Love is in the air. Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with someone or enjoying the day solo, here is a list of 10 recommended documentaries and doc series that are full of all kinds of love. So sit back, relax, grab some chocolate covered strawberries, and enjoy the show!
Love Hurts: The Science of Heartbreak
Stream on CBC Gem
Broken hearts are never fun, but understanding the biological effects it has on us can be quite interesting. The Nature of Things’ most recent episode explores the science of ‘heartbreak’ and how the human brain functions and reacts to this emotional time! Anthony Morgan, the host for this episode, speaks to scientists, researchers, and study participants to understand the emotional trauma of what a broken heart goes through and how people, with severe cases, are able to now gain help. Who would have known the brain could be so connected to heartache? This light-hearted doc is just the ticket if you need to mend a broken heart!
Love on the Spectrum U.S
Stream on Netflix
Everyone wants a special someone in their lives, including people who are on the autism spectrum. This cute show looks into the lives of several people on the spectrum and the start of their love journeys. It may be challenging for some at first to dive into the dating pool, but you always root for them to find love and navigate the complexities of dating. There are currently two seasons of Love on the Spectrum U.S and Love on the Spectrum Australia on Netflix for you to watch, so get ready to laugh, smile and binge this sweet show!
Stream on Plex
Get ready to laugh out loud with this feature length documentary directed by Indian-American siblings Ravi Patel and Geeta Patel. Ravi and Geeta are both unmarried but 30 year old Ravi specifically suffers from a heartbreak after his first love, while his parents aren’t in the know. After visiting a family member’s wedding, he finally agrees with his parents to go under that traditional matchmaking to find an Indian-American wife. He starts his overwhelming search through biodata, all while trying to not compare each woman with his ex. See how his journey plays out, and enjoy the comedy.
Third Longest Date
Stream on Netflix
Imagine spontaneously going on a third date to Costa Rica and then being stuck there with that person for 70 days! Well, that’s exactly what happened to Khani Le and Matt Robertson as they went for a fun short vacation that ended up being a 3 month stay due to the no-fly rules and lockdown during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brent Hodge, the director of this feature, took the many iPhone videos of Roberston, mixed with interviews of the two, to tell this unique story. Experience the ups and downs of living with a complete stranger, balancing work life in a whole different country and the possibility of falling in love.
Stream on MUBI
A shared passion for art made this couple fall in love. Though even after 40 years of marriage, they still struggle to make ends meet. Ushio Shinohara and Noriko Shinohara are both artists: Ushio is known for his boxing paintings and motorcycle sculptures, and Noriko is now more known for her comics. They share their love for each other as director Zachary Heinzerlin, sheds light on Noriko’s story of putting aside her love for art to assist her husband and raise their son. However, as she grew older, she used her life to create her comics. Heinzerling also shows them living candidly, making a very heartfelt film about their relationship. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary.
Stream on Netflix
Terry and Pat are two old love birds with a big secret. They had kept their lesbian relationship hidden for seven decades from their families. This wholesome documentary explores the past and the present of this couple, their shared love for baseball, and shows what true love is all about. Chris Bolan, the director of this film, also brings in their memorabilia, of home photos and videos from the 1940’s to share the beginning of their relationship. It brings you back in time of what living was like and awareness of same sex couples and marriage not being socially acceptable. Terry’s role in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was part of the inspiration for the classic comedy A League of Their Own.
Stream on NFB Super Channel
Dominique Keller enters an ordinary retirement home but showcases the love stories of three couples. As health concerns, other family ties, and mobility issues arise, these couples stay tightly knit as they wouldn’t want to leave the world with another person. Though each couple has their own challenges in the retirement home, Keller does an amazing job at keeping the documentary lighthearted and intimate. It really goes to show that even with old age, it can never be too late to be in love and care for the ones you are closest with.
The Loving Story
Stream on Tubi
An interracial couple gets arrested all for what? Getting married and living in the state of Virginia in 1958. Richard and Mildrid Loving share their story on how they ‘commit’ the crime of getting married, as it went against the Racial Integrity Act in Virginia. This issue is already testing the newlyweds and proving how strong they are willing to be together. Not only does this test their relationship, but also turns out to be a turning point in civil rights to allow interracial couples to be one. Though the Lovings did not want to be as involved in the case, their love for each other stuck and they found even more ways to go around the silly laws. The documentary was remade as the 2016 drama Loving.
Stream on Youtube
This very short and sweet op-doc follows the love story of Paul and Millie and their 40 year relationship and passion for dance. The couple are refugees from Vietnam and Laura Nix, the director of this Oscar-nominated film, not only touches upon their previous journey to America but mainly focuses on the present and their re-discovered love for dance, specifically the cha-cha. While the couple didn’t know if they would make it after their move to a new country, they never take for granted the time they have together now and dance the night away multiple times a week.
Stream on TUBI
Flip the page because this documentary dives deep on the romance novel industry. While it doesn’t focus on a couple per se, it does explore the creation of these steamy books, its writers, and massive audience of female readers. It is a fun documentary if you enjoy leisure reading and can be a good reflection on today’s huge modern audience for ‘BookTok’, which is TikTok’s giant community that are passionate about books. Listen to the stories of Nora Roberts, Beverly Jenkins, and other writers and maybe even ‘fangirl’ over people having the same love of reading as you.