It may seem strange that a lonely person might wish to watch a movie with heart broken characters.
Indeed, anyone might ask: Aren’t you miserable enough already? Plus, do you want to see a story about someone in pain?
But fortunately, our minds don’t work in such a simple and limited way.
Sometimes that’s what we need, for example, how horror fans aren’t necessarily bloodthirsty sadists.
Life too many times challenges us in ways we cannot overcome, and we have to process defeat one way or another.
Our loneliness can come from unrequited love, problems at work, or friends and family who don’t understand us.
A simple movie can help us in these cases when we are so lonely that our heart physically hurts?
From my personal experience, I have to answer absolutely yes.
Fortunately, I found wonderful friends who helped me deal with and even laugh at these problems at some point in my life.
But when I was a younger child, so many times, I felt abandoned in a world full of stupid, mean people.
In those cases, the cinema helped me so much, canceling the sad reality surrounding me for a few hours.
And once the movie was over, I felt ever so slightly better as if I had taken an invisible medicine.
Today I’m older, and it’s much better, though; of course, now and then, that feeling of wretched inadequacy comes back at the worst times.
However, when you learn to recognize it, at least it’s no longer an unknown enemy to be afraid of.
I hope to help even one of you with the movies I’m going to talk about today, all stories that have lonely hearts as protagonists.
1 – The Girl Who Invented Kissing (2017)
We begin with a beautiful movie with two brothers as its protagonists, both lonely hearts in their way.
They live in small Bloomfield, New Jersey, running a small bar together.
The town, although a peaceful and quiet place, does not offer too many exciting opportunities.
In addition, the older brother suffers from mental problems after a severe accident many years before.
Indeed, the man nearly drowned to save his little brother, suffering brain damage from being without oxygen for too long.
He can still take care of himself, but many times is a victim of the cruelty of the kids who mistreat him.
Instead, the other brother works all day long and still struggles to earn enough to keep their business open.
In addition, he carries on a secret affair with the sad and unsatisfied wife of a policeman friend for a long time.
One day, a mysterious young vagrant arrives in town and changes everyone’s plans and games.
This beautiful girl immediately becomes friends with her older brother, not caring about his boyish naivety.
At first, the whole community judges her harshly with suspicion, but very soon, she will gain the trust and respect of everyone.
However, when both brothers begin to feel more than friendship for her, she may unwittingly divide them forever.
We are all alone yet still have someone
The Girl Who Invented Kissing is a film that surprised me immensely, with a lonely heart’s story being sad but optimistic at the same time.
This little world is made up of characters in which we can all recognize ourselves or someone close to us with a glimpse.
Characters like the cop or the bartender we talk to every day without imagining what their lives are like.
So what seems to be a great marriage is a tiredly passionless routine they carry on by inertia and not love.
Very good in this sense, if not the best of the cast, the wonderful Abbie Cornish in the ambiguous role of the wife.
A woman who has a passion for the younger brother of this story, Vincent Piazza, and meets him in secret.
This boy seems cheerful and happy to everyone, but in reality, he lives daily under the pressure of problems.
He can’t hide this anxiety from his brother, whom Dash Mihok plays very well, giving a believable face to his mental problems.
A role that could have quickly become pitiful or ridiculous, but here it always stays above the line of poetry and dream.
Finally, we applaud the young and beautiful Suki Waterhouse, whose humble and simple wisdom will illuminate the lives of everyone else.
Living hand-to-mouth, needy, and homeless, everyone initially considers her an outcast.
But with patience, she engages each person she deals with, illuminating their true soul and changing it forever.
Tom Sierchio‘s talent directs what is currently his only movie, crafting a lonely hearts fairy tale you won’t easily forget.
2 – The Ledge
A policeman starts his day with a complex case, having to convince a boy not to kill himself by jumping off a ledge.
It’s not the best time of his life either, having just found news from his doctor that could destroy his marriage.
However, he starts talking to the would-be suicide, figuring out what could have led him to this extreme decision.
Surprisingly, he looks pretty calm and responds rationally to her questions, recounting the last months of his life.
The boy manages the hotel staff, living together with a gay friend after the separation from his wife.
One day they befriend the newlyweds who live next door, who politely invite them to dinner.
