It's hard to believe 2017's half over — mostly because it feels like a
decade's passed since it started. As the seasons shift, it's time to trade in the fun-and-sun sexiness of summer for the delicious coziness of fall. With days getting shorter and cool nights getting longer, there's no better time to snuggle up on the couch with your significant other (whether that's your partner, pet, or favorite pillow). If you're a sentimental sort, Halloween's horror-saturated theater domination likely leaves you cringing, so for those preferring tenderness to terror, here's a list of romantic movies coming up later in 2017.
There are plenty of straightforward, by-the-book charming romances coming up, like
In Search Of Fellini, about meet-cutes all over the gorgeous Italian landscape, and Breathe, a biopic about the love's triumph over illness. This season's pleasant surprise, though, is that the concept of "romance" is finally stretched beyond "hot young hetero couple," with several upcoming LGBTQ romances, including Call Me By Your Name and Battle Of The Sexes. Behind-the-comic biopic Professor Marston And The Wonder Women is a study of an open open-marriage in 1941, The Wilde Wedding features romance over the age of (gasp) 50, and of all things, horror maestro Guillermo Del Toro joins the fun with offbeat fairy tale The Shape of Water. Dive on in.
Starting off the season with the tried-and-true, Hallie Meyers-Shyer,
daughter of rom-commer extraordinaire Nancy Meyers, gives us Home Again. Reese Witherspoon plays Alice, a woman who finds herself enjoying the company of three young filmmakers living in her guest-house. There's flirting, canoodling, and impeccably Crate & Barrel-set rooms galore. Like mother, like daughter.
'The Wilde Wedding' — Sept. 15
Bringing your new guy over to hang with your ex seems like a bad idea. Bringing your
5th-time fiancee to stay at your first ex-husband's before the wedding? Definitely worse. Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart are the soon-to-be newleyweds meeting the extremely extended family, and John Malkovitch is the ex trying (and failing) to be the bigger man.
'In Search Of Fellini' — Sept. 15
In this starry-eyed fairy tale, sheltered young Lucy from Ohio discovers the oddball masterpieces of Italian director Frederico Fellini. Her lovingly overprotective mother encourages Lucy to follow on her dreams, partly to push Lucy out into the world, and partly to continue shielding her from harsh truths. The movie is a whirlwind of travel mix-ups with happy results, romantic encounters with hunky, gregarious artists, and scene after scene filled with gorgeous Italian scenery.
'Loving Vincent' — Sept. 22
"I would like to show by my work what this
nobody has in his heart!" Vincent van Gogh's fictional declaration also holds true for Loving Vincent's creators, who went through the painstaking process of creating "the world's first oil-painted feature film" to tell the story of van Gogh's last few months. Stronger takes a more personal approach about the Boston Marathon bombing, as it focuses on the true-life story of Jeff Bauman, whose last-ditch romantic gesture to win over his jogger girlfriend landed him in the hospital as a double amputee. Where most films would show Bauman becoming the symbol of Boston's resilience, Stronger shows him being shoved in that role, simultaneously realizing its importance and resenting it.
'Battle Of The Sexes' — Sept. 22
If you're unfamiliar with the real-life 1973 tennis match, you'd be forgiven for thinking
Battle Of The Sexes was a period-piece about two titans of the sport who hate each other so much they end up in love. While world champion Billie Jean King really does loathe former champ, chauvinist Bobby Riggs, the love story is really between King and hairdresser Marilyn Bennett. With King married at the time, the film focuses on her realization of and struggle with with her sexuality as she and Marilyn stumble into a happy relationship. King battles two fronts: the titular match and her fight for pay equality between male and female athletes.
The main crux of documentary
Dina, following its title character up to and after her wedding, is passion. Dina longs for more, and boyfriend-turned-husband-Scott seems OK with things the way they are. The film follows Dina's patient attempts to get Scott to understand her needs, while Scott, sweet and caring, tries to listen. The situation is complicated by Scott's Asperger Syndrome and Dina's host of mental and emotional issues, but the film presents a sincere, straightforward love story without the usual ableism that comes with so many films trying to present (or worse, showcase) disabilities.
'Professor Marston And The Wonder Women' — Oct. 13
A true-life story of the man and women behind Wonder Woman, this biopic details the unconventional relationship between Professor Marston, his wife Elisabeth, and Marston's teaching assistant, Olive. Polyamory's still considered unconventional today, and the film focuses on the trio navigating a mutual love in a world that absolutely has no place for it.
Actor Andy Serkis steps into the director's chair for this pure romance. Soon after the birth of his son, Robin Cavendish contracts polio and becomes paralyzed from the neck down. His wife Diana refuses to let him give in to bitterness and depression, moving him and the respirator he needs to live back home. The film is a genuinely sweet love story of two people supporting each other through difficult times, and struggling to remain visible during a time when disabilities were to be hidden.
'All I See Is You' — Oct. 27
This steamy thriller follows Gina, blind since a childhood accident, and dominant husband James. Corrective surgery and special eyedrops restore Gina's sight, and apparently her libido, as she becomes more provocative and outgoing. James seems unsure about the new relationship dynamic as Gina explores an entire new sensory world. When Gina's sight begins failing again due to the drops, questions arise — is James sabotaging them to gain the upper hand? Or could Gina be undermining herself to get back the relationship she had?
'Call Me By Your Name' — Nov. 24
Another film presenting so-called "exceptional" romance as absolutely straightforward. Well, "straight" isn't the right word - this tale is about a young man's burgeoning attraction for his father's hunky research assistant (played by Armie Hammer). This is a lush, gorgeous summer romance, where the main issue is the sweet pain of crushes, not sexuality itself.
'The Shape Of Water' — Dec. 8
Horror king Guillermo Del Toro pops out post-Halloween with a love story set against a Cold-War backdrop. Mute cleaning woman Eliza spends her days scrubbing top secrets at a hidden government facility. When hardline officials bring in their latest catch, lonely Eliza begins bonding with the captive creature. Knowing Del Toro, cruel humans are likely to be the real monsters, but the film won't shy away from stunning practical creature effects.
Rounding out the year is a truly bananas sort-of sci-fi from Alexander Payne (
Sideways, Election). Paul and Audrey Safranek (Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig) decide to literally shrink themselves to afford the lifestyle they want. The film follows their misadventures, with Paul getting pushed and pulled in different directions by residents of Leisureland Estates, a planned community "for the small."
That's the look of love on the big screen through the fall season. Hopefully there's enough
amore in the upcoming months to keep you swooning well into the holidays.