Sometimes words transformed into moving images can deepen our love for the stories they tell. Especially if that story involves romance and a handsome love interest. With the release of the brand-new Rebecca film just a few weeks away we were inspired to reflect on our favourite romance novels adapted for film!
1. The Longest Ride
Written by Nicolas Sparks, this hearty romantic drama is perfect viewing both on page and on screen. A wilting bond between two lovers, Sophia and Luke, brought on by conflicting career paths is strengthened by an older man, Ira, who attempts to show them that the effort is worth the outcome. It is beyond touching to see Ira’s memories of he and his wife, Ruth, through flashbacks. Their hardships juxtaposed with Sophia and Luke’s really put their relationship into perspective. Bull riding, modern art and old people. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
2. Crazy Rich Asians
A romantic comedy novel written by Kevin Kwan brought to life in 2018, this film is a visual feast. Nick and girlfriend Rachel travel to Singapore for a friend’s wedding, but they end up getting more than they bargained for. Nick’s family is, surprise, disgustingly rich and Rachel must navigate the turbulent waters of his family ties in order to keep her relationship afloat. Seeing the wedding scene (you know what I’m talking about, someone pass me a tissue), and the Mahjong scene (Eleanor, need some ice for that burn?) play out on screen just made the film for me.
3. The Fault in our Stars
Who could forget when this John Green masterpiece was brought to the screen? You’re lying to yourself if you didn’t have a crush on Ansel Elgort throughout the entirety of the film. Two cancer patients, Hazel and Augustus, fall in love at a time in their lives that should be care-free, but is instead filled with loneliness and uncertainty. There’s a timer on their romance which is both equally painful as it is beautiful. Okay? Okay.
4.Fifty Shades of Grey
There was pure, unadulterated silence in cinemas when husbands and partners were forced to accompany us along to E.L James’ novel film adaptation. Was it silence out of awkwardness, or concentration? With Jamie Dornan playing the mysterious Christian Grey, I’ll opt for the latter. Anastasia Steele is pitched as the woman who can tame this beast of a man whilst also fulfilling a sadomasochistic relationship with him. Perfectly timed elevator canoodling, playrooms that aren’t for kids and emotional growth; it ticks all the boxes.
5. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
The film adaptation of Jenny Han’s novel brought to life the youthful innocence and charm of Lara Jean’s story. When several love letters she has written are leaked, including one sent to love interest Peter, the quintessential popular boy, Lara pursues a fake relationship with him. While they both have their own motivations, they end up overlooking them and falling for each other. It’s sweet and goofy, and it features Noah Centineo. Enough said.
6. Sense and Sensibility
Emma Thompson’s 1995 screenplay of Jane Austen’s novel is very faithful, (unlike Willoughby). We follow the Dashwood sisters and their widowed mother through their daily struggle post their father‘s death in 1792’s England. There’s one thing about the adaptation I can say with absolute certainty. Get yourself a man that looks at you the way Colonel Brandon looks at Marianne.
7. Gone With The Wind
Margaret Mitchell’s historical classic was turned into a 3 hour and 58 minute film in 1939. At that point it’s not even a film, it’s a journey. Against the backdrop of the American civil war, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler carry on a love affair that ultimately leads to heartbreak; in more ways than one. “But tomorrow’s another day.” War, death and disease? I hear you ask, is this really a romance? Why, yes it is. It captures the struggles faced in the era it is set, and the brazen and unrelenting attitude of the protagonist drives it home.
8. The Last Song
Another Nicolas Sparks adaptation success, on screen it was simply breathtaking. Following teenager Ronnie on her path to reconnecting with her father, she also meets Will and, after a rough start, falls in love with him. Need I mention it’s where Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth first began their relationship. That fact adds a whole lot more realism to the fragile love that the characters have for each other. Their chemistry is indisputable, which makes it tug on the heartstrings that much more. It’s less of a tug, and more of a violent jerk.
9. Warm Bodies
‘Turns out Isaac Marion’s zombie romance novel is the perfect fit for screen! The story focuses on the relationship between Julie, a young woman, and R, a zombie, told from R’s perspective. Set 8 years after the zombie apocalypse began, zombies begin to show signs of coming back to life and it is this discovery that spurs their romance onwards. All the action sequences and moments of tension are perfectly recreated, making for a captivating watch! And who would have thought a zombie could be so attractive?
There’s nothing quite like seeing the romance between two pages be injected into scenes you had only ever imagined. Maybe this has inspired you to reread some of these gems! Or re-watch them. Or both!