Unfortunately, the husband turns out to be an obsessively religious maniac, harshly criticizing his friend’s homosexuality.
However, his wife fascinates him, and he offers her work in his hotel, then begins seducing her continuously.
The woman initially seems to reject his advances, trying to maintain the friendship.
Inevitably then, with time, the cold relationship with her husband inevitably pushes her to have a secret affair.
Unfortunately for the lovers, this secret won’t last long, prompting events that lead the boy walking up onto that ledge.
When two distinct lives ultimately meet
Some movies perhaps have no one particular element that stands out from the others in an absolute way.
The Ledge has fine direction and good acting, relying on an adequate but not extraordinary script.
However, the result is greater than the sum of every single factor, being really exciting and engaging.
Charlie Hunnam, the famous protagonist of the TV series Sons of Anarchy, plays probably the best role of his career.
His character manages to remain human, balancing between drama and romance with a nostalgic sense of humor.
Terrence Howard is equally good at being his interlocutor throughout the story, turning from a cop to a priest confessor.
He is a lonely man in a world of broken hearts, all converging in the same spot for a day in this movie.
The actor plays a seemingly respectable and serene man who lives in total faith in the word of god.
But beneath his religious fixation actually lurks the darkness of a tenacious and cruel psychopath.
Director Matthew Chapman wisely steps aside without overdoing unnecessary and over-the-top cinematic virtuosity.
Instead, he lets the script and the actors speak as simply and naturally as possible.
In conclusion, this is a movie I didn’t think was that good, yet it amazed and thrilled me from the first to the last minute.
3 – Double Lover
In her youth, she was a famous model, making a career and money with her beauty.
However, with time, the fatuous superficiality of that world grew tiresome to her, bringing only sadness.
Today she feels emotionally and sexually frigid, unable to have feelings in relationships with men.
When a sharp physical pain accompanies the psychological discomfort, she decides to start prolonged therapy with a young psychologist.
Initially, the treatment seems to pay off, and she feels better, less sad, and more comfortable and confident.
Unfortunately, however, the psychologist tells her that he can no longer continue, as he has fallen in love with her, making his work impossible.
Feeling a great attraction for him, after confiding her secrets to him, she starts a relationship and even decides to live with him.
However, after a short time after the beginning of the couple’s life, everything starts again as before.
Loneliness grips his days, and that feeling of unease returns even more potent.
Also, finding strange documents among her things, she becomes convinced that the man is not sincere with her.
The suspicion becomes a certainty when, by chance, she sees him with another woman in front of a building.
But when she enters that building, she discovers that it was not him but a twin brother he had never told her anything about.
This twin is also a psychologist, so she decides to start a new therapy hoping to complete it, this time.
Again she ends up becoming her therapist’s lover, who is also her partner’s brother this time.
Living with passion the new sexual excitement of the betrayal, she soon realizes that this situation cannot last too long.
Secret lies we hide from ourselves
Double Lover is a movie that profoundly investigates human sexuality, hidden behind the lies of a sad, lonely heart.
Director François Ozon places the story looking from a female perspective, as in his previous Young & Beautiful.
Once again, we observe these complex characters through the austere gaze of a pure and innocent girl.
But being innocent doesn’t mean being good, as is valid for the beautiful protagonist Marine Vacth.
Everyone sees her as a delicate creature who needs help, yet without ever really being able to help her.
No one can understand the fundamental nature of her problem, both physical and mental.
Neither can her two lovers, even though they are both brilliant psychologists.
Jérémie Renier offers two excellent interpretations of these highly different men, even though they appear identical.
One likes to keep his secrets to himself, and the other has no filter or moral limit to talk about anything.
Again, neither is good or bad, but both are too selfish to notice the woman’s real problems.
Finally, we also make a tiny mention of the extraordinary Jacqueline Bisset, here in a small but crucial appearance.
Many remember a French actress with 007 in Casino Royale in the ’60s, always beautiful and brilliant in any role.
In conclusion, Double Lover is a beautiful little independent production, accomplishing so much with so little.
I hope a film will bring some of you closer to French or European cinema in general.
Opening your heart to movies from a close world that you live in every day might make you feel a bit less lonely.