Top 10 Romantic Movies For Valentine’s Day
By Erica Lopez
Valentine’s Day only lasts for twenty-four hours and for some, even that might be too much time. But regardless of your personal feelings toward the holiday about feelings, no one can resist a good romantic movie now and again. I have collected my personal top ten favorite romances for the viewing pleasure of the Valentine’s enthusiast. I recommend that you curl up with the one you love, even (especially) if that one is a bowl of ice cream, and watch to your hearts content these ten romantic movies.
(500) Days of Summer is a quirky, romantic comedy that is everything you would expect of a love story except that it is indeed not a love story at all- at least, not in the traditional sense. (500) Days of Summer tells the story of a romance that was meant to end as so many tales of love do and that is why it is makes the top ten for me. In any great romantic tale, only one will triumph as the “happily ever after,” but what of all the meaningful loves one had to lose in order to get there? Admittedly, I can’t help but adore a good romantic flick set in my neighborhood to remind me how much I love Los Angeles. I live a couple of blocks away from “Summer’s apartment” and something about that makes me absolutely giddy.
About Time is my most recent discovery in the romantic movie genre and it has quickly scored at the top of my list. About Time touches on fantasy as Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he has the genetic ability to travel through time and rewrite his past. He falls in love with Mary (Rachel McAdams) and together they build a life that he ultimately learns is worth every present moment. This movie reaches further than romantic love and really punches the emotional gut with the unconditional familial love and the very special relationship between father and son. It is a smart and beautiful tale of enjoying life and all of its precious moments, giving us ordinary non-time-travelling-types some profound perspective: our happiness is our most important choice. And if for no other reason, watch this movie to listen to the soundtrack; it is a masterpiece of the most subtly genius love songs and sounds as lovely as it is to watch.
Only You’ve Got Mail can make me nostalgic for the days of dial-up internet. The spellbinding excellence that is a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks duo manifests in the loveliest tale of romance between internet pen-pals who are unknowingly real-life enemies. That is until they determine that they are actually perfect for each other. It is the sweetest of my favorite romances and so special for the amount of times I have enjoyed watching (and quoting) it with my mom and sister over the years. You’ve Got Mail is romantic comedy gold that will have you longing for bouquets of sharpened pencils or daisies, I suppose. Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?
I am powerless against musicals and gaudy theatrics and that is undoubtedly why Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite romances, besides the obvious fact that it is terribly romantic. Nothing makes my heart throb like being serenaded by the penniless writer, Christian (Ewan McGregor) as he falls for young cortisone, Satine (Nicole Kidman). The tragic love story can be summed up in one power ballad, and the only original song sung in the modern musical, “Come What May”- a song designed to make even the most cynical believe that the greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.
They don’t make them like Mr.Darcy! The agonizing romance novel that is Pride and Prejudice has been adapted as one of the most aesthetically beautiful period films and the very definition of classic romance. Pride and Prejudice is a movie that I can watch over and over again without it ever losing its magic. Beyond the building love story between Elizabeth (Kiera Knightly) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), the lush landscapes, the rich dialogue and the intrigue of England in the early 1800’s are all of the elements that make this movie so romantic and truly irreplaceable.
Disney is wonderful at disguising adult romance and humor as a children’s movie, but UP is not just for kids. Of course, the talking dogs and chocolate-eating, giant birds appeal to younger audiences, but just fifteen minutes into the film, Disney get us with the beautiful and emotional love story of Carl and Ellie using hardly any dialogue. After the passing of his wife, Carl keeps Ellie alive throughout the movie by talking to her and living his life as if she were there beside him. He even fulfills their life’s dream and goes on an unforgettable adventure to Paradise Falls. I love this animated love story for being the most honest example of a life-long love that is itself the most valuable of adventures.
When Harry Met Sally is perfection in a romantic comedy with everything from sarcastically delivered life lessons to a fake orgasm in a diner. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal’s performances are remarkable and their on-screen chemistry makes this romantic comedy truly legendary and something that everyone will enjoy. This is the wittiest romance on my list and has me in stiches from beginning to end. It is the quintessential story of a friendship turned romance in one charming package, wrapped up in some positively fabulous 80’s wardrobe with ice cream on the side.
To exclude The Notebook from this list would be to blaspheme the romantic movie gods. Rachel McAdams sealed her fate as a romance genre professional with this one as Allie to Ryan Gosling’s, Noah, in the love story to end all love stories. This tale of young and genuine love, set in the early 1950’s (swoon), touches everyone who has ever experienced the excitement of a first love. The bond between Allie and Noah stands the test of time and the challenges that come with it, giving viewers something to aspire to and adore. Nicholas Sparks sure knows what he is doing.
Moonrise Kingdom sets itself apart among the many Wes Anderson films with a warmth and charm that is unlike any of his collection and that is why I love this whimsical romantic comedy. The story of adolescent love is as precious as it can be slightly awkward, but that is what makes this film so delightful. The simplicity of the storyline coupled with the perfectly timed humor and unexpected irony is a stellar combination for a romantic story that is fun to watch.
Rounding out my list of ten favorite romances is Roman Holiday, the romantic whirlwind that we all wish we could have. In her Oscar winning role, Audrey Hepburn is runaway princess, Anna, in search of a normal life who finds herself running around Rome with the oh so handsome, Gregory Peck as Joe. This is the most romantic adventure to ever last twenty-four hours. What is more romantic than Rome in black and white? The answer is Gregory Peck’s deep voice.