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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What are the best love stories for people who hate love stories?

We’ve gotten through another Valentine’s Day, and so everyone who hates the schmaltz and the sentiment of the (dubious) holiday can sign with relief: it’ll be another year before we have to look at fluffy pink hearts, dogs with Cupid headgear, and so on.

Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to avoid asinine movies about romance, because almost all of them are asinine. But I think it’s safe to say that most of us — in our real, offscreen, noncinematic lives — do crave love and romance, and would appreciate seeing that reflected onscreen in emotionally realistic ways that actually represent how people approach relationships and romance. So:

What are the best love stories for people who hate love stories?
One recent favorite of mine is Definitely, Maybe, which authentically touches on the ambivalence and uncertainty that we feel when we’re looking for a partner, how we can’t always tell who the right person for us is, and how the wrong person can be wrong for reasons that have nothing to do with being cartoonishly villainous.

A longtime favorite is Truly, Madly, Deeply, which — although its central premise is fantastical, about a ghost who returns to haunt the woman with whom he was deeply in love, as she was with him — is raw with pain and grief and mourning for lost love.


(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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