Ah, the course of true love never did run smooth. Come to think of it, nor did it always neatly conclude with a Richard Curtis cookie-cutter declaration from Hugh Grant. The harsh reality is, sometimes you’re just a girl, standing in front of a boy… who ghosted you two months ago and is now stood behind you in a checkout queue with his new girlfriend. So time and time again, we turn to romance films to give us solace that when it comes to matters of the heart, things will be all right.
While there’s nothing like revelling in the easy comfort of The Notebook and When Harry Met Sally, sometimes the old-school favourites can’t quite deliver on the fact that love — who we love, why, and where we love — has never been more complicated. In an age where sexuality is still taboo and of dating app burnout, swiping, equality, inequality and choice (so much choice), it’s refreshing to see a film that doesn’t necessarily end with John Cusack holding a boombox outside your window.
Here are the indie films that portray love in all its glorious kaleidoscopic refraction — in all its unconventional, mind-expanding, inconvenient and wholly undignified form.
This article was originally published in October 2020 and has since been updated.