Valentine's Day is just around the corner and there are plenty of sappy romantic movies out there that will tug at your heartstrings. But for those exhausted with Katherine Heigl and Meg Ryan, these unique love stories are quite the palate cleanser and they're all available on demand.
Her (HBOGo) Finding the perfect human mate is hard, which is perhaps, why lonely writer Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) finds a relationship with his personalized operating system Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) much more simple. While the premise casts its romantic hero as pathetic and a little bit creepy, in the hands of director and Oscar-winning writer Spike Jonze, it's actually a bittersweet and affecting love story.
Lars and the Real Girl (Amazon Prime, Netflix) Before he was the fixture of Internet memes and donned washboard abs, Ryan Gosling played a broken young man who dresses up a Real Doll and carts it around his small town introducing the thing as his girlfriend. What sounds like a mediocre SNL sketch is a tender tale of a community's devotion to a troubled member.
Obvious Child (Amazon Prime) When a booze-fueled rebound fling leaves up-and-coming stand-up comic Donna (Jenny Slate) pregnant, she makes plans to have an abortion, but before the appointment, she discovers that her inadvertent sperm donor is actually a pretty great guy that she might want to see more of.
The One I Love (Netflix) While trying to work through their marital issues, Ethan and Sophie (Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss) head to a remote cabin for the weekend. A strange phenomenon could push their strained relationship over the edge.
Punch-Drunk Love (Netflix) "I want to scoop out your eyes and I want to eat them and chew them and suck on them" isn't exactly the pillow talk you'll find in most rom-coms, but through the lens of Paul Thomas Anderson, it seems perfectly normal and even a little bit adorable.
Secretary (HBOGo) Nearly a decade before Fifty Shades of Grey made BDSM trendy, Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader made it sexy and downright normal as their prosaic office relationship becomes a playfully erotic exchange that allows Gyllenhaal's mousey and childish Lee to blossom into a sexually empowered young woman.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (MAXGo) With an asteroid hurtling towards Earth, priorities gets shoved into place and the risk averse Dodge (Steve Carell) hits the road with his young and peppy neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley). This mission: to be reunited with his long lost love before humanity is wiped out for good.
Take This Waltz (Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Netflix) Seemingly happily married Margot (Michelle Williams) finds herself attracted to a handsome artist who lives across the street, forcing her to re-evaluate her relationship with her husband.
Your Sister's Sister (Netflix) When his brother dies, Jack (Mark Duplass) is invited by his best buddy Iris (Emily Blunt) to stay at her family's cabin where he unexpectedly finds Iris's sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt). After a drunken evening, Jack finds himself in the middle of a very peculiar love triangle.