1.30.2009

So you have time to get your Netflix on

The Valentine's books post made me start thinking about favorite romantic movies and I think we should cover those too. I asked movie buff GH if he has a favorite romantic movie, to which he told me that guys do not think of movies in those terms. So then I asked if he has a favorite regular movie which contains a male-female relationship that inspires odd little stirrings known as feelings within his breast. The closest I got was Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So there you go.

But here are the ones that come to my mind, and I'd love to hear yours. It should come as no surprise that a lot of these are film adaptations of books I already love.

ps. It was really, really hard to narrow this down.

My Top 10, in chronological order.

A Room with a View (1986), also known as Movie with the Best. Kissing Scene. Ever.

Groundhog Day (1993). Love the moment when Bill Murry tells the sleeping Andie McDowell, "I don't deserve someone like you. But if I ever could, I swear I would love you for the rest of my life."

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Pride & Prejudice (1995 or 2005). Pianoforte Look. 'nuff said.

While You Were Sleeping (1995). When Sandra Bullock talks to the comatose Peter Eyebrows Gallagher, she asks, "Or have you ever, like, seen somebody? And you knew that, if only that person really knew you, they would, well, they would of course dump the perfect model that they were with, and realize that YOU were the one that they wanted to, just, grow old with." I think we've all been there. Also, please ignore Bill Pullman's hair.

Sense & Sensibility (1995)

Emma (1996). "I rode through the rain! I'd ride through worse if I could just hear your voice telling me . . . that I might have some chance to win you." Back when Daltongirl was my boss at BYU, I snuck onto her computer and changed the settings so that a picture of Mr. Knightley appeared at startup and this sound byte played. I flatter myself I was quite the technical genius in those days. And that there was definitely not enough security on those computers.

You've Got Mail (1998). "That caviar is a garnish." Also me and Sakhmet agree that it's ridiculous when Meg Ryan rumanites about how she lives a "small life--meaningful, but small." Owning your own Manhattan business and attending caviar & wine parties with the book publishing elite is not living a small life. Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping, there's a small life. "All day I sit in a booth, like a veal."

Notting Hill (1999)

Amelie (2001) Paris? Check. Gorgeous red & green palette? Check. Sweet, inventive, funny story? Check check check.

About a Boy (2002). The romance here takes a bit of a back seat, since Hugh Grant has to grow a heart (and grow up) first.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

North & South (2004). "Look back. Look back at me."

Jane Eyre (2006)

Lars and the Real Girl (2007). I don't know if I fell more in love with Lars or with the town that was so sweet to him.

I know there are other wonderful classic love stories (like the screwball romantic comedies of the 30s and 40s) but these are the ones I pull out over and over again.

Also, it's interesting to look at the timeline here. I hear critics talking about how The Age of the Romantic Comedy is over and from looking at my list that certainly seems true. Not one typical romcom from the last 9 years is on there. I've had to turn to the SLAs and the quirkier stuff to find characters and relationships that are actually compelling. It may be that my tastes are changing, but I don't know that that's true, since I still love those 90s movies. Does anyone else have any thoughts on that?

58 comments:

Janssen said... [reply]

Hmm, I think you may be right. All the "chick flicks" in the last few years are all about sex and full of really stupid humor. And also horrendously unlikeable girls AND guys.

Jenny said... [reply]

Love Actually.
And it stymies me that you pull these movie quotes off... I can't even remember the titles accurately! (Or spell them, either)

heidikins said... [reply]

I agree with you and Janssen...sex, sex and more sex doesn't make a romcom. Shocking. I know.

My favorites are Breakfast at Tiffany's, Amelie, Keeping the Faith and Juno. (Hm, Juno is recent, sex was the whole reason for the predicament, but I just thnk it's really sweet. Shrug.)

xox

Giggles said... [reply]

I love your list. Some of my absolute favorites are on there. And the boyfriend would be very pleased to see "Groundhog Day" on there since that is his favorite movie of all time.

I would add "Return to Me" to your list. Such a sweet, and incredibly clean, movie. The four old men are absolutely wonderful (I want four old men like that in my life). And the music with it is so fun.

