Welcome to my article on some of the best romantic movies for singles. Yes, for singles! Contrary to how society views uncoupled people, we aren’t miserable, sad, lonely, creatures, who can’t live a fulfilling life. Further, many are single by choice because they don’t believe in settling on love. I’m one of those people. Never settle just for being in a relationship, and neither should you wait to meet that person you connect with. It may never happen. It’s better to enjoy your life to the fullest, and that includes watching romantic movies. With that said, even if you’re not in a relationship you can still enjoy romance. So, I compiled a list of some of my favorites to share with you. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, I believe you will enjoy the six movies I’ve chosen. I will post a short review on why I like the movies.
Please note this is not a traditional review, where I critique the production. My focus is on the characters and why I like them. I’m simply sharing my personal experience. 🙂
All of the movies listed can be found on DVD Netflix. Rent one today!
Judi Dench // Evelyn Greenslade
Maggie Smith // Muriel Donnelly
Bill Nighy // Douglas Ainslie
Tom Wilkinson // Graham Dashwood
Dev Patel // Sonny Kapoor
Penelope Wilton // Jean Ainslie
Celia Imrie // Madge Hardcastle
Ronald Pickup // Norman Cousins
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.
All-star cast headlines this absolutely witty film about self-discovery, aging, and what being elderly truly means. The movie successfully navigates several sub-plots that are artfully written to support the film’s main storyline. What happens when eight people who are forced to live modestly on their retirement meet for the time in a foreign country? Chaos! Of course, not in a way you may imagine. Each character has their own reason for traveling to India to live out their retirement. Some by choice, while others because they have none.
Evelyn (Judi Dench) is recently widowed and near destitute. Apparently, her husband accumulated large debts before he passed. She had no choice but to find a place she could afford. Even then, she must work a full-time job to supplement her income. Evelyn’s husband made all the decisions. She always went along with whatever he decided. Moving to India was a huge step, but one that helped her to achieve her independence and start a new life. She gained her confidence and self-worth.
Jean (Penelope Wilton) and Douglas Ainslie (Bill Nighy) invested their retirement money in their daughter’s business. They weren’t prepared to live off of Douglas’s civil service pension, which didn’t afford Jean the lifestyle she was accustomed to. While Douglas took to India with a sense of adventure and wonder, Jean stayed annoyed, aggravated, and joyless. She refused to leave the hotel, while Douglas explored the country. Douglas is the stereotypical, hen-pecked husband, whose overbearing wife constantly dictates his life while berating and reminding him of his lack of decorum. Eventually, Douglas bravely faces Jean after one of her many verbal barrages. He realizes what he’s been missing in his life thanks to Evelyn. As for Jean, she develops an interest in Graham (Tom Wilkinson) when she learns he’s a retired high court judge. Although, her infatuation with Graham doesn’t end her tireless complaints. Even to him, she complained about her stay at the hotel. When Graham offers Jean to tell the cook to prepare a British-style meal, she practically leaps with excitement, mistaking his kindness for mutual attraction.
Graham (Tom Wilkinson) is in India searching for a lost love. It is his last chance to redeem himself. He spends the entire film seeking out his former love. Meanwhile, he’s consistently shielding himself against Jean’s poor attempts at flirtation. He has a good reason, but you must watch the film. Evelyn and Graham develop a solid friendship. It’s due to her kind demeanor he was able to confide a secret to her, which she deeply respected and admired him for.
Norman (Ronald Pickup) is looking for love in all the wrong places. He went as far as speed dating to no avail. His move to India was not apparent. I didn’t get the feeling he moved to find someone. It was more like he’s given up. Later in the film, his fortune changes thanks to Madge. Norman is a character that is easy to relate to. His constant search for companionship can be tiresome, but his charm makes up for it.
Madge (Celia Imrie) has had several husbands, including her own. She refuses to be called or treated like an elderly. She’s in India hoping to meet a successful man, who she can settle down with. Norman and Madge develop an unwilling friendship through their desire to find a companion.
Sonny has a dream to outsource old age by renting out his father’s dilapidated hotel. Not only does he desire to make his own fortune, he’s in love with a woman his mother doesn’t approve off. Tempers flair. Love is tested. In the end, Sonny becomes a man.
Muriel is in India for a hip replacement, much to her despair. Her racism and distrust of anyone of color run deep. So, having to live in India is justice well served. The sensitivity of this character was well-played by Maggie Smith. Instead of hating the character, I found myself pitying Muriel for having such a limited view of life. Her views are challenged through the actions of a servant woman.
The film is charming, with a touch of serendipity. The film is based on a novel by Deborah Moggach. The screenplay is by Ol Parker. It is directed by John Madden. I love India and all it has to offer. The cinematography is extraordinary. It left me longing for a trip to there. I don’t have any cons for the film. I do think they forced the issue of Sonny’s girlfriend being a part of a modern Indie, without explaining what a modern India is considered.
I have watched this movie over 4o times. I’m not kidding! I love good dialogue and this film has one of the best-written scripts. Each time I watch the film, I make a new discovery. There is always something you miss. I find when you watch a film in layers you catch all the wonderful nuances that make a film great. From a single person’s viewpoint, this film explores relationships in a subtle way. This is what I enjoy most. It’s not overly romantic, like most romantic films. Perfect strangers meet and then gradually develop a relationship both plutonic and romantic, without any sex scenes thrown in to boost ratings. That was nice. I highly recommend this film for single people looking for a solid romantic movie without the bang. Pun definitely intended!
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is refreshing, creative, and whimiscal—and well worth a few hours of your time. It is available on DVD Netflix.
Next review: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (7/2/2017).
Just a nerd girl living a geek lifestyle of writing, filmmaking, photographing, and designing. Managing Editor of Your Film Review™. Believer in God/Jesus. 안녕 I'm also a Director under @DVDNetflix, where I write reviews, talk film, and more. Follow me on Twitter.