This will end well.
July 18, 2013 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Seeking movies where there is a lot of chemistry/tension/buildup before the two main characters finally get together (or back together). Caveat: not romantic comedies.

Noah and Allie (The Notebook). The Captain and Maria (The Sound of Music). I want more movie examples like these. The Sound of Music is a little more PG than I'd like, but it qualifies.

I realize that this is the formula for basically 90% of romantic comedies and also some action movies (Speed comes to mind), but those aren’t what I’m looking for. Also, movies that will leave me depressed need not apply. Thank you!
posted by yawper to Media & Arts (52 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Buddy cop movies (Lethal Weapon), and just about every movie that stars Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.
posted by pickypicky at 11:50 AM on July 18, 2013


Out of Sight? So much chemistry. So very very sexy. Is that what you mean?
posted by Rock Steady at 11:53 AM on July 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


Twister, that Helen Hunt tornado movie?
posted by kellyblah at 11:53 AM on July 18, 2013


Leia had her eyes on her twin brother for a movie and a half until a certain half-witted scruffy-looking nerfherder melted her heart.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:53 AM on July 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


OK - hear me out... but in Stephen King's IT (TV Movie) there is a wonderful love story in there set amongst all the horror.

Another fanastic old film that never fails to have me crying tears of happiness is 'Now, Voyager'
posted by JenThePro at 11:54 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Harry Potter movies did this pretty awkwardly and ham-handedly.
The Hudsucker Proxy
posted by phunniemee at 11:54 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Isn't the seminal work for this The Odd Couple?
posted by MuffinMan at 11:54 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Casablanca is kind of like this, although the folks getting together at the end of the move aren't a romantic couple.

Blazing Saddles?

Miss Congeniality isn't a Rom Com to my knowledge.

Maltese Falcon is kind of sort of like this, well, perhaps not, but it's a damn good movie.

Star Trek-III?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:54 AM on July 18, 2013


There are some funny moments in 'The Story of Us' but I don't think it qualifies as a romcom. It is pretty dead serious about separation.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:55 AM on July 18, 2013


Oh my gosh, the wonderful Reds, with Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton.
posted by thinkpiece at 11:57 AM on July 18, 2013


Ok - I think I might not have been clear enough in my question:

- I'm definitely not looking for buddy movies (no Odd Couple, Lethal Weapon, etc)
- The idea of the two characters getting together should be the main, or one of the main themes of the movie (so Harry Potter, Stars Wars and the like don't qualify).

Another example of what I mean is Brokeback Mountain. Sexual tension/a sense of longing is what we're looking for here. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
posted by yawper at 12:01 PM on July 18, 2013


Pride and Prejudice, 1995 BBC Version with Colin Firth.
posted by something something at 12:02 PM on July 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Lake House.
posted by sweetkid at 12:03 PM on July 18, 2013


Just to clarify, when you say "getting together" you mean going to the bonezone, right? Getting together romantically?
posted by Rock Steady at 12:03 PM on July 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


What do you mean by "romantic comedies"? I'm thinking of Roman Holiday, which I recommend every chance I get, but it is funny and there's romance (of a sort). I'm a bit confused, because you want romance and don't want it to be depressing but you don't want it to be.... what?
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:06 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I Know Where I'm Going! A bazillion kilojoules of chemistry, plus it's utterly romantic and compelling.

Also, do you like literary adaptations? Austen adaptations in particular are all about the chemistry but without being romantic comedies per se. The 1995 adapt of Persuasion is chock full of tension.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 12:06 PM on July 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


Before Sunrise
Before Sunset, to a lesser degree.
Before Midnight doesn't quite fit this theme, but I recommend watching it if you like the other two.

I don't usually gravitate towards "romance" movies, but these are among my favorite movies of all time, and I also liked The Notebook.
posted by ialwayscryatendings at 12:10 PM on July 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but Bound is pretty hot and though it's a heist movie, they spend the entire film building up a sneaky closeted romance to a spectacular conclusion.
posted by epanalepsis at 12:10 PM on July 18, 2013


Rocky (Rocky & Mick, Rocky & Adrian)
Rocky III (Rocky & Apollo Creed)
Groundhog Day
posted by The World Famous at 12:11 PM on July 18, 2013


Rock of Ages, which is awesome, for the tension between Russel Brand and [name redacted to avoid spoiling it]. Spoiler-filled Spanish-subtitled clip here.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:12 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ha, Rock Steady, yes. Getting together romantically. Sexual tension that eventually gets resolved!

>The corpse in the library: I don't mind if the movie has funny parts - I'm just not looking for your typical rom-com where the characters spend the whole movie apart due to silly cliches.

