If there is one thing you can count on, it’s another movie from Netflix’s 365 Days. The Polish movie where the plot serves no interest to anyone. This fact never prevented 365 days from breaking the records of the streaming giant all over the world and this, beyond the obvious reasons, also because it belonged to one of the most sought-after and rare genres in the cinematic landscape – steamy drama. So, if you are not here for its questionable qualities, here are 15 movies like 365 Days full of stories about forbidden love to tales of unrequited desire.
1. The Dreamers (2003)
Without a doubt, this is a Bertolucci film from the first shot. The art design, cinematography, and editing are all reminiscent of his previous films.
Just like 365 Days, The Dreamers explores the idea of breaking free from societal norms and conventions to pursue personal desires. It takes place in one large apartment—this time the plot takes place in Paris. The year is 1968, and thousands of students take to the streets, the smell of the revolution in the air. Matthew, an American student, meets Theo and his sister Isabel. The three unite under their obsessive love of cinema. The brothers invite Matthew to spend time with them in the apartment of their parents who went on vacation. The youngsters spend their time recreating scenes from their favorite movies, exploring the limits of their consciousness, and discovering their exploding reality.
The Dreamers has many cinematic gestures, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film that indulges in such a strong nostalgic longing for classic cinema and the new wave as this film. And yeah it has triangles of all sorts.
2. After (2019)
Tessa is an excellent student, a good daughter to her single mother, and a loyal friend to her partner. But when she gets to college, she gets other ideas about her future, one of them being Hardin Scott, the College’s handsome stud. An intelligent and mysterious guy who manages to make Tessa confused with his flirtatious behavior. After a game of “truth or dare” between the two that puts them in a slightly awkward situation, Tessa decides to stay away from Hardin and not be dragged into his games. But when Hardin invites Tessa to visit his “secret place” – a beautiful, secluded, deep lake in the woods off campus – he shows her a vulnerability that makes her lust for him.
Both characters are immature and mature and hang out like typical teenagers, in clubs and parties. Their relationship is not deep and based purely on passion. Even from a movie like 365 Days, I’d expect more depth.
3. Elles (2012)
Michelle is a middle age woman who is almost a cliché of strong femininity – she sleeps with whoever she wants, even if it is a friend’s partner or a neighbor, she runs a company that produces computer and video games together with her best friend is Anna, a field that is decidedly male and has a lot of young men working under them. None of the men who know Michelle can remain indifferent to her. Her young employees either adore her or hate her or both. Her ex-partner is still attached to her, and she finds mutual interest and attraction in her married neighbor.
The interest and challenge in Michelle’s life come from the fact that this control threatens to be taken away from her. There are layers in the film about relationships between women and men, and a smart and perhaps intentional shakeup of everything we’re used to expecting from a movie like 365 Days. You may come away from it a little shocked or confused, but Michelle will stay with you, and it’s a wonderful piece of cinematic presence.
4. 50 Shades Of Grey Trilogy (2015-2018)
It is safe to say that 365 Days is a much bolder trilogy than 50 Shades Of Grey in terms of “content.” But inconceivably, the Polish film is even worse than the American one.
Anna is insecure. Christian is a charismatic man, a control freak, so he always gets what he wants. They turn on each other, but Christian wants her only for one purpose. Hea playroom that includes all possible toys. He has a traumatic past that haunts him. He is not a romantic man, he does not go on dates and he manages his relationships just like he manages his businesses – by signing a contract. At the same time, he is also a walking cliché: a handsome billionaire, a pilot, and a pianist who uses musical instruments to express his feelings.
Despite his armor, Anna manages to soften his heart and make him do things he’s never done with other women before her – like staying in the same bed after or just going on a date. It is a kind of negotiation of the contract of the dominant-dominated relationship between them. But Ana is not a sucker and tries to make Christian give up his principles.
I expected the movie to be completely trashy to the point of being ridiculous. “50 Shades of Grey” is not an elite genre, but it is not ridiculous either. It’s just a bad movie even though it has some good things like Dakota Johnson that manages to surprise and give volume to the character.