RA said... [reply]

While You Were Sleeping, yes! I still have my beloved VHS version of it. I can't let it go. Oh, and Emma! I love it when she's deliberating how he'll advise Mr. Knightley, and she's all, "I love John! I hate John!"

I think I need to watch You've Got Mail this weekend to offset the Super Bowl. My other favorites are When Harry Met Sally and the original Sabrina.

coolmom said... [reply]

I know where you come from! I love all those movies, and watched them all over the holidays (stupid, clueless Hugh Grant is priceless)except I haven't seen Amelie and I didn't get Eternal Sunshine. I guess I need to watch it again.

Noelle said... [reply]

This is so ironic! I was literally JUST putting together a list of my favorite chick flicks when I read your post. I'm happy to see we agree on so many. I loved your little commentaries like "ignore Bill Pullman's hair" or "pianoforte look, nuff said." Those made me crack up. Also, your choice lines from Emma and While You Were Sleeping were awesome. I agree with Janssen and Heidikins about the sex stuff and totally agree with giggles on adding Return to Me. :) I would also add Sabrina, Ever After, Roman Holiday and maybe Serendipity.

Kelly said... [reply]

I sometimes wonder if Hollywood just ran out of good romantic comedy ideas because all of the ones that have come out recently have been so, so dumb. "Must Love Dogs" and "Serendipity", I'm looking at you (They also get the bonus suck for making John Cusack look bad)

However, George Emerson in the field with the flowers and the opera. Sigh...

Kelly said... [reply]

Oh, you know what, though? The Holiday was pretty cute. That may be partly due to my platonic love for Jack Black.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Your list is fantastic, including the best lines from the best movies. (Though even more than RWAV's kiss is that dialogue when she kicks him out of the house after the second kissing. The blood rushes right out of my head every time.) And that While You Were Sleeping line was pretty much my mantra in collge.

I really loved Andrew Davies' new screenplay for Sense and Sensibility. If you give nods to BOTH recent versions of Pride and Prejudice, then I think S & S should get the same. :)

I really enjoyed Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore in Music and Lyrics. The singing is hilarious and sweet and her character is just so well-written. I also love the 80's classic Lady Hawk, but it needs to be re-released with a soundtrack that doesn't sound like Manaheim Steamroller mated with Enya.

Others on my shelf--Anna and the King, Return to Me, Runaway Bride, "new" Sabrina, Hope Floats, Charlie, Princess Bride.

Kelly said... [reply]

Um, many apologies to Noelle, who likes Serendipity. I need to learn to read ALL the comments before I comment. Sorry, Noelle, I didn't like it.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

That's "Charly." Hee. Hee. Although I'm halfway in love with Charlie from L O S T. Or maybe Desmond.

jeri said... [reply]

I'm pretty sure North & South is the most romantic movie I've ever seen. *sigh*

I like the BBC Sense and Sensibility better than the one with Kate Winslet (Edward is sweeter).

Also Dan in Real Life

Bone Junior said... [reply]

I loved your list and LOVED the quotes. I'd have to add Love Actually.

AmandaStretch said... [reply]

Ditto to a lot of other comments here, but here are my own:

IQ - "When was the last time you Wahoo'd?" "Well, I'm sure I don't know!"

Joe Versus The Volcano - "Well, that's life, Joe. We'll jump, and we'll see."

April said... [reply]

Great list. I would add Never Been Kissed (that last scene on the baseball diamond is superb) and 10 Things I Hate About You (Heath Ledger singing "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You"...ah bliss).

brinestone said... [reply]

What are your thoughts on The Notebook?

Lady Susan said... [reply]

So, the sweetest, most pure love story that I have seen in a long time is "Sweet Land"--an independent film that came out in 2005. The IMBD plot synopsis is as follows:

Set in 1920, Inge travels from Germany to rural Minnesota meet the man destined to be her husband. Bureaucracy and social morality cause major complications.

A very simple, lovely story without your romantic comedy gimmicks. Sort of in the same vein as "Lars and the real girl."

Mrs. Hass-Bark said... [reply]

I'd have to jump on the Love Actually bandwagon as well. I'm also a fan of About a Boy, You've Got Mail and Notting Hill. As for Pride & Prejudice and other SLAs...well, you know how I feel.

