10 Unconventional Love Stories That Go Beyond “Boy Meets Girl”

When it comes to personal preference for movie genres, my taste falls somewhere within the sappy genre. I am a complete sucker for complicated romance and tear-jerkers and sob stories and heart-string yankers. For the most part, if there is a love story within these films, no matter how quirky or unusual the plot may be, it still ends up being a pretty formulaic version of boy meets girl and all becomes right with the world. While I adore a conventional love story I also seriously appreciate unconventional love stories.

So many of us know all kinds of flavors of love in our lives. We know the love of our parents, our teachers, our friends. Some of us know the love of a partner, wife or husband or the love of a child as either a parent or as a loving adult in a child’s life. Movies have been beautifully telling these unconventional love stories for years. These are just a few of my favorites I’ll be falling in love with (again) this month.

Unconventional Love Stories:

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    Unconventional Love Stories

    What's your favorite unconventional love story? Did I have it on my list? Let me know.

  • Steel Magnolias: Small Town Love 2 of 11

    The women in Steel Magnolias don't have to love each other. They live in a small town and know everything there is to know about each other and that doesn't always jive for a love story. But these women are invested in each other deeply in very powerful ways. The love story between Ouiser and Clairee (played by Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis) is one of the best things about the film.


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  • Walking and Talking: Best Friend Love 3 of 11

    Even though I don't have friendships that have lasted since my childhood, I so completely relate to the best friendship featured in Walking and Talking. Amelia and Laura (played by Catherine Keener and Anne Heche) are friends who love having a witness to every detail of their lives — even the most mundane. One of my favorite scenes involves Amelia leaving a voicemail for Laura and getting distracted by the funky smell of her kitchen sponge. 


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  • Stand By Me: Loyal Love 4 of 11

    Then there is the love of bygone friendships. How many of us have genuinely fond memories of friendships that have faded away? Stand By Me reminds me of this kind of loyal love. It's a pretty small group, but there are people in the world who I haven't heard from in years, and yet if they called me right now, I would drop everything to help them. That's love. 


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  • Wall-E: Robot Love 5 of 11

    The simple love in Wall-E does a nice job of showcasing love through gestures. Wall-E didn't know EVE at all; she was a complete stranger to him, and yet he felt compelled to protect and care for her. 


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  • E.T.: Alien Love 6 of 11

    Ok, I am going to attempt to write about the love story in E.T. without getting emotional but it is probably not going to happen. So ... yeah. That love story in E.T.


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  • Up: Multigenerational Love 7 of 11

    The love story between Carl (voiced by Ad Asner) and Russell (voiced by Jordan Nagai) in Up is fantastic. Carl had pretty much given up on knowing love again, and he certainly never expected to know what it was like to care for a kid ... and then along comes Russell. 


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  • Cocoon: Forever Love 8 of 11

    Sure, you could say that the guys from the retirement home who decide to travel back to planet Anterea will love forever because they will live forever, but I always fall for Bernie's story in Cocoon. Bernie, stubborn Bernie, who decides NOT to swim in the magic swimming pool and who painfully mourns his wife. It's a different kind of forever love, but I get it. 


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  • About a Boy: Mom Love 9 of 11

    Fiona and Marcus in About a Boy ... this mother-son duo is one of my all-time favorite movie love stories. Marcus strives so hard to drag his mother out of depression, and Fiona is oblivious to the world crumbling around her. 


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  • Benny & Joon: Found Each Other Love 10 of 11

    This film is probably the most traditional on this untraditional list. What makes Benny & Joon an unusual love story are Joon (played by Mary Stuart Masterson) and Sam (played by Johnny Depp). Sam is quirky and odd and Joon has schizophrenia. I've always loved this movie because it reminds me that it doesn't matter what shape you are in — there is always a match for you.


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  • Remember the Titans: Coach Love 11 of 11

    I really had a hard time trying to figure out which film to use to showcase "coach love." This is also that kind of love we all have for a great teacher in our lives, someone who inspired and motivated us to do and be more than we ever thought possible. There are many teachers in my life who I love and appreciate. In Remember the Titans Denzel Washington plays Coach Boone, a man who ends up unifying a community by unifying a football team. 


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