Amazon Studios Life Itself

Last updated date: July 30, 2019

DWYM Score
5.0

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We looked at the top 1 Romance Movies and dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including Roger Ebert, Metacritic, Indie Wire, Cinema Blend, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Atlantic, The Guardian and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Romance Movie you should buy.

Overall Take

“Life Itself” by Amazon Studios is our best value for a romance flick. A roller coaster ride of emotions and an interesting plot create a perfect mix of romance and drama. The characters' relatability enhances the film's intertwining storylines. In our analysis of 95 expert reviews, the Amazon Studios Amazon Studios Life Itself placed 10th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Romance Movie for a detailed review of all the top romance movies.

Expert Summarized Score
3.9
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.0
11,654 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
“Life Itself” packs in enough narrative twists and turns to leave viewers with a sense of emotional whiplash.
- Roger Ebert
September 21, 2018 | Full review
That story weaves perfectly with writer-director Dan Fogelman's Life Itself. The movie has a lot of characters, and those characters all have their own stories. But Fogelman understands that stories taking place all over the globe have the potential to intersect, and that one story you might have no interest in whatsoever can suddenly become the most important story in the world, because now it pertains to you.
- Cinema Blend
The plot in Life Itself is precisely calibrated, intended either to disturb or to provoke tears—but the film is presented as an ode to romance and the connections that bind us as human beings.
- The Atlantic
September 20, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The movie only narrowly misses the most predictable of cliches by jolting the audience with a steady diet of unfortunate events. Adding to that disorientating feeling is the film’s cycle through various characters. It’s an approach better suited for a drawn-out TV show, but in the short runtime of a movie, the effect is lacking.
- Roger Ebert
September 21, 2018 | Full review
It’s a movie made for people who can’t be trusted to understand any storytelling unless it’s not just spoon-fed but ladled on, piled high, and explained via montage and voiceover.
- Indie Wire
September 8, 2018 | Full review
Life Itself can be hokey, and melodramatic, peddling dime-store psychology that isn't probing nearly as deeply into the human condition as Dan Fogelman probably believes.
- Cinema Blend
The cheapest thing about Fogelman's unreliable narrator device is he uses it like a party trick, not to enhance the story in any way, like unreliable narrators used to great effect in film noir. The entirety of “Life Itself” is a cheap trick, starting with the trailer.
- Los Angeles Times
September 20, 2018 | Full review
But there are two plot points—one hinging on a freak accident and the other on a suicide—that are indefensible, that serve only to stun the viewer into submission.
- The Atlantic
September 20, 2018 | Full review
Fogelman is best known as a screenwriter of films (Tangled and Crazy, Stupid, Love) and TV (This Is Us). But despite his skill and experience, this screenplay feels gimmicky and sophomoric in its reliance on outlandish coincidences and tricksy devices.
- The Guardian
January 5, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Only on Prime Video. Life Itself centers on a couple (Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde) that lead a multi-generational love story spanning both decades and continents, from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside, and are all connected by a single event.

Overall Product Rankings

1. CBS Films The Words
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 10
2. Warner Bros. A Walk To Remember
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 10
3. Warner Bros. The Notebook
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 10
4. Cinedigm The Ultimate Gift
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 8
5. Universal Pictures Priceless
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 8
6. Screen Gems Dear John
Overall Score: 7.0
Expert Reviews: 10
7. Lionsgate Forever My Girl
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 10
8. Meritage Pictures Not Since You
Overall Score: 6.0
Expert Reviews: 3
9. Lionsgate The Choice
Overall Score: 5.8
Expert Reviews: 10
10. Amazon Studios Life Itself
Overall Score: 5.0
Expert Reviews: 8

An Overview On Romance Movies

At the end of a long week, the best decompression is to cozy up on your couch and push play on an awesome romance movie. Unfortunately, there are so many romance movies that are just cheesy or are just plain boring. That’s why you should consider only the best romance movies as suggested by countless viewers. You will save time, and as a result, you will love the movie you choose.

What makes a great romance movie anyway? Although the genre has been around for so long, every generation seems to have a blockbuster movie that just touches countless souls. There are several things that all the best romance movies have as common denominators that make them out-of-this-world incredible. And you will know when you’ve found that perfect romance movie.

