It is important to understand why people who have watched Last Call for Istanbul are so obsessed with it. Was it the first half, where it looked like two people had met their soulmates after being married to different people, or was it the twist that changed everything about the story, or was it simply the slow unfolding of the love story? Either way, it is a guarantee that nobody will have the same feelings about the first half and the second half of the movie, and those feelings will further change when the movie is watched a second or third time. Depending on the many emotions and moods of the movie, the following is a list of others like it that may feel similar.
1. La La Land
This recommendation is here for a very specific reason, which is that it does what Last Call for Istanbul fails to do. The Turkish film had a rushed ending, which felt very unsatisfying because of the lack of discussion and thought behind it. After all, the couple had been committed to therapy; they had gone to great lengths to test the advice of the therapists and come to reasonable conclusions and doubts based on it. Yet, in the end, they ended up together not because of conscious deliberation and discussion based on love but simply in a burst of emotion. While the exact opposite happens in La La Land, and the couple go their own separate ways, they still grow as people because they are thinking in terms of their careers, lives, and overall well-being and whether they fit with each other or not. Because of this very difference, La La Land is a good movie to watch next.
Granted that this is not a movie but a many-season-long series, however, this brings together the best of every love story. Claire and Jamie are so underratedly iconic that it is simply too sad. With their story, there is the passion, the understanding, the adjustment, and so much excitement that Mehmet and Serin’s night out in New York barely holds a candle to it. There are also many complications and so many decisions, but the simple magic of the story lies in how the two intelligently fight for their love through their separation and togetherness. This series is extremely addictive, and all love stories will pale in comparison to this one.
3. Set it up
Modern problems require modern solutions, and the modern-est solution of all is to leave behind the cheaters and focus on yourself. You get these lessons together and apart in the movie Set It Up. While therapy and recovery of the relationship were not the crux of Last Call for Istanbul, it was evident that Mehmet and Serin were not rational people when it came to each other. To explain that, our definition of rationality is that the person holds themselves in equal esteem with their partner. That happens in Set It Up, and it will make sense as a sequel if watched with this attitude.
The reason this movie is on the list is because it makes you think, like Last Call for Istanbul did. In many ways, Fingernails is also a contradiction of thoughts and feelings. Set in the future, where people know for sure if they are with their soulmates or not through a scientific test, Fingernails is the story of a woman who has found her person, but she has more feelings for another man. In such a situation, there is no amount of therapy or rationality that can help, and she simply succumbs to following her heart in quite a brutal way. If giving in to your feelings without fear of consequences had to look like something, we would prefer it to look like “fingernails.”
5. Flora and Son
This is yet another movie where love is intelligently handled with life, and that is our favorite kind. It is the story of a mother and son who do not like each other until the mother starts taking music lessons in an effort to understand her son, and that ends up bringing them together. While the movie may primarily be about them, Flora has her own love story going on in the background, and it is one of the sweetest things we have seen, with some beautifully natural chemistry between the actors. The fact is that neither Flora nor her boyfriend are going anywhere; being together requires more than just love for them, and it is something they have to work on every day through some difficult decisions. It is a matter of deciding which relationships matter more and how much they are willing to risk to do the right thing. Flora and Son is simply a beautiful movie and should not be missed.
6. Our beloved summer
This is another Korean drama, and it is pure magic in so many ways. While it delivers a more than healthy dose of laughter, it also shows the complications of a relationship through the lens of some very personal struggles. Unlike Last Call for Istanbul, where Mehmet and Serin skip the talk on their personal insecurities and development as people, Our Beloved Summer makes it a point to address how it is important to heal as people before including someone in our lives. This drama was a smash hit when it was released, and it would be nice if it was talked about more. Nevertheless, it remains an important story to watch simply because it is entertaining and layered.
7. At the Moment: Episode 3 and Episode 4
At the Moment is an anthology, so both the episodes mentioned are very different stories. They deal with people involved in complicated situations with their partners, and though episode 4 is a favorite, episode 3 is worth it because the man is extremely handsome, and the story is stupidly funny. Its comparison to Last Call for Istanbul is because these are stories where there are actual grounds for the debate of whether the couple should be together or not. No amount of intelligence or emotion is enough to justify them being together or separating to go different ways. Essentially, through their possibilities, they are simply some stories that make you question love as an emotion, and that makes them worth a watch.