Extreme Romance Tales in the Time of COVID-19

Here are ten movies with love stories that avoid all the typical romantic cliches. Love in extremis and other situations in the movies, detailed in ten chapters:


1984 (1984): Winston Smith (John Hurt) falls in platonic love with his torturer O’Brien (Richard Burton):

1984 (1984) Winston Torture 1


ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (2013): Vampire Lovers Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston.

So basically, The Ancient One and Loki from the MCU get it on…

Only Lovers Left Alive Movie CLIP - Reunion (2014) - Tom Hiddleston Movie HD


HAROLD & MAUDE (1971): Love knows no age barrier…apparently

Harold and Maude (1/8) Movie CLIP - Harold Meets Maude (1971) HD


KISS KISS BANG BANG (2005): Platonic buds Robert Downey Jr. and Kilmer. Sweet.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Robert Downey Jr. & Val Kilmer


MAKING MR RIGHT (1987): PR guru Ann Magnuson falls for scientist John Malkovich’s android lookalike. Fair enough.

Making Mr. Right Official Trailer #1 - John Malkovich Movie (1987) HD


LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008): More tortured vampiric desire


SECRETARY (2002): Strict rules apply between boss James Spader and secretary Maggie Gyllenhaal:

Secretary (2002) Official Trailer - Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader Movie HD


MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969): Joe Buck and Ratzo’s unlikely bromance

Midnight Cowboy Florida Fantasy


RUSHMORE (1998): Max (Jason Schwartzman) is infatuated with teacher Miss Cross (Olivia Williams)

Rushmore - Max confronting Miss Cross


HUD (1963): Lonnie (Brandon deWilde) will always end up disappointed in his admiration for wastrel uncle Hud (Paul Newman)

Hud (1963) - Melvyn Douglas

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Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'