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7 Movies like The Dreamers: Steamy Love Stories

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Andy McKendry itcherMichael Pitt stars in ‘The Dreamers’, a movie about cinema, love, and sexual exploration. Some of my favourite stories that consider similar themes are ‘Les Amants Reguliers’, ‘My Summer of Love’, and ‘Before Sunset.’ ~ Andy Mckendry

The Politics of Sex

Michael Pitt has often picked unusual roles, and often-controversial ones too. ‘The Dreamers’ features Pitt as an American visiting Paris in the late ‘60s who falls in love firstly with French cinema, and then with the lives of a brother and sister he meets at a political riot.
For fans of tumultuous drama stories I’ve listed some of the best films like ‘The Dreamers.’
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‘Les Amants Reguliers’ (Philippe Garrel, 2005)

Set during the same historical timeframe as ‘The Dreamers’, and starring Louis Garrel, ‘Les Amants Reguliers’ deals with love in Paris too. It’s a film that’s heavily shaped by its Parisian ‘60s context and the philosophical and political turmoil is the perfect fodder for this story.

Poetry, under the influence of opium, a Parisian mansion, and student riots serve as a backdrop for the love story that the narrative rests on. This is an arts film, and in many ways this black and white movie is even better than Bertolucci’s excellent ‘The Dreamers.’

Similarity Match: 90%
Creativity fuelled by cultural contexts, and aided by opium smoke, is the backdrop for ‘Les Amants Reguliers’ story of young lovers.

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‘My Summer of Love’ (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2004)

Far from the heady Parisian world in ‘The Dreamers’, ‘My Summer of Love’ takes place in the sleepy English countryside. As the title suggests the film is set under the unflinching hot summer sun and the story is just as passionate as the one in Bertolucci’s film.

“My Summer of Love’ deals with a relationship between two young women, one poor, the other rich. It considers the often-confusing feelings that they feel towards each other and although it’s not as tumultuous as Paris in the ‘60s their small community is still undergoing an upheaval of sorts – a Christian revival serves as the backdrop for their potential tryst.

Similarity Match: 80%
Both films deal with exploration and the surprising places where we find love and connection.

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‘Les Chansons d’Amour’ (Christophe Honore, 2007)

Once more Paris is the backdrop for a passionate story. ‘Les Chansons d’Amour’ explores the lives of a pair of lovers and the people they meet in the romantic French city. It’s a film that’s set in the idealised Paris, a sort of dream like interpretation of the city we imagine it to be.

In this meta reality where everything is perfect, an Eden perhaps, darkness does intrude in the form of death. This threatens the beautiful world and the inhabitants too. Now there’s a conflict between love and loss and it’s up to our young couple to pick which one will win out.

Similarity Match: 70%
Everything that’s good comes with a cost – there’s no life without death.

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‘Before Sunset’ (Richard Linklater, 2004)

The second part in Linklater’s trilogy about love and the influence of time, ‘Before Sunset’ shares some similarities with ‘The Dreamers.’ Both films take place in Paris and both are shaped by their romantic setting – their respective characters put passion and love before real world responsibilities and conventions.

In ‘Before Sunset’ love is an ideal, but not an unrealistic one. This isn’t a fairy-tale and its focus on choice and compulsion is markedly similar to the themes found in ‘The Dreamers.’

Similarity Match: 60%
You can’t always predict where you’ll find love or the moment that will alter your life forever.

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If You Like ‘The Dreamers’, You Will Like…

There are a number of movies similar to ‘The Dreamers.’ I’ve opted to include some that influenced Bertolucci’s film, some overtly, others less so. Each of the following films belongs to the illustrious French New Wave, and Pitt’s character in ‘The Dreamers’ would love all three.

‘Band of Outsiders’ (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964)

Perhaps my favourite scene in ‘The Dreamers’ is a deliberate throwback to a moment in ‘Band of Outsiders.’ It sees our trio race through the Louvre, attempting to break the record set in this earlier French film.

‘The Dreamers’ is a movie about movies and they picked some great influences to influence their Parisian set love story.

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‘The 400 Blows’ (Francois Truffaut, 1959)

‘The Dreamers’ uses the title music from this excellent film from notable French New Wave director Francois Truffaut. Jean-Pierre Leaud who stars in ‘400 Blows’ appears in Bertolucci’s film as himself too.

Experience a different sort of Paris and view it through the eyes of a child in Truffaut’s touching tale of childhood in ‘400 Blows.’

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‘Blonde Venus’ (Joseph Von Sternberg, 1932)

If you enjoyed Eva Green’s provocative dance scene in ‘The Dreamers’ then you should watch ‘Blonde Venus’, the film that her character’s actions referenced. It’s a film for fans of cinema, for lovers of the golden age of the silver screen.

Experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s hey day with ‘Blonde Venus.’

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My Thoughts

I’m a big fan of ‘The Dreamers.’ I love its retrospective tone and its depiction of lovers in Paris. I would recommend watching ‘Les Amants Reguliers’ if you’re looking for something similar. Love under the influence, poetry, and a political tempest shape the experiences of its young lovers and its depiction of Paris is markedly similar to the one in ‘The Dreamers.’

Let me know what you think with a comment below.

I’m a writer. It’s what I do and what I′ve always done. As a child I wrote on walls with a crayon. Now I write for websites. I write for my blog where I post reviews of films, TV, and occasionally write short stories and I also run a writer and illustration collective. Whatever I do involves words, and plenty of them. I’m an avid cinephile, a screenwriter, and I love telling stories. I have an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, UK, and I work on a freelance basis and drink far too much coffee.
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