My dear Valentine: romance and film

Inspired by Ruth from Flixchatter, I decided to share my thoughts on some of my favorites romantic films on this pre-Valentine’s Day weekend.

I will be looking beyond rom-coms fearing I might not find many “favorites” and include anything that is mildly romantic, whether it’s on the dramatic side or even a musical, all of them are fair game.

Love in a foreign land: Lost in Translation

The enormously talented Bill Murray alongside a beautifully mysterious Scarlett Johansson in a story about two lost souls in the midst of life crises. A nuanced, well-crafted script that moves forward in unexpected ways crowned by a delightful ending.

In sickness or in health, at peace or at war: The Tiger and the Snow

Another beautiful and touching film by the genius of Roberto Benigni about the power of love and all of the incredible obstacles that it can overcome. Once again an over-the-top comedic performance by Benigni that is, however, balanced by a deeply moving drama.

The Paris where dreams come true: Amelie

One of my favorite films ever starring the beautiful Audrey Tatou and directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet. It is a captivating story, full of charm and richness, adorned by a beautifully shot Paris and a great soundtrack. I can’t find fault in Amelie.

Love goes beyond the superficial: Beauty and The Beast

The Disney remake of the classic Beauty and The Beast is one of the most celebrated films in the long list of masterpieces produced by the pioneering animation studio. A great story, beautifully drawn, with rich and charming characters. Tragic and triumphant at the same time.

Falling in love in one day, over and over again: Groundhog Day

Once again Bill Murray stars in the existential love story Groundhog Day. The script is wonderfully layered, offering a lot more than it first appears. One of the best surprises I have encountered in my years as a film aficionado.

Love is as powerful in black and white: City Lights

There is no film I can remember that captures, as purely, the power of love and how it can transcend anything. Chaplin’s masterpiece is a delight, from beginning to end. One of the best endings in the history of cinema.

The most epic of love stories: Gone With the Wind

One of the most beloved Hollywood films is a surprisingly intense drama that was, at the time it was released, the biggest movie production ever assembled. The pairing of Clark Gable as the suave Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as the roguish Scarlett transcends time for its portrayal of a rather turbulent relationship that survives anything.

Love is about sacrifices: Casablanca

I could not close my post without the often imitated, yet never equaled film starring the eternally cool Humphrey Bogart alongside the radiant Ingrid Bergman. What can be said about Casablanca that has not been said before? Just watch it ! Even if you come out disliking it, there have been very few films as influential as this one.

Other honorable mentions include:

She does not feel like you do: (500) Days of Summer

Love is worth waiting for: A Very Long Engagement

Love will make you sing with joy: Singin’ in the Rain

Sports and love do mix: Jerry Maguire

Love comes by when you least expect it: As Good As It Gets

Love inspires even when it’s gone: Up

Robots will one day fall in love too: Wall-E

Love can be imperfect and politically incorrect: Sexo Con Amor

Love can start with sex: En La Cama

The one you can find on TV any day: Pretty Woman

The cheesiest: Ghost

The modern take: Juno

The most tragic: The English Patient

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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7 thoughts on “My dear Valentine: romance and film

  1. The image you selected from Lost in T powerful, the music, the atmosphere, everything. The scene says so much without any dialogue needed. I’m not sure I would go so far as to call it a romantic film, to me it’s is more about a friendship. I hope to review Lost in Translation when I have the time. I guess you can call it “mildly romantic”, to each his own ( :

    I loved certain scenes in The English Patient. Interested to watch A Very Long Engagement, I forgot about the director of Amelie, because he puts out so few films these days.

    1. Glad you liked the image I chose, it does speak tons about what this film is about.
      I will have to disagree about the theme of Lost in Translation. You can argue that even if they see each other as friends after the experience, there is no doubt in my mind that they were in love, they just never acted upon it because, deep inside, they respected each other too much and they knew that it would never work in the long run. Both were married and even if both relationships are failing, they are still trying to make them work. This is just part of the internal conflict inside of Scarlett and Bill Murray that was so interesting to watch.

      Even if you do think it was a friendship, at the end of the day they kissed, quite desperately, and you can argue there’s no purest love that the one between true friends.

      Niels

  2. This is wonderful, Niels. I really enjoy reading this. As a quote from Mansfield Park says, ‘there are as many forms of love as there are moments in time…’ I love that you include Gone with the Wind, that is epic indeed. You can call it tragic also as Scarlett just couldn’t realize true love until it’s too late.

    Lost in Translation is the only Scar-Jo movie I enjoyed, but Bill Murray is just superb… also in Groundhog Day.

    Great post!

  3. I’m glad you liked it so much, it makes me want to write more despite being terribly busy lately.

    I recommend “The Tiger and the Snow”, it’s a bit quirky and silly at times, but it has that epic character that was so effective in “Life is Beautiful”. Very moving and inspiring.

    Niels

  4. Some great choices there. I generally consider myself not a fan of romance in film but I think that boils down to there being so many vacuous romantic comedies around. I have nothing against good films that contain romance – a couple I watched recently include Weekend and Beginners.

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