Take Six: The Best Romantic Dramas of the Last 25 Years.


In alphabetical order:

  • The Bridges of Madison County (1995) – Clint Eastwood, cresting the hill of the Mature Leading Man phase of his career, took a legendarily saccharine novel and turned it into art. It didn’t hurt that he has Meryl Streep along for the ride, but still.
  • Brokeback Mountain (2005) – Forget the stupid controversy over the film’s premise and remember that final scene, in which a heartbroken man swoons over an old shirt. It’s just devastating – epic storytelling on a tragically intimate scale.
  • The English Patient (1996) – Exotic landscapes, romantic obsession, and pain of every possible variety. Anthony Minghella turned the sands of Africa purple with passion.
  • Moulin Rouge! (2001) – A musical drama? Actually, yes: Even with all those burlesque laugh lines, Baz Luhrmann’s zany mash-up is awash in melancholy and suffused with heartache and loss.
  • Truly Madly Deeply (1990) – Minghella gets his second entry in this list, with a little-seen British film about a grieving woman (Juliet Stevenson) who rediscovers joy when her dead boyfriend (Alan Rickman) comes back as a ghost. If you don’t cry at the film’s closing scene, we can’t be friends any more.
  • A Walk on the Moon (1999) – Tony Goldwyn (of TV’s “Scandal”) directed this fine small drama about an unhappy housewife (Diane Lane) who discovers passion with a traveling salesman (Viggo Mortensen) during the summer of 1969.