Am totally going to start using "bonezone" all the time now.
posted by yawper at 12:14 PM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Chuck and Buck also fits I think, although it is an extremely odd movie (but great as I remember).
posted by sweetkid at 12:27 PM on July 18, 2013


Roman Holiday is one of the great love story movies of all time, but not to be too spoilerish, it could well leave you feeling pretty weepy. His Girl Friday might be a good fit for what you're after. Funny as hell and LOTS of sexual tension, but not a "rom com" per se.
posted by yoink at 12:27 PM on July 18, 2013


Lost in Translation almost fits the bill, depending on how you define "get[ting] together." It's also one of my all time favorite movies.
posted by JakeWalker at 12:34 PM on July 18, 2013


Iron Man 1 & 2
posted by Jacqueline at 12:34 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Let me try again. How about The Sweetest Thing?

It starts out with fabulous chemestry and it's sort of an Odyssey movie and it's hilarious. I saw it on HBO with "The Penis Song" in it, but even the DVD I have doesn't have it, which is too bad, because it's funny.

Bridesmaids also has this kind of romance and it's a lot funnier than it has a right to be.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:36 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Slumdog Millionaire, although going to "bonezone" would only be presumed.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:41 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Crying Game?
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:47 PM on July 18, 2013


Sideways
The Graduate
Monster's Ball
Tell No One
Two Lovers
Woman in the Dunes
posted by seemoreglass at 12:47 PM on July 18, 2013


oooohhh!! I know, I know!!! Amelie?
posted by JenThePro at 12:48 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tristan and Isolde, Robin Hood (Ridley Scott), Kingdom of Heaven
posted by effluvia at 12:49 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Royal Tenenbaums, though some may find it icky since the characters are adopted sister and brother. But somehow it works.

Seconding Bridesmaids. It's a comedy and there's some romance, but it's not really a "romantic comedy."

Same story with Clueless. (although again with the psuedo-brother/sister thing!)
posted by lunasol at 1:06 PM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and Ocean's 11.
posted by lunasol at 1:07 PM on July 18, 2013


To Have and Have Not led Bogart and Bacall to the bone zone in real life. (IRLBZ)
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:24 PM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hate romcoms for the reasons you listed, but I love The Matchmaker with Janeane Garofalo.
Also: Practical Magic
posted by haplesschild at 1:29 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The ones that spring to mind are all literary adaptations: A Room With A View, North and South, seconding 1995's Persuasion. I love this kind of movie too and will keep thinking, I know there's more!
posted by sumiami at 1:30 PM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


The early Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart movies have tension so thick you can cut it with a knife and serve as desert squares. To Have and to Have Not (1944) is the start of their real-life relationship. Bogart falls in love with Bacall both on-screen and off. The Big Sleep (1946) is a great film noir, in the running for best of its kind ever. Key Largo (1948), another crime melodrama, also revolves about their relationship.

On preview: jinx, bonobothegreat!
posted by bonehead at 1:31 PM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Painful sense of longing? That's the entirety of Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm."
posted by jbickers at 1:34 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, how has Truly, Madly, Deeply not been mentioned yet?

(It's not depressing, but it is quite cathartic).
posted by bonehead at 1:41 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dirty Dancing?
posted by Night_owl at 2:41 PM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


The African Queen? Sense and Sensibility? The Big Easy? Romancing the Stone??
posted by Erasmouse at 3:30 PM on July 18, 2013


Silver Linings Playbook.
posted by signondiego at 3:48 PM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, how has Truly, Madly, Deeply not been mentioned yet?

Well, it's not about a couple coming together at the end, is it?
posted by yoink at 3:50 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Abyss.
posted by tomboko at 7:36 PM on July 18, 2013


Gone With the Wind.
posted by mynameisluka at 7:37 PM on July 18, 2013


Impromptu sounds like a good fit.

I was really into it when I was younger for basically the exact reasons you describe.
posted by menialjoy at 8:58 PM on July 18, 2013


Last Night is a gorgeous movie and has elements of this.
posted by softlord at 10:32 PM on July 18, 2013


The Cutting Edge



And not a movie, but the Pacey/Joey tension in Dawson's creek was sooooooooo awesome and the pay off was sooooooooooooo worth it. Best paring ever.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:27 AM on July 19, 2013


Monsoon Wedding --tension between 4 couples, and great ending.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 10:57 AM on July 19, 2013


Gigante -- although the tension is one sided in this one, but a really sweet movie with very likeable characters.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 11:08 AM on July 19, 2013


Mississippi Masala
posted by marimeko at 1:33 PM on July 19, 2013


The Age of Innocence with Michelle Pfiffer and Daniel Day Lewis. There's unbelievable tension between those two. It's a beautiful period film.
posted by juva at 10:53 PM on July 19, 2013


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