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6 Movies like The Princess and the Warrior: Incompatible Partners
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6 Movies like The Princess and the Warrior: Incompatible Partners

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Aljosa Drazovic itcherArtists and scientists are equally powerless to explain the laws of attraction. It’s easy to see that characters in movies like ‘The Princess and the Warrior’ are poorly matched, but grasping why this happens is another matter entirely. Humorous films about odd couples also include ‘Harold and Maude’ and ‘Roxanne’. ~ Aljosa Drazovic

The Idea of an Ideal Lover

Imagination is the most powerful weapon in the history of mankind. Still, it’s not powerful enough to actually turn wishful thinking into something tangible.

In Tom Tykwer’s film ‘The Princess and the Warrior’, this principle is demonstrated in a very down-to earth fashion. The heroine develops romantic aspirations towards a former soldier who helps her after a traffic accident, but her hopes are dashed after he coldly refuses her advances. Like so many of us, the poor girl tried to imprint her own version of reality upon the world.

Films like ‘The Princess and the Warrior’ typically include romantic elements, as well as external obstacles that make the romance difficult, if not impossible. Here are a few:

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Movies Similar to ‘The Princess and the Warrior’…

‘A Fish Called Wanda’ (Charles Crichton, 1988)

A ruthless criminal armed with advanced seduction techniques is difficult to stop from putting her plans into motion, even by her supposed partners in crime.

She teams up with her longtime boyfriend to steal some diamonds, but her cheating tendencies quickly come to light when she brings along her thick-headed lover who believes to be an intellectual.

When her role in the heist demands her to put some moves on an elderly lawyer, things start really getting out of anyone’s control.

Similarity Match: 85%
The female protagonist in this film is not idealistic at all, but she still has a soft spot the right kind of a lover could exploit to secure her favors. And she likes very strange men.

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‘Harold and Maude’ (Hal Ashby, 1971)

It is often said that love knows no limits. This film offers an extreme example, with a friendship between a young man and a free-spirited elderly lady that threatens to grow into something more.

The age difference serves as a major plot device, with the main characters having divergent, often contrasting perspectives on life. It is also a source of humor on more than one occasion, giving the film a good measure of lightness as a counterbalance to a pronounced philosophical dimension.

Quirky and very original, the film successfully challenges conventions while staying acceptable to mainstream audiences.

Similarity Match: 80%
The films were made in different periods, and this shows in the pace of editing just as much as in the tone of narration. The central theme is that opposites attract, just like in ‘The Princess and The Warrior’.

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‘Norma Rae’ (Martin Ritt, 1979)

Strong and independent, the heroine of this film doesn’t back up from challenges, even when they come in the shape of a handsome man that attracts trouble like a magnet.

She is just a textile factory worker with a big mouth. He is a slick and educated union organizer with a passion to fight injustice. From the first moment, they click on all cylinders.

Faced with resistance of the conservative community to their rebellious undertones and scrutiny of their private relationship, the couple will have an uphill battle just to avoid public condemnation.

Similarity Match: 80%
This movie explores social themes more directly than ‘The Princess and The Warrior’. Its characters are just as passionate, albeit for different reasons.

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‘Roxanne’ (Fred Schepisi, 1987)

If you want evidence that old stuff can be made shiny again, look no further. This (relatively) modern rendition of the Cyrano De Bergerac story was a smashing success when it first came out and still remains funny to this day, if you are OK with some retro fashion.

Steve Martin portrays a guy who has plenty of manners, only they come in package with a huge nose. His encounter with a pretty student leads him to fall hopelessly in love, but his feelings will be returned only on the platonic level.

Getting desperate, this poor fellow is ready to do whatever it takes to become physically attractive – including plastic surgery! I mean, wouldn’t you?

Similarity Match: 70%
There are obvious overlapping themes in the two movies, notably unreturned love. However, this is a comical variation of a classic theme, not a modernistic experiment.

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If You Like ‘The Princess and The Warrior’, You Will Like…

As far as strange pairings go, all is well while we are still talking about humans. There are numerous films about romantic involvement between regular folks and supernatural beings of various kinds.

Let’s check out a couple of timeless hits:

‘The Fly’ (David Cronenberg, 1986)

A scientist working on a machine that could replicate genetic material makes a crucial mistake and allows a house fly to enter one of the modules during an experiment.

He soon begins to transform into a mutant – much to despair of his beloved one.

There are considerable differences in terms of genre and direction style, but I see a similar sort of humor as central in both films.

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Christophe Gans, 2014)

Originally a fairy tale, this narrative has seen plenty of iterations over time, and the latest movie adaptation may be among the best.

It is a story about a pretty girl who agrees to live with a hideous beast to save her father, only to discover that looks may be deceiving.

Again, it’s difficult to compare traditional fairy tales with contemporary works. However, this story may be the prototype for all later narrations about odd couples, ‘The Princess and the Warrior’ included.

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Keep Looking and Trust Your Instincts

Hopefully, you don’t need to be involved in a car accident to find that special person. Then again, crazier things have happened and you never know how your story will start.

Fresh and entertaining, films like ‘The Princess and the Warrior’ mix a dose of romance with three doses of reality. Their authors prove it’s possible to talk about emotions and images of perfect romance without sounding cheesy and cheap.

As for applying any of this wisdom in practice? Good look with that…

Could you add another underappreciated film to this list?

Aljosa Drazovic (1978) is a copywriter, screenwriter, blogger and poetry performer from Belgrade, Serbia. Armed with an analytic mind, a broad range of professional writing skills and a passion for alternative film-making, he is capable of delivering precise dissection of the storylines, performances and art work in a wide array of mainstream and indy films. Never the one to stick to convention, Aljosa is known for strong opinions that often stray from majority views.

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