AmandaStretch said... [reply]

I forgot add this little story.

Christmas Day 2007, my grandparents and I were wandering around Montmartre. They needed a bathroom break, so we stopped at the next cafe we saw. I waited outside, and eventually got bored enough to cross the street for a different point of view.

It was then I realized I'd been standing in front of Le Cafe de Deux Moulins (from Amelie) this entire time! I quickly went inside to have a look around, but only had time to realize it was much smaller and darker than I anticipated before my grandparents re-emerged. I wish I'd figured it out sooner! Still, it was a fortuitous happenstance.

daltongirl said... [reply]

BYU--fun times! "Amelie" is on sale at my Costco for $12!

Hello, "Sliding Doors"?????

STM, I'm with you all the way on "Ladyhawke."

Also on my list are "Return to Me" and "Just Like Heaven," and let's throw in a little "Enchanted April," "Sense and Sensibility," "Stranger than Fiction," and "Prelude to a Kiss," even though it makes boys uncomfortable at that one part. Grow up. It's so very sweet.

Dasha said... [reply]

Um... so am I the only one that thought the new P&P sucked? I mean, it wasn't horrible or anything, but I felt like they originally wanted to make Wuthering Heights and had to switch at the last minute. Plus Darcy was kind of creepy and I couldn't tell if he was going to kiss Elizabeth or bludgeon her in the head.

I agree with most of the others, though. I would definitely add Roman Holiday and the original Sabrina to the list, although ever since I heard that Cary Grant was originally supposed to play Linus Larabee in Sabrina, I am just not satisfied with Humphrey Bogart in the role.

Oh, and Harold and Maude. And Sixteen Candles. Neither of which are your conventional Rom Com but that's the way I roll.

coolmom said... [reply]

Cooldad + Lady Hawk = True Love.

Elsha said... [reply]

I think the only one I would add that I haven't seen mentioned is French Kiss. It's one of my favorites.

Desmama said... [reply]

Thank you for not skewering me on this post.

Good list. I need to go back and watch some of these. I didn't get a chance to tell you, but I did love Lars and the Real Girl. It was so sweet.

Rachie said... [reply]

So, these might not all be considered romantic comedies per se, but my stipulation for a romantic comedy is if it makes me feel depressed at any point during the movie. These ones all do. :)

50 First Dates
Amelie
Bend It Like Beckham
Bridget Jones's Diary
Can't Hardly Wait
Clueless
French Kiss
Garden State
The Holiday
A Life Less Ordinary
Lost In Translation
Muriel's Wedding
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Never Been Kissed
Sliding Doors
Some Kind of Wonderful
That Thing You Do
Two Weeks' Notice
The Wedding Singer
While You Were Sleeping

Obviously I alphabetize my movies. :)

Alicia said... [reply]

One other movie that I didn't see listed that I loved is Wives and Daughters. I know it is a TV miniseries, but wasn't Pride and Prejudice too? Loved both those shows!

Tonya said... [reply]

Awesome list! There are a few that I haven't seen, so I am excited to check them out. I would add The Magic of Ordinary Days, Sweet Home Alabama, and Spanglish. Although my sister thinks that Spanglish is depressing...I still love to watch it.

FoxyJ said... [reply]

I have to agree, although I've never liked Sleepless in Seattle or You've Got Mail very much. I guess I'm just a Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks hater--I like them both, just not together.

I also nominate Out of Africa. It's kind of long, but it was my favorite movie to get all swoony with in high school. I also recently rewatched the 90s Little Women and it's so dreamy. I guess I like romantic movies with tragedy in them because I was also going to suggest Moulin Rouge! and Romeo+Juliet. Another favorite is Strictly Ballroom; at least it doesn't have a sad ending.

Spitfire said... [reply]

Your list was more than ten movie's long. But that's ok. I would have added Dan in Real Life though. I thought it was pretty cute.

banana said... [reply]

I tear up every time I watch 'While You Were Sleeping'. It's so sweet :-)
I'd also like to second 'Just Like Heaven' and add 'The Lake House' - just love that film!

