Valentine’s Day can be either dreadful or reaffirming of your love for someone special in your life. Our first love of cinema can be a staple of the day, and there will be plenty of “definitive” rankings of the best love stories of all-time and where you can watch them. The Oscars have recognized many of them in their 92-year history. It would be criminal not to celebrate original screenplay winners like 2005’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth and “Her” by Spike Jonze. From the adapted side of the house, “Brokeback Mountain” by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana and “Moonlight” by Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney are indeed romanticism’s chef’s kiss.
To produce a diverse list that doesn’t just continue to hammer home a known point, we thought we would assemble the top 12 romantic screenplays from the last 20 years (ending in the year 2001) that were not nominated for the best original or adapted screenplay at the Academy Awards. Some are visibly apparent, while others dive into the complexity of love, all told through different time periods of a human’s life.
Our attachment to cinema will get many of us through Valentine’s Day, whether you are in favor or against the sentiment of the “holiday.” Never definitive and inarguably subjective, many films will not be on the list that you feel should be, and that’s what sharing your thoughts in the comments and social media (respectfully) is all about.
Here are some honorable mentions that didn’t make the cut: Tim Burton’s “Big Fish” (2003) by John August, Zach Braff’s “Garden State” (2004), Max Barbakow’s “Palm Springs” (2020) by Andy Siara, Joe Wright’s “Pride and Prejudice” (2005) by Deborah Moggach and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ “Ruby Sparks” (2012).
Down below is the list of 12 films and click the image to watch the scene that “proves the point” of inclusion.