Celebrate First Love With Of An Age — As Well As These Four Valentine’s Day Watches

These four films remind us of our first romance

While writing the screenplay for Of An Age, writer-director Goran Stoleski described in the production notes that the power of storytelling isn’t found in recreating vast worlds but in “digging into a single compact human and excavating feelings the size of a universe.”

Kol (Elias Anton), a 17-year-old Serbian born, amateur ballroom dancer living in a blue-collar neighborhood of North Melbourne, discovered such a feeling one day in the summer of 1999. After getting a call to rescue his dance partner, Ebony (Hattie Hook), who’d woken up a bit hung over on an unknown beach, Kol solicits the help of her brother, Adam (Thom Green). During the next 24 hours, Kol experiences something with Adam, a feeling at once overwhelming and unexpected, that profoundly shapes who he is and what his future will look like.

Of an Age, for Variety, is “pulsating with lustful tenderness (and tender lust) as it sketches what first love can feel like.”

Few experiences have captured the imagination of filmmakers and the hearts of film viewers as first love. So this Valentine’s Day, we are remembering the magic of first love with movies that explore the mysterious and miraculous feeling.

Get tickets for Of An Age now!

The official trailer for Of An Age

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain

Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain maps out the complex path that first love can set people on. When Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) meet one summer in 1963, neither man could fathom how their unexpected feelings for each other would transform their future. Despite the attempts to escape their past, they find they can never quit the passion they found on Brokeback Mountain. Lee explains in an interview for About Film, “They keep wanting to go back to something they really didn't understand to begin with.” Indeed, their story, at once heartbreaking and wondrous, captures the real power of love. “The glory of Brokeback Mountain is that in tracing their fates, treating their passion as something unprecedented—a force so powerful it can scarcely be named—the movie makes love seem as ineffable as it really is,” notes Entertainment Weekly.

Watch Brokeback Mountain now on iTunes or Amazon.

“Ennis and Jack Reunited” clip from Brokeback Mountain

Bina (Aasha Davis) and Alike (Adepero Oduye) in Pariah


In Dee ReesPariah, Alike (Adepero Oduye) is an African American teenager trying to come to terms with who she is. In addition to imagining a life as a poet, struggling to find her place in the Brooklyn LGBTQ+ community, and dealing with her parents’ disapproval, she falls in love for the first time. Rees told IndieWire, “It was sorting through all that and understanding first love” that Alike begins to understand her journey. When she gets her heart broken, Alike finds a way to funnel her passion and pain into poetry. Like Alike’s art, the film expresses “a universal sensitivity that relates the pangs of first love, the desirous ache of adolescent sexuality and the excitement of not just discovering yourself but finding those kindred spirits with whom you can share your life,” notes IndieWire.

Watch Pariah now on iTunes or Amazon.

The official trailer for Pariah

Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen in Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice

Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice captures the thrill of first love that Jane Austen expressed so unforgettably in her novel. When Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) finally realize that neither pride, nor prejudice, can stop how they feel about each other, the love they discover is overwhelming. “The emotions they experience are those of young people falling in love for the first time,” explained Wright in the film’s production notes. Of course, the path of their true love never runs smoothly, but under Wright’s direction, their endless push and pull brings a bracing realism to their romance. “Pride & Prejudice imbues their rocky relationship with a vitality that’s missing from most paint-by-number love stories these days,” writes the Austin Chronicle.

Watch Pride & Prejudice now on iTunes or Amazon.

“Elizabeth and Darcy’s Dance” clip from Pride & Prejudice

Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam (Jared Gilman) in Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom

Few films distill the giddy enchantment of first love as imaginatively as Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. After meeting on New Penzance island in 1964, Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) pen passionate letters, promising each other a secret rendezvous. While the film is not autobiographical, Anderson explained in Vanity Fair, “The movie is kind of like a fantasy that I think I would have had at that age.” Even after the adults (played by a cast including Bruce Willis, Edward NortonFrances McDormand, and Tilda Swinton) pull the young couple back to the real world when they attempt to escape, the sweet memory of their adventure provides inspiration for all of us. Rolling Stone writes, “By evoking the joys and terrors of childhood, it reminds us how to be alive.”

Watch Moonrise Kingdom now on iTunes or Amazon.

"I love you, but you don't know what you're talking about" clip from Moonrise Kingdom