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

The Lake House: check
French Kiss: check
Ever After: if I'm feeling really schmoopy

Dasha just gave the best review of the new P & P I've ever read. EXACTLY! I'm also HIGHLY gratified that nobody added "Tit-anic" here, as much as I heart the Winslet, that movie engenders memories of what should be called the Valentine's Day Massacre of 1998.

And I really want to know coolmom's whole story on the LadyHawk thing.

Movie Fan said... [reply]

"Shakespeare in Love" easily the best romantic movie I've seen. I'm assuming R movies aren't disqualified because "Eternal Sunshine" is on here.

kip said... [reply]

Good ones. I have to second Roman Holiday. Gregory Peck reading a phone book could make me swoon. (Even though he developed weird eyebrows later in life.)

cooldad said... [reply]

I cannot believe The Dirty Dozen was not on this list. What about Meet Joe Black? And of course there is the whole Horatio Hornblower series. And and let's not leave out all the Star Wars movies. Then there is, of course, the great love scenes in Nacho Libre. There is more, but I think this is "nuff said."

cooldad said... [reply]

Oh. And a kiss? You forgot the epic Smalls and What's-Her-Face Peppercorn in Sandlot.

Sean said... [reply]

"A Very Long Engagement," with Audrey Tautou and the same director and same crew as "Amélie," is a fantastic romance in my opinion, even if it's about the horror and terror of war.

"The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is sweet and romantic when it's not being crass and vulgar and HILARIOUS.

"As Good As It Gets" is romantic when Jack Nicholson's character isn't being horrifyingly rude.

I found "Brokeback Mountain" to be terribly romantic, as well as being a tragic tearjerker, of course.

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" had a beautiful, sad love story in it.

"Stardust," while not being as romantic as the book, is still pretty dang romantic, IMHO.

And of course we must not forget "Strictly Ballroom."

HAH said... [reply]

I love the list. Many of my all-time favorites are there, which means I must watch the ones I've not seen! I will be updating my netflix queue as soon as I finish this comment!

Nemesis said... [reply]

Janssen, yeah. I don't know what it is. GH's theory is that you run out of stories for romantic comedies (like Kelly said). I think that could be true, but for me the bigger problem is that they seem to have run out of smart scriptwriters. Even when a premise is potentially good, they louse it all up and make everyone do and say stupid things.

Jenny, I'm not as sharp as you think I am--some of the quotes I found on imdb because I wasn't sure if I remembered them accurately!

Heidikins, Juno IS really sweet. I agree.

Giggles, I really liked Return to Me too. And it's kind of funny to think that those two foul-mouths (Minnie Driver & David Duchovny) made such a sweet movie. We probably have Bonnie Hunt's taste to thank for that.

RA, I couldn't get into the original Sabrina, but now that Dasha has told us about Cary Grant as a potential Linus I wonder if I could watch it again and IMAGINE that he's in it.

Mom, I watched an edited version of Amelie. Just wanted to throw that out there in case you get it through Netflix and get mad at me. It's great, though.

Noelle . . . mmm, Roman Holiday. That one almost made it on there except I wasn't in the mood for bittersweet. Love that Gregory Peck . . .

Nemesis said... [reply]

Kelly, I'll have to give The Holiday another go.

STM, fine. Consider the new Andrew Davies adaptation of Sense & Sensibility to be on the list along with Ang Lee's.

Jeri, that's because North & South is amazing. GH very nicely watched it with me last week but couldn't refrain from rolling his eyes when I teared all up at the end because I am NORMAL.

Bone Junior, I think I need to get a better edited version of Love Actually to watch. The one I got was hacked all to pieces and made no sense!

AmandaStretch, I like IQ too. "Be right there, Ike!"

April, my college roommates and I were Never Been Kissed junkies. And yeah, that scene is pretty much perfect. Also love that Jessica Alba plays one of the lemmings.

Tattooed-Midget-Freak said... [reply]

While You Were Sleeping is so fantastic . . . "These mashed potatoes are so creamy!"

