Snuggle up with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day with top ten romantic movies
“What movie should we watch?” It’s a great moral dilemma. Do you pick the sickeningly sweet chick flick starring Leonardo DiCaprio, thinking she’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness? Or, do you opt for your favorite pathetic action movie about transforming robots, praying that she’ll like it because of Shia LeBouf? Well, to ease your worries and aid you in your quest to find the “perfect movie” for Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up some modern love stories that should tickle both of your fancies (so to speak).
“Adam” does not fit the stereotypical model of a romantic movie. The lead is unsociable and withdrawn, and the story does not conclude the way you’d expect. So, why watch Adam on a day dedicated to love and romance? Answer: Adam is a quirky drama that you and your partner will love as you squirm in discomfort at the subject of the film, clutch your sides in pain at the awkward comedy, and sigh in contentment at the naïve love that arises between the two characters. If you’re ready to push Titanic and Gone With the Wind to the side and try something new, add Adam to your playlist this Sunday. You won’t be disappointed.
Meet Joe Black
Dark romance more your cup of tea? “Meet Joe Black” features a young Brad Pitt as Death himself, occupying the body of a mortal man as he comes to Earth to take Anthony Hopkins away (and maybe take a wife, while he’s at it). Pitt is adorable as he discovers the wonders of being human – mmm, peanut butter. Of course, it can’t end too well when the woman he is pursuing is the daughter of the man whose life he’s snatching. In the meantime, Hopkins must deal with the knowledge of his looming death, and the little time he has left. “Meet Joe Black” is a bit morose, but Pitt’s endearing performance is one of his more memorable, so if you have the time, check it out.
The Last of the Mohicans
While it may not be the first thing that pops into your head when someone says “romance,” “Last of the Mohicans” is, at its core, a love story. You have forbidden love, a guy who sacrifices himself to save the woman he loves, and a man who can’t bear to live after the woman he loves kills herself. Of course, the bloody, action-packed sequences give the guy something to enjoy in the movie, but it’s definitely a great film, perfect for both romance and action tastes.
Kate and Leopold
Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman in a movie about a Duke who travels more than 100 years into the future to visit modern New York? Count me in. While it may be horribly cheesy – of course the Duke will fall in love with Meg Ryan – Kate and Leopold is a romance novel brought to life. It is refreshing, though, that the lead is a strong, independent woman who is on her way to being promoted to an executive in her company. And the character of Leopold is a gentle hero who has come to sweep the modern woman off her feet to become his wife. If guys can get through it, Kate and Leopold is a cute romantic comedy made for this holiday.
When bad things happen, they usually come in threes. Unfortunately, for Danielle de Barbarac, played by Drew Barrymore in the 1998 film, this universal law seems to be true. First, her dad dies. Then, she’s forced into servitude by her two stepsisters and evil stepmother. Finally, a creepy old man pursues her in the hopes that she will marry him. Fortunately for this Cinderella, her Prince Charming is only a stone’s throw away. While it may be a bit ridiculous – Wait! Is that Da Vinci?! – “Ever After” is certainly a romantic comedy that is sure to please couples on Valentine’s Day.
Beauty and the Beast
Who can deny that the “tale as old as time” is one of the purest forms of love? Recalling the myth of Cupid and Psyche, “Beauty and the Beast” is a story about love crossing the boundaries of societal differences and disfiguring curses to transform a hideous beast into a handsome prince. Does it depict the Stockholm Syndrome? Yes. Does it encourage sexist gender roles? Gaston certainly thinks so. But as a classic Disney film of the 1990s, it is a love story so many girls have fallen in love with. So men, before visiting your lady this Sunday, please pick up at least a single red rose. Trust me, she’ll appreciate it.
No, not the Teenage Witch. Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear and Julia Ormond star in this film about a love triangle featuring two rich brothers and the daughter of their chauffer. The story – boy likes girl, girl likes boy’s brother, girl is torn between the two – is unoriginal, but it doesn’t take away from the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you see Harrison Ford struggle as the jealous older brother trying to impress the young woman he fancies.
And if you favor a flashback to the 1950s, check out the original starring Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn. Full of male superiority and weak, simpering women, it’s a classic for those who prefer the more stereotypical, misogynistic type of romance. But, for those seeking a more modern romantic film, take a look at Ford’s puppy dog eyes in the 1995 version and you’ll be lost.
10 Things I Hate About You
Bickering couple? Check. Nerdy boy pining after popular girl? Check. Modern take on a classic Shakespearean comedy? Check. Heath Ledger? Oh yes. Seriously, with so many things working for it, how could “10 Things I Hate About You” go wrong? Answer: It can’t. Let me count the ways in which I love thee.
Pride and Prejudice
Let’s face it – no one can write a romance quite like Jane Austen. And luckily for us, Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden teamed up to bring this literary classic to life in the 2005 Focus Features production. Darcy’s rough manner and love for Elizabeth has wooed many hearts, although his stalker tendencies (remember that scene where he follows her at the ball?) may spark a few giggles from the less romantic. However, with a man who has inspired the phrase, “I’m waiting for my Mr.Darcy,” “Pride and Prejudice” must be considered one of the top 10 movies to see on this holiday of love.
The Princess Bride
Perhaps the most well-known, and most quoted, romantic comedy of the late 1980s, “Princess Bride” is the perfect movie for Valentine’s Day. It combines action, romance, comedy and mystery in a delightful story that at once both pokes fun at the typical fairy tale and enthralls both men and women, young and old. For couples looking for a laugh on their Valentine’s Day, there’s nothing better.
So when Valentine’s Day rolls around this Sunday, take a few hours and check out at least one of these movies. Nothing says romance quite like cuddling on a couch (or bed) and watching a modern classic. So while you prepare your plans for this upcoming Sunday, in true Fezzik fashion, the only thing left to say is “Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Nora Drapalski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org