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

Let The Right One In (2008) – I'm Not A Girl


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

Arnell Esq

Broadcast consultant - former Director/Creator of ITV3, ITV4 in the UK, producer/writer (most recently Bob Fosse for Sky Arts in May 2019, also Alex Cox, Sinatra), commentator for trades, broadsheets and magazines. Also occasional lecturer (University of Westminster, London). Content provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'