Love is an extremely complicated emotion. Even the lover fails to understand when, where, or why he/she has fallen in love in the first place. Of course, there are societal norms or restrictions which tend to prevent emotions from transgressing certain boundaries. However, on most occasions, one cannot exactly quantify why we fall in love with a certain person.
The mutual attraction between humans can be sexual or romantic, anywhere on the sex/gender spectrum, and even with people beyond one’s age group. The relationships where there is a massive age gap tend to be looked down upon in society. The dynamics of such relationships have been explored in movies in different forms, and Netflix has some of the best movies that deal with this subject.
6. No Hard Feelings (2023)
A coming-of-age sex comedy directed by Gene Stupnitsky, ‘No Hard Feelings’ follows 32-year-old Maddie Barker (Jennifer Lawrence), who is on the verge of bankruptcy and, as a result, is about to lose her house. Her job as an Uber driver goes down the drain after her car is repossessed due to unpaid property taxes. Now, she needs a job that pays well. Parallelly, we have wealthy parents, Allison (Laura Benanti) and Laird Becker (Matthew Broderick), who are looking for a woman who can help their 19-year-old son Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) come out of his shell (interact with girls, get drunk, and maybe get laid and stuff) before he attends college. Their posting on Craigslist is found by Maddie who agrees to the job. The exploits of Maddie and Percy, as the former tries to get the latter to be more congenial and fun, are what make for the rest of the movie. A fun take on coming-of-age and the rush of mixed feelings and emotions it constitutes, ‘No Hard Feelings’ is an entertaining watch. You can stream it here.
5. MILF (2018)
‘MILF’ is a French comedy film directed by Axelle Laffont, which explores the intriguing dynamics of older woman-younger man relationships. The story centers around three close friends, Sonia (Marie-Josée Croze), Cécile (Virginie Ledoyen), and Elise (Axelle Laffont), who embark on a vacation in the South of France, seeking rejuvenation and adventure. Unexpectedly, they each become romantically entangled with much younger men, and as their passionate encounters unfold, the film delves into the complexities of love, desire, and societal expectations. With a humorous yet thought-provoking approach, ‘MILF’ offers a fresh perspective on age-gap relationships, challenging stereotypes and highlighting the universal nature of human connection. You can watch the movie here.
4. Wake Up Sid (2009)
Directed and written by Ayan Mukerji, ‘Wake Up Sid’ is a coming-of-age comedy-drama film that features stand-out performances by Konkana Sen Sharma, Ranbir Kapoor, Anupam Kher, and Supriya Pathak. The movie centers upon Siddharth Mehra, a wealthy and careless college student with no purpose in life. As he continues to take no responsibility seriously, his life takes a radical turn when he meets an aspiring writer named Aisha Bannerjee. The film captures Siddharth’s growth from an irresponsible college student to a compassionate young man who can be relied upon. You may watch the film here.
3. Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
‘Dil Chahta Hai’ is a coming-of-age romance movie that primarily focuses on three inseparable friends. Akash, Sameer, and Sid decide to go to Goa for a trip shortly after their graduation to celebrate the occasion and have a few fun weeks for themselves. They are aware of the responsibilities that stare that they have in the future, and Sid even suspects whether they will remain friends in the future or not. As the story unfolds, the Farhan Akhtar directorial turns its attention towards their romantic affairs and their wildly different approaches to them. Their friendship is also tested in the light of the choices they make as the trio tries to understand each other’s perspective on love and stay together. Feel free to check out the movie here.
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2. Haider (2014)
‘Haider,’ starring Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Irrfan Khan, and Kay Kay Menon, is a Hindi adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet.’ ‘Haider’ is the third in a series of films Indian director Vishal Bhardwaj has made on the works of Shakespeare. The film follows the story of a Kashmiri student and poet who returns to his homeland to find out that his father has been taken away by the army. His father’s only guilt was that he was a doctor who agreed to treat a separatist leader.
Though the film is not really about a romantic relationship between a younger man and an older woman, there’s an underlying sexual tension between Haider and his mother, Ghazala. Haider is filled with rage and jealousy upon coming to know that his mother has developed a romantic relationship with his uncle only a few days after his father’s disappearance. The Oedipal references in the film are far too strong to be ignored. Notably, ‘Haider’ is the first Indian film to win the People’s Choice Award at the Rome Film Festival. You can check out the film here.
1. Black Island (2021)
Directed by Miguel Alexandre, ‘Black Island’ is a German film that tells the story of Jonas, a high school senior living on the titular island in the North Frisian Islands. Following the death of a well-loved educator at the local school, Helena Jung arrives on the island to be the new German teacher. Early in the film, it is implied that she might have ulterior motives. She grows close to Jonas, who aspires to be a writer. Soon, a sordid affair begins between the two. ‘Black Island’ is not a perfect film, but its flaws don’t overshadow the positives. Alexandre is a capable filmmaker and maintains an aura of suspense throughout the film. He is helped in his efforts by performances of Hanns Zischler, Alice Dwyer, and Mercedes Müller. You can watch ‘Black Island’ here.