The best movies about the true meaning of love, from ‘Forrest Gump’ to ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’

YP Team

Love is about far more than just romance when it comes to Valentine’s Day viewing

YP Team |

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Being best friends is a type of love, as we see in 'Ralph Breaks the Internet'.

When it comes to love, the YP Team have different interpretations of what it truly means. To celebrate the impending Valentine’s Day, we have a few movie recommendations that might help you grasp the complicated nature of love!

The Travelling Cat Chronicles (2018)

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is one of my favourite films about unconditional love and the bonds between pet and owner. It tells the story of Satoru Miyawaki and his cat Nana. Satoru wanted to give Nana away as he was suffering from a terminal illness, but she plans of her own as she gives up a life of a pampered house pet and becomes a feral cat just to be next to him. The Travelling Cat Chronicles reminds us about the importance of loyalty, gratitude and love. It also shows how acts of love, no matter how great and small, can transform our lives.

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Saving Face (2004)

Not only is Saving Face a fantastic film about loving someone the way they are, its plot challenges every aspect of the Asian experience while promoting love over rigid cultural tradition.

Wil (Michelle Krusiec) is a successful surgeon in New York City, and she’s gay. Meanwhile her mum (Joan Chen) is widowed and pregnant, but won’t reveal who the father is even when her parents kick her out, forcing her to move in with Wil.

As Wil navigates her coming out, and her mum comes to terms with this new information while trying to salvage her own reputation within their close-knit Chinese community, every character in this funny, delightful and emotional film learns to love themself and each other for who they are.

Heidi Yeung, Web Editor

Forrest Gump (1994)

There’s no simpler, truer love than what Forrest feels for Jenny in Forrest Gump. Forrest is earnest, devoted, and unashamedly honest in his feelings for his childhood best friend. It’s love that forms his character - the love between parent and child, between brothers-in-arms, and between him and Jenny. Even though Forrest is, from a young age, deemed to have a below average IQ, it’s his strength of feeling and sense of duty that the people he encounters in life remember about him.

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Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

No one can deny that one of the greatest manifestations of love is when Ralph courageously confronts his own insecurities, and eventually respects Vanellope’s desire to stay in the Internet’s Slaughter Race - instead of staying in the arcade with him - to live the life she wants. Despite his will to keep her around, Ralph was able to assess the changing needs of his best friend, and make compromises for her happiness. It’s a respectable virtue required for any long-term relationships to sustain and flourish.

Nicola Chan, Reporter

Haichi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is a story about the unconditional love between a man and his dog. Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) is a music professor who finds a lost Akita puppy roaming around a train station and decides to keep him. He names the dog Hachi, and this starts the beginning of a lifelong, unwavering bond between Hachi and Parker. Hachi loyally accompanies his owner to the train station every day and waits for him patiently to return every afternoon. Sadly though, tragedy hits: Parker has a brain hemorrhage while teaching a class and passes away. Hachi - unable to comprehend this loss - waits at the station for Parker to return every day, for the next 10 years. This movie is an absolute sob-fest and will melt even the coldest of hearts. What makes it even more unbearable is the fact that this movie was based on a true story!

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National Velvet (1944)

What deeper love could there possibly be between a girl and her horse? So my all time favourite love story is National Velvet starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney. All Velvet has ever wanted is a horse. But that seems out of the question on their family’s small income. Luck decides to lend a hand, and Velvet wins The Pie, a racehorse who is more than an handful for his new 12-year-old mistress. Never one to shy away from the impossible, Velvet decides to train The Pie to take part in the most famous horse race in Britain, the deadly Grand National in which horses gallop over high jumps around a long track. Needless to say, things don’t go smoothly and both The Pie and Velvet are asked to make huge sacrifices for each other.

Susan Ramsay, Editor

The Little Rascals (1994)

I think one of the first movies that taught me what true love looks like is The Little Rascals. I don’t think many people can match the level of Alfalfa’s undying love for Darla - one that would make you sing serenades in public, orchestrate romantic picnics, write love letters, and even betray your entire group of friends. But what really showed me the meaning of true love was the unbreakable bond between Alfalfa and his best friend Spanky, and how they were able to put their differences aside to save their friendship.

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Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Lilo & Stitch is all about love, family, and the many forms these can take. After losing their parents, Lilo, a young Hawaiian girl, and her older sister Nani, have only each other. Into their struggling home arrives Stich, an alien created solely to cause destruction. But over time, Lilo’s love for Stitch, and Nani’s love for Lilo, teaches Stitch that fixing things is much more rewarding than breaking them. In the end, each character finds what they, consciously or not, had been looking for: a family.

Charlotte Ames-Ettridge, Sub-editor

The Blind Side (2009)

The Blind Side is a sports movie, sure, but ultimately it is a story of a mother’s love. It is based on the true story of a family who take in a homeless teen who turns out to be an American football phenomenon. Leigh Anne and her family face all sorts of hurdles when they make that decision, mainly because they are rich and white, and Michael is poor and black. Leigh Anne’s friends can’t understand the decision she’s made, and fear that the teenager could hurt her kids, but the mum proves all their concerns wrong, treating Michael the same as her two children, encouraging his natural talent, and helping him believe that he can do anything he puts his mind to. The film also celebrates self-love, and self-belief, and a reminder that if we can learn to love ourselves, we open ourselves up to being loved by others.

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Before Sunset (2004)

Before Sunset is the second movie in director Richard Linklater’s trilogy about the inexplicable power of love to transcend time, distance, and sometimes even the practical realities of life itself. Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) are strangers on a train who shared one magical romantic night in Vienna together nine years ago, but have not seen each other since. Somehow, the spark between them survives the years apart, and they fall in love over the course of a day, all over again. It’s a really touching (but perhaps unrealistic) proclamation to the world that love does exist, and it doesn’t have to diminish in the face of the terrible enemy called time.

Jamie Lam, Special Projects Editor