5. Through My Window (2022)
The title itself signals Fritz Lang’s wonderful film from 1944 of the same name – Amy Adams plays an agoraphobic and alcoholic child psychologist who hides in her New York apartment following a traumatic experience. The only one who keeps her company is the tenant from the floor below her who also provides her with a connection with the outside world. A couple moving into the building across from her attracts her attention, especially after their teenage son sends out distress signals, and even knocks on her door.
One evening the mother also arrives, something in her behavior arouses suspicion. The nightmarish heroine begins to follow almost obsessively what is going on in the apartment, and one night finds herself a witness to the mother’s brutal murder in the middle of a lively argument with an invisible someone. When the police show up at her apartment, accompanied by her husband, the latter claims to her that nothing happened and that she never met his wife, and as evidence presents her to her – a completely different woman Is this the hallucination of a post-traumatic woman or did a terrible crime happened?
Issues of trauma, guilt, crumbling relationships, and dysfunctional parenting are thrown into the air like balls in the hands of a novice juggler. In other words, Through My Window just doesn’t work if you are looking for something sophisticated. However, much like 365 Days it is full of steamy scenes.
6. Wild Things (1998)
So what’s the deal with this movie? Oh wow, Neb Campbell is kissing a girl! And Matt Dillon joins them. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is all I remembered from talking about Wild Things, which came out in 1998 when we were still excited about movies with plot twists and excited by the very idea of a familiar actress in a hot scene. I didn’t watch it then 22 years ago, even though being in high school (or junior high, who remembers) I was more or less the target audience. It remains as a dim memory of something that should have been exciting and a little silly.
The only reason to keep watching it until the end is to see when the far-fetched and stereotypical script converges into something that makes sense because you think “Hey the cast is quite respectable”. Denise Richards wades for a moment in stardust.
7. Indecent Proposal (1993)
Both movies explore themes of temptation, desire, and the consequences of giving in to those desires. In Indecent Proposal like 365 Days, the main characters are faced with difficult moral choices and must weigh the pros and cons of following their hearts or their heads.
In Indecent Proposal Diana is faced with the proposition of spending a night with a wealthy man in exchange for one million dollars. Despite the potential consequences, she finds herself drawn to the man and ultimately decides to accept his offer. Similarly, in 365 Days, Laura is kidnapped by a wealthy man who offers her 365 days to fall in love with him. Like Diana, Laura is torn between her initial reluctance to give in to the man’s advances and the growing attraction she feels for him.
In both films, the main characters are faced with difficult moral choices and must weigh the pros and cons of following their hearts or their heads.
8. Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
The brutal love stories of the French nobility from the 18th century. At the center of the film are the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, members of the aristocracy who are friends with each other, and derive morbid pleasure from the romantic manipulations they perform on others.
There are other similarities between the two movies beyond the obvious elements. In Dangerous Liaisons, the two main characters, Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil engage in a dangerous game of seduction and manipulation. The two characters use their wit, charm, and prowess to toy with the hearts of those around them, leading to a series of events that have disastrous consequences.
9. Shame (2011)
Shame is Steve McQueen’s acclaimed film. Brandon is a handsome and successful New Yorker who suffers from an obsessive addiction. Brandon avoids intimate relationships with women and satisfies his desires through empty encounters, the enjoyment of which ends exactly with the act itself. One day, his routine is interrupted when his younger sister arrives for a surprise visit and announces that she intends to stay at his house for an extended period. Brandon is forced for the first time to confront not only his addiction but also the shared memories of the past and his and his sister’s painful history.
Shame is excellently directed, but the movie gives so little to hold on to regarding the main character, and the process of deterioration is so obvious, that apart from looking at beautiful people and an endless sequence of steamy scenes, the film remains barren.
10. Original Sin (2001)
So the good news about ‘The First Sin’ is that Angelina’s “best features” finally get the respect they deserve. Their role in the film is central, and they appear throughout, fully or partially exposed, in a variety of flattering camera angles and careful lighting. And hallelujah! It has one of the best steamy scenes in cinema history. The bad news is that apart from being a movie like 365 Days in a very specific department, there is no reason to watch it.
