Rom-coms don’t have the Valentine’s Day movie market cornered. There are plenty of real-life love stories captured on film that can get even the most cynical among us in the mood for romance. These four PBS films are proof that not only is love real, it’s possible for everyone.
Challenging times can make or break a relationship. This couple’s foster-to-adopt experience brought them even closer. These two are so sweet, it’ll give you a toothache, and their refusal to give up on building their family will appeal to all you hopeless romantics and optimists out there. Watch this docu-webseries and you and your honey will feel like you can accomplish anything together.
Imagine being with the same person for 70 years—and loving it. Jo Byeong-man and Kang Gye-yeol were married as teens and made it work, growing more in love with each other over the decades.
“My Love, Don’t Cross That River” depicts the last days of the couple’s romance, as Jo’s advancing age leaves him weakened and eventually bedridden. Until the end of their time together, they held on to the humor and fun that kept their love timeless. You might want to have tissues on hand for this one.
“When I started shooting, I just wanted to find out the secret of their love,” director Jin Mo-young said to PBS.
“But, as time went on, I could see many more facets to their lives, and, I guess because of this, audiences enjoyed the film from their own varied viewpoints—married or not married, male or female, young or old, as a son or daughter, mother or father and so on. To all of them, this couple proved that eternal love still exists in this world.”
Being in love might be the best feeling in the world. But if you don’t have the choice to be with the person who makes your stomach do summersaults, it’s a slog.
“The Grown-Ups” is a film about a group of midde-aged friends who attend a school for people with Down Syndrome and struggle for more autonomy. Two of the main characters are deeply in love—but can they get married and move in together as they’ve promised each other? For adults with developmental disabilities, it’s not that easy.
For stories of love against all odds, look no further. This documentary about the lives of LGBTQ pioneers in Minnesota features the romance of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell, a couple that grabbed the attention of the nation when they found a legal loophole that allowed them to be married in the 1970s.
No matter where you live, this film is a good reminder to never take the love or community in your life for granted.
Katie Moritz is Rewire’s senior editor and a Pisces who enjoys thrift stores, rock concerts and pho. She covered politics for a newspaper in Juneau, Alaska, before driving down to balmy Minnesota to help produce long-standing public affairs show “Almanac” at Twin Cities PBS. Now she works on this here website. Reach her via email at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @katecmoritz and on Instagram @yepilikeit.