There are quite a few limitations placed on the romance movie genre, which makes it difficult for directors and actors to really impress their viewers. This calls for a very creative approach. With a bit of creativity, audiences will find that it isn’t just the same old story played by different actors. This could even mean a different angle of the same old love story, but with incredible details and imagination.

The characters must be likable. Whether they are witty, charming, sweet or funny, the characters should have something that diverges from the usual suspects of a romance movie.

Clichés in a romance movie can also be a huge turn-off. Directors try extremely hard to stay away from common romance scripts and scenes and put their best imagination towards spinning the scenes to an unexpected event.

Realistic plots are another must-have for a great romance movie. People want to be able to see the real reason for the attraction and the events unfolding in a somewhat natural way. This is another aspect that needs to reflect creativity from the directors. If the intriguing plot isn’t there, it is just on par with the other average romance movies.

One of the most notable characteristics of all the greatest romance movies is the chemistry between the actors. Audiences will always comment on the spark between the lead actors in a romance movie. That connection must be believable, or the movie won’t be as fun to watch.

An unexpected finale is something that tops off the most romantic of movies. So many times, in romance movies, the audience can predict the happily ever after ending. When a movie doesn’t have that predictable ending, you know you’ve happened upon a great romance movie.

With countless choices, you will surely find it hard to choose. There are several that stand out to audiences in particular. “A Walk To Remember” by Warner Bros. is definitely one for the records. This romance movie has all the elements to make it the best, including a beautiful ending that just tugs at the heart. Right alongside it, CBS Films delivered “The Words.” This romance movie gives the audience something to think about in the moral realm all while displaying well-developed and surprising characters.

At its heels stands the beloved Warner Bros. film, “The Notebook.” A whirlwind of emotions that are realistically portrayed, intense on-screen chemistry between the actors and an unexpected ending combine to give audiences one of the best romance movies of modern cinema.

Also suggested as one of the best romance movies is an Amazon Studios Original, “Life Itself.” This movie definitely gives audiences a roller coaster ride of emotions throughout the storyline. Any one of these flicks will give you a great romance movie experience.

DYWM Fun Fact

The very first romance movie ever created was only 18 seconds long and was called “The May Irwin Kiss.” This was made in the 1890’s in London and became movie of the year when it was released. Years later in the early 20th century, some of the best classic romance movies began to hit theaters in black and white and, eventually, color. There was “Casablanca” in 1942, “Gone With the Wind” in 1939, “The Philadelphia Story” in 1940, “Singing in the Rain” in 1952 quickly followed by “Roman Holiday” in 1953. Later on, audiences swooned over “An Affair to Remember” in 1957, “Grease” in 1978 and of course, “The Princess Bride” in 1987.

These classic romance movies are still touching audiences today with their incredible storylines and beautiful on-screen chemistry between the actors. There have been many notable romance actors and actresses throughout the ages, but none stand out so much as the Hepburn sisters, Katharine and Aubrey. Their acting was outstanding, and when they were paired with stunningly handsome actors such as Cary Grant, you couldn’t help but fall in love with the movies they starred in.

A few fun facts about other famous romance movies:

“Pretty Woman” by J.F. Lawton was originally scripted as a much more dramatic movie with a darker ending.

“Titanic’s” famous line, “I’m the king of the world!” was improvised, but the director kept it.

“The Princess Bride” was written in 1973 by William Goldman for his daughter.

“Ghost” proved be quite lucrative for Demi Moore, making her the highest-paid actress for her time.

“Sleepless in Seattle” coined the phrase “soup Nazi” two whole years before “Seinfeld” used it.

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” required Steve Carell to lose 30 pounds for the role.

The Romance Movie Buying Guide

  • Browse through different film production companies to find the best romance movies. Warner Bros., CBS Films and Amazon Studios are all great places to start.
  • Find a subgenre you love. There are drama romance movies, sci-fi romance movies, action romance movies, comedy romance movies and classic romance movies, among other varieties.
  • Be thoughtful of who you are watching the movie with. Some romance movies can hit home for some people. Others prefer to actively avoid the genre altogether.
  • There is an appropriate romance movie for every stage of your relationship (and every kind of relationship, even long-distance relationships) if you like watching them with your partner.