Many films that are based on true stories place romantic relationships into the plot in order to make the story more appealing to audiences. However, some of the romantic relationships portrayed in these films are part of the original true story, making the film even more factual than ever. In honour of the UK film release of Disney’s Million Dollar Arm, which is based on a real romantic relationship, we are looking at some of our favourite biographical films that include real-life romances.
You know the music and you know that it is based on World War II, but did you know that the classic musical is also based on the real life romance between Maria (Julie Andrews) and Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer)? To make the film more appropriate for families, some aspects of their relationship did need to change, but the main principles remain the same. Maria really was a nun from Austria who becomes the governess of the Von Trapp family and the Nazis really do become a conflict for her marriage with Mr. Von Trapp. The real-life love story continues to be told generation after generation with a variety of musical adaptations and revivals. This film is still a timeless classic.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Although this film is mainly about the rise and fall of John Nash, an economics mastermind who suffers from mental disorders, it is also based on the real relationship between John and his wife Alicia. Just like the film portrays, Alicia really was one of Nash’s students at MIT and John’s schizophrenic disorder indeed tears their relationship apart. Heart-wrenching and accurate, the film remains a top favourite amongst critics, noting Russell Crowe’s and Jennifer Connelly’s outstanding portrayal of John and Alicia.
Walk the Line (2005)
This biographical drama is based on the life and music career of country superstar Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoneix), but the film also contains elements of Cash’s real relationship with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon.) Writers Gill Dennis and James Mangold included several things in the film that occurred in these music lovers’ real relationship, such as the fact that June helped Johnny break his drug habit and write his song “Ring of Fire.” Witherspoon and Phoneix each won awards for their accurate portrayals of the singers and still remains a very successful musical biopic.
Becoming Jane (2007)
This film, starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy, is based off of the real relationship between Jane Austen and Tom Lefoy. Just like in the film, Austen and Lefoy do fall madly in love with each other, and Austen refuses to marry him because she is fearful that it will cause too much conflict. Even though she did not marry, rumour has it that her relationship with Tom was what inspired this famous author to write so many popular romantic novels. This film is successful as it shows Jane Austen fans exactly how her relationship with Tom motivated her stories.
Million Dollar Arm (2014)
This new Disney film, centred on the real story of young boys from India who become Major League baseball players, is also based on the real-life romance between sports agent, J.B Bernstein (Jon Hamm) and his love interest, Brenda Paauwe (Lake Bell). Just like in the film, Brenda really does make a huge impact on Bernstein’s life and career by encouraging him to take second chances and to try harder. The real J.B. Bernstein even says that his career would be nothing without Brenda by his side, and he is pleased to see how accurate Hamm and Bell portray him and his wife on the big screen.
To see Hamm and Bell portray the real J.B Bernstein and Brenda Paauwe, make sure to check out Million Dollar Arm, coming to UK cinemas 29th August.