On a dock in Cuba, somewhere at the beginning of the last century, a Latin beauty Antonio is waiting for his future wife, who is about to arrive by ship from the USA, and whom he has never met. The picture he received in the mail is of a simple-looking girl, but in her place comes Angelina Jolie. He confesses that he is not an official of the coffee company, as he presented himself, but the owner of the factory, and he is not wealthy but very, very rich. Even the marriage between them, which was supposed to be an arrangement of convenience only, turns out to be completely happy when the young couple unexpectedly falls head over heels in love with each other, which leads to the steamy scenes mentioned earlier.
11. Amar (2017)
Maria Pedraza (whom you know well from “Paper House”) stars here as Laura, a young woman who knows Carlos and is carried away with him into a passionate love story on every possible level. For both of them, it is a first love, which ensures that they will go through the whole spectrum of emotions together, from the initial euphoria of falling in love, the inability to take their hands off each other, to anger and jealousy with destructive potential.
12. Friends with Benefits (2011)
The relationship between two friends starts to get complicated when they decide to make it romantic. The romantic comedy “Friends with Benefits” tries to capture two poles. On one side is the world of beautiful, up-to-date young people living in the fast pace of New York. Heroes that are easy for the audience to identify with. On the other side are the extra-temporal elements that should give effect to the long-awaited romantic union. The challenge is to convince the audience that wants to believe in romance but also yawns in front of the familiar clichés.
The movie has unstoppable chemistry between the hot couple who define themselves as emotionally screwed and want to follow the path of their guru.
It’s so easy to fall in love with this movie and its stars from the first few minutes. Despite the well-worn theme, it is a romantic comedy that is aware of all the clichés of the genre, sometimes it chooses to fall into content willingly, but usually, it manages to bypass them with grace, wit, and cynicism thanks to a successful, hyperactive, urban and contemporary plot backed by brilliant, witty and delightful dialogues, so that the spoof becomes more comfortable.
13. Lie With Me (2005)
The Canadian film, Lie With Me, explores the intimate relationship between two young adults in Toronto. Leila is a young woman who has a series of intense relationships. She meets David, a photographer, and the two begin a steamy and tumultuous affair. Despite their strong physical connection, they struggle to form a deeper emotional bond, leading to conflicts and misunderstandings.
Throughout the film, Leila grapples with her feelings of emptiness and insecurity, as she searches for a sense of fulfillment. Meanwhile, David is struggling with his issues of commitment and emotional detachment. As their relationship progresses, the two must navigate the complexities of their feelings for each other and deal with the consequences of their actions.
The film’s themes of liberation, desire, and the difficulties of relationships are likely to resonate with those of you who are looking for movies like 365 Days.
14. The Voyeurs (2021)
Gabriel is a filmmaker who becomes obsessed with a young couple, Rosa and Victor. Gabriel begins to spy on them and film their every move, as he becomes increasingly fascinated by their relationship.
As Gabriel continues to watch them, he becomes involved in their lives and starts to develop feelings for Rosa. Meanwhile, Rosa and Victor’s relationship becomes increasingly volatile and they struggle to maintain their connection. The film explores the consequences of Gabriel’s voyeurism and the impact that his actions have on the lives of those he is observing.
The Voyeurs is a psychological drama that blends elements of thriller and romance. The film explores themes of obsession, privacy, and the consequences of crossing personal boundaries.
15. Body of Evidence (1993)
Rebecca (Madonna in yet another terrible performance) is a seductive and dangerous woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She is a wealthy woman who is on trial for the murder of her lover, Frank Dulaney. Dulaney’s death is the result of a passionate encounter that he had with Rebecca, and the film explores the intense relationship that the two had before his death.
As the trial progresses, it becomes clear that Rebecca is hiding something and that there may be more to her relationship with Dulaney than meets the eye. A dark thriller that explores the idea of desire and the lengths that people will go to satisfy their carnal cravings. Body of Evidence was a cynical attempt to cash in from Madonna’s fame, for the time it was released it was considered controversial. It’s filled with steamy and provocative scenes, as well as cliche legal twists and turns.