The perfect escape for me is sneaking off to a movie, by myself or with a friend. It's wonderful to immerse myself in someone else's story while sitting in the dark and not hopping up to help little people. I love movies, all genres. Any genre can be well done, or poorly done... A film is the ultimate art. It combines all the artistic disciplines, visual, dramatic, costume, comedic, music, camera work, directing, writing, editing, and many more, into one engaging package.
Perhaps you are searching for the quintessential romantic movie to watch this Valentine's Day, or perhaps you enjoy reading lists, or perhaps you have a list addiction like I do (every time I see a list I feel like I must complete/read/watch every item on it- and I wonder why I am tired). Whatever your deal is, here are my top 10 romantic movies. Grab some chocolate, you will need 20 hours and 20 minutes to watch them all. Clear your schedule- jokes! If you are strapped for time, you can always remove Gone with the Wind, it's difficult to commit to a 4 hour movie (but in this case, worth it).
Something I learned while compiling this list, older movies are fantastic, older movie trailers, not so much! Enjoy. Happy Valentine's Day!
I rented this movie from Blockbuster video in 2007- I am certain that this sentence makes me old and that my kids won't even know what it means. Once is so beautiful and engaging that I watched it twice before returning the DVD. I absolutely adore the music and the naturalistic feel that the actors bring to the film. This is not a traditional love story in any sense and the bittersweet storyline feels a lot like real life.
This movie is so so so cute! I can hardly stand it! I saw it in the theatre with my sister, we had our hands on our cheeks and had to hold back saying, "aw," in practically every scene. Wall-E is easily my favourite animated feature (also Mr. L's favourite- so proud). It is a love story between the ever sweet and heroic WALL-E and his new friend Eva, as well as a love story between humankind and our beautiful earth. It's a cautionary tale of what might befall us if we don't take proper care. The main characters are robots who do not speak (speaking is overrated, just ask my oldest, he will show you by example how this is true). Pure creative magic. WALL-E also features music from Hello Dolly throughout, which I enjoy very much.
I am actually in love with Humphrey Bogart. He is charming, unassuming, stylish, clever, and why Audrey Hepburn would ever prefer William Holden is the great mystery of this film. Hepburn won an oscar for her portrayal of Sabrina, and it is extremely enjoyable to watch her grow up and learn about love and human character as she takes far too long to discover that Linus is the man for her. Please skip the 1995 remake altogether, the original Sabrina, released in 1954 is far superior.
7. Gone With the Wind
Oh Scarlet. I read Gone With the Wind when I was 19 and I spent most of the book annoyed with Scarlet, but then missed her profusely when I was done the novel. Gone With the Wind is on my "to read again" list for this very reason. How would I feel about Scarlet now, at the age of 33? I think it would be different. Such a rich, complicated character, so perfectly portrayed by Vivien Leigh. She will annoy you and you will love her! Clark Gable is dashing as Rhett Butler and the perfect foil to Scarlet. Beautiful film, and long. Take a walk or do some jumping jacks during the intermission (yes, there is an intermission).
Interesting side note, my parents first date was to Gone With the Wind, so that is romantic as well.
6. The F Word/ What If
If I could dream up a perfect romantic comedy, this would be it. It is quirky, believable, hilarious, relatable, and Canadian. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan both remind me of people I grew up with and the Toronto landscape feels pretty close to home for me. Prepare to become obsessed with magnetic poetry and a sandwich called Fool's Gold. Get to know Adam Driver before he became Kylo Ren. The Motion Picture Association of America took offense to the implied foul word in the title of this movie, so it was released under the title What If in the United States but retained it's original title for it's Canadian release.
5. Edward Scissorhands
I find Johnny Depp especially attractive when he is soft spoken, gentle, introverted, leather wearing, scar faced, pale, with wild black hair, and has scissors for hands. Edward is a beautiful soul in a fantastical story of love, isolation, self discovery, loss, prejudice, and acceptance. Edward Scissorhands is a modern day fairy tale, the first to unite Depp, Tim Burton, and Danny Elfman. It is unclear how many times my sisters and I watched this movie, too many to count. The injustice in parts is almost too much to bear, my cousin once ruined a perfectly good plastic water cup out of frustration while watching this film. Edward's love for Kim is sweet and pure. My heart breaks a little every time I watch the part where Kim asks Edward, "why did you do it?" and he replies, "because you asked me to."
4. Sense and Sensibility
Emma Thompson is perfection as Elinor Dashwood, my absolute favourite Jane Austen heroin. Thompson also won the Oscar for writing the Sense and Sensibility screenplay, adapted from Austen's lovely book. I think the entire cast is fantastic, and the story of an oldest daughter trying to keep everything together in times of crisis may be something I aspire to and relate to. The love triangle between Marianne, Willoughby, and Colonel Brandon is heartbreakingly captivating. The "love triangle" between Elinor, Miss. Steele, and Edward is perhaps the most frustrating I have encountered. Painful lessons are learned and things work out as they should, which is Jane Austen's charm. I am completely obsessed with the music in this movie, written by Patrick Doyle.
3. The Princess Bride
I have yet to meet a person that does not love The Princess Bride. If this person exists, we probably wouldn't be friends. The Princess Bride is the most romantic, exciting, hilarious, action packed, memorable, QUOTABLE, movie... ever. It was adapted for the screen by William Goldman, from his novel of the same name, which happens to be the most hysterical novel I have ever read (highly recommend). Westley is a dream come true, brave, mysterious, loyal, and smart, "as you wish," is something that I am sure everyone would like to hear more in their romantic relationships. Buttercup is also a beguiling character, head strong, equally as brave, and utterly romantic. Every character that these two encounter is unforgettable.
2. About Time
I like this movie more every time I view it. Okay, it is impossible for a time travel movie to ever really work (too many opportunities for plot holes), so let's acknowledge that this is the case and move on to the main themes of this delightful movie. When Tim learns that he has inherited the ability to travel back in time, his main concern is that he use this gift to get a girlfriend. There are plenty of hilarious and heartfelt moments as Tim learns about what is important in life and grows up. Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams are believable and adorable as a couple navigating modern life and family. I feel that this is a love story between the two main characters, as well as between Tim and his father, and a love story of being human and appreciating the gift of life. It is beautiful, and a wonderful reminder of all that is good.
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
There is a special place in my heart for any narrative existential in nature, how could I not absolutely fall in love with this non linear romantic science-fiction comedy-drama? It has everything that I could ever want in a romantic film. The amount of times that I have debated dying my hair various bright colours just to be like Clementine (Kate Winslet) is considerable. I love to think that as humans, we are drawn to others who will help, match, challenge, compliment, and ultimately, love us. Clementine and Joel (Jim Carey in his best performance- my opinion), are drawn to each other, even when they try to erase each other from their respective memories (you really must see the movie to make sense of this), there is still a magnetic pull between them, as they are destined to be together. Eternal Sunshine is an imaginative, poignant film, that is worth viewing, repeatedly.
AND, if you dislike Valentines Day or are not in the mood for anything romantic, may I recommend the ultimate Anti-Valentines Day movies, Kill Bill, volume 1 and volume 2. So much revenge! Husband is trying to convince me that Deadpool is the perfect Valentine's movie. I have yet to be persuaded!
What are your favourite romantic movies?