want to be with can change, too. While Dean and Cindy were perfect for each other when they first met, they both became very different people after a few years. Sometimes, both you and your boyfriend will change in ways that still complement each other, but sometimes you’ll grow apart. In the end, we’re all still growing up, which means that what we want can be very different at each given time.

5. My Best Friend’s Wedding

The Plot

Julianne (Julia Roberts) and Michael (Dermot Mulroney) are two best friends with a pact to marry each other if they’re both single once they turn 28. But, three weeks before her 28th birthday, Julianne learns that Michael is marrying Kimberly (Cameron Diaz), news that makes her realize that she has loved Michael all along. And so Julianne flies off to Chicago, keen on sabotaging Michael’s marriage and winning him for herself instead.

Love Lesson Learned

Sometimes, you just have to let go. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re the best person for somebody; it might be best to back away and let the other person decide how they feel for themselves. While it’s true that Julianne was a great best friend to Michael, she eventually had to understand that although Michael had loved her in the past, he now loved Kimberly. Other peoples’ decisions may not align with your wants, but keep in mind that a lot of the time, letting go gives you room for new beginnings and a new shot at happiness!

See, movies can still be real and not trick you where romance is concerned! So in the end, don’t get too bogged down by those giant Hollywood-created fairy tales where everything is too perfect to be true, because there are flicks out there for you to learn real love lessons from.