10 More Romantic Dramas
Cruel Intentions is a reimagining of the 1782 novel, Choderlos de Laclos’ “Les liaisons dangereuses” (Dangerous Liaisons) and it stands the test of time as a well written and endearing romantic drama.
For those who have finished and are looking for alternate picks, we’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top choices for alternate viewing.
As usual, let us know your thoughts about our picks in the comments below!
Cruel Intentions 2 (2000)
Directed by Roger Kumble, Cruel Intentions 2 serves as a prequel to Cruel Intentions. It follows Sebastian Valmont and Kathryn Merteuil before they became the manipulative step-siblings of the first film. Here, we witness the pair meet at a posh Manhattan prep school, where they use their charm to manipulate and seduce others.
As a prequel, Cruel Intentions 2 is an obvious choice, given it features the same main characters as the first film, along with rekindling themes of manipulation, seduction, and deception.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Fatal Attraction follows a married man who embarks on a weekend affair with a woman who refuses to allow it to end and becomes obsessed with him. As a result, chaos ensues across the rest of the run-time, making for a rather tense affair.
Both films deal with themes of sexual manipulation, obsession, and the severe consequences that can result from such actions. While Cruel Intentions takes a more youthful and modern approach, Fatal Attraction is much more mature and errs on the side of being a psychological thriller.
Fear is about a teenage girl called Nicole, who starts dating a charming, mysterious outsider named David. However, as her relationship with David deepens, disturbing aspects of his personality emerge.
Like Cruel Intentions, Fear explores themes of obsession, manipulation, and the dangerous consequences of deceitful relationships. The two movies involve young, seemingly innocent characters who are seduced by more experienced, manipulative figures.
Wild Things (1998)
Wild Things is a crime thriller involving a high school counselor accused of rape by two female students. As the case unfolds, it reveals a complex web of greed and revenge.
Much like Cruel Intentions, Wild Things is an erotic thriller with a focus on deceit, manipulation, and sexual relationships among young people. The two films share a similarity in the way they handle complex schemes that involve multiple characters and multiple double-crosses.
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Dangerous Liaisons is a period drama set in France during the 18th century. Our main protagonists are Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals who use sex as a weapon of manipulation and humiliation. They derive pleasure from ruining lives and engage in a ruthless competition to seduce and deceive others, including a virtuous woman and a young pre-marital girl.
Cruel Intentions is actually a modern adaptation of the novel that Dangerous Liaisons is based on, so it makes sense to add this into the list. Both films focus on a pair of manipulative and vindictive characters who use their charisma and sexuality to deceive and ruin the lives of those around them, revealing the destructive potential of their cruel intentions.
Basic Instinct (1992)
Basic Instinct is a neo-noir thriller about a police detective called Nick Curran who is investigating the brutal murder of a wealthy rock star. During the investigation, Curran becomes involved in an intense relationship with the prime suspect, Catherine Tramell, an enigmatic writer.
Both films involve seduction, manipulation, and high stakes in their plots. Just as Catherine uses her sexuality and cunning to manipulate those around her, the characters in Cruel Intentions employ their charm and status to manipulate others.
The Rules of Attraction (2002)
The Rules of Attraction is based on a novel by Bret Easton Ellis, and it depicts the romantic and sexual relationships among a group of college students, focusing particularly on a love triangle between Lauren, Paul, and Sean.
Both films are adaptations of novels and feature affluent and emotionally troubled characters navigating romantic and sexual relationships. Manipulation, selfish desires, and the consequences of these actions are significant themes in both movies.
American Beauty (1999)
American Beauty explores the life of Lester Burnham, a discontented middle-aged man having a midlife crisis, who becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter’s best friend.
Like Cruel Intentions, American Beauty looks at the idea of forbidden love, as well as delving into themes of desire, manipulation, and the exploration of one’s sexuality. They also satirize the seemingly “perfect” life of upper-middle-class Americans revealing the dysfunction lying beneath the surface.
After is a romantic drama that follows Tessa Young, a dedicated student, daughter, and loyal girlfriend to her high school sweetheart, as she enters her first semester in college. Her guarded world opens up when she meets the dark and mysterious Hardin Scott.
Both films revolve around intense romantic relationships involving young characters and their sexual awakenings. However, while Cruel Intentions involves manipulation and deceit, After leans more heavily into emotional growth and understanding through relationships.
Poison Ivy (1992)
Poison Ivy is an erotic thriller that centers on a seductive teenager called Ivy, who befriends an introverted high school student and schemes her way into the lives of her wealthy family.
Poison Ivy is similar to Cruel Intentions in the way it looks at young, manipulative characters who use their sexuality and charm to infiltrate and disrupt upper-class families. They both deal with themes of seduction, betrayal, and manipulation, portraying their characters’ darker, cruel intentions.
There we have it, our list of best movies that are similar to Cruel Intentions. What do you think about our picks? Did one of your favourites make the list? Let us know in the comments below!