Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by watching a romantic film! We asked members of the Tandem team in Berlin to recommend some romantic movies that are popular in their native languages.
Here are our top picks for French, English, Spanish, Georgian, Dutch, Chinese and German!
Melissa: “Amélie is a true French classic! Set in Montmartre, it is a beautiful, whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life. The main character, Amelie, decides to live life doing good things for other people – something which gets her into trouble but also helps her fall in love. Amélie is a bit of a cliché… but still a great film with an enchanting soundtrack.”
English – Brief Encounter
Susanna: “Brief Encounter is the quintessential tale of doomed romance. Married woman meets married man at a train station in England and what follows is an hour and a half of pure angst as they reflect on their lives and fall in love. It is in black and white, has ridiculous background music from Rachmaninoff, and manages to be tense and dramatic without anything actually happening. Watch with subtitles, as the characters have posh English accents that are hard to understand (even for Brits)!”
Carolina: “Ocho apellidos vascos is a great Spanish romantic comedy that shows the cultural differences between Spanish regions through its main characters: a man from Sevilla who tries to win the heart of a Basque girl. The Sevillian guy then tries to act Basque and it leads to a lot of hilarity. It’s not a serious romance film, but it’s really sweet and funny.”
Georgian – მხიარული რომანი (Merry Romance)
Sergo: “Merry Romance features one of the greatest Georgian comedians, Ipolite Khvichia, and is about love between a countryman and an uptown girl. Though it was made in 1972, it is still really popular in Georgia, and is famous for a scene that shows delicious Georgian cuisine in all its glory!”
Dutch – Alles is Liefde (Love is all)
Anne: “You could say Alles is Liefde is the Dutch version of Love Actually. It’s very cheesy and features lots of famous Dutch actors in intertwining storylines. Basically, Sinterklaas drops dead, husbands and wives cheat on each other, and everyone else searches for The One. Many Dutch people can still recite cringeworthy lines from this movie, like “Jij ongelofelijk lekkere vrouw” (you extremely delicious woman) and “Goedheiligman m’n HOL” (holy man my ass). A real Dutch classic.”
Chinese – 我的少女時代 (Our Times)
Sabrina: “We all like to reminisce about our school days as an escape from the pressures of adult life. This is shown perfectly in Our Times, which is set in a Taiwanese high school. The movie is a nostalgic flashback to the 90s, with the characters wearing classic school uniform. It is about typical young Chinese romance – even if they could not be together forever, they always look back fondly on their first love. To quote a famous line from the movie: “Thank you for being part of my youth!”
German – Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run)
Tobias: “Lola Rennt isn’t a romantic movie per se, but the main character goes through a bunch of ridiculous stuff just because she loves her guy. The German language does not lend itself easily to beautiful and romantic talk, so instead we like to show our love through our actions… in this sense, Lola Rennt is the perfect German romantic movie!”
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Reading is an amazing way to improve your language skills. By doing lots of reading, you’re exposing yourself to new vocabulary and structures in a totally natural way, which helps you gain a better understanding of how the language really works. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are some great options for getting started on reading in a foreign language!