Nemesis said... [reply]

Brinestone, you open Pandora's Box by asking about The Notebook. My confession is that I've only watched the last 15 minutes of that movie, during which time I alternately cried and gagged. I was told by some pretty reliable sources that there was too much sex in the movie and that it was completely sappy and stupid and people behaved in trashy ways. But then I know other people who love it. So my game plan has been to just NOT WATCH IT because then I don't have to take a side. Clever, non?

Lady Susan, I've been meaning to see that! Isn't that the one with Alan Cumming?

Mrs. Hass-Bark, yes. Sigh . . . I remember about the big dark gap that lives in your soul . . .

Daltongirl, absolutely yes to Sliding Doors. Can you believe that movie is 10 years old now???

Nemesis said... [reply]

Hah! Have Sweet Land in my hand right this second, Lady Susan. Mom, you've seen this one, haven't you?

Nemesis said... [reply]

Dasha, yes. You are the only one who hated the new P&P. Unless, of course, you aren't.

Ugh, I do not get what everyone's fascination is with Lady Hawke. Although I did find myself channeling the priest the other day while advising someone about our slippery steps. "Walk. On. the Left. Side!"

Elsha, yeah, French Kiss is a goodie.

Desmama, I'm so glad you liked it! And don't worry about the skewering--that's not scheduled for at least 3 more months, when I talk about your secret clubbing/cage-dancing habits.

Rachie, your list is excellent and there are a few on there I need to catch up on!

Alicia, you are right, Wives & Daughters is excellent. And who even knew that Tom Hollander (ie 2005 P&P Mr. Collins) could be so hot? Or, um, am I maybe the only one who thinks that? Maybe I am.

Mad Hadder said... [reply]

How many times have I rewound the Anne/Gilbert scenes in Anne of Green Gables?????? Carrots...

Rynell said... [reply]

Sweet Land was awesome. Hope you enjoy it.

And I agree with your list. I was adding mental exclamation points as I went down the list. I must also add that I loved Dan in Real Life. (anyone else?) Romantic Comedies do seem to be disappearing. Sad. We'll always have Austen and Gaskell adaptations.

coolmom said... [reply]

Never heard of Sweet Land, had Amelie IN MY QUEUE for the second time before I realized it was STILL rated R. I was sorely tempted I want you to know. Just get me a clean copy for Christmas or something.

coolmom said... [reply]

Wait! I did see "Sweet Land". It was nice.

Movie Fan said... [reply]

The best way to see all those "R" romantic movies is to buy a Clearplay DVD player. They're only $50 - $80 and all the extra garbage is edited out!

Nemesis said... [reply]

We have one of those, Movie Fan! They have their downsides (temperamental little cusses, can't always get Clearplay to make filters for the movies you want to see) but other than that they're great and really convenient because you can just use regular DVDs from Netflix or Redbox.

JustMe said... [reply]

Last of the Mohicans - "Stay alive. No matter where you go I will find you. Stay alive." With the added bonus of Daniel Day-Lewis, the sexiest man of all time in that movie.

Gone With The Wind - The scene where Rhett carries Scarlett up the stairs, and the next morning she wakes up singing with a smile on her face. The best sex scene without showing or saying anything.

The Way We Were - just to see Robert Redford in a white Naval uniform.

JustMe said... [reply]

Lest I forget - The Notebook - with the most annoying characters ever. Yes, I hate that movie.

Dirty Dancing - just the dancing scenes. "No body puts baby in a corner". Gag me. But the dancing is wonderful

Jill said... [reply]

I quote While You Were Sleeping AT LEAST once a week!

These are also great!
Love Actually
The Family Stone
Spanglish
Stranger Than Ficiton

Giggles said... [reply]

I have to second the motion on "IQ" as well. The scene when they are getting stuff stuck in the tree gets me every time. And I always spend a few days after I watch it going "Wahoo!"

And "Ever After."

Henry: Hello.
Danielle: Hello.
Danielle: What are you doing here?
Henry: I uh... I came to... rescue you.
Danielle: Rescue me? A commoner?
Henry: Actually, I came to beg your forgiveness. I offered you the world and at the first test of honor, I betrayed your trust. Please, Danielle...
Danielle: Say it again.
Henry: I'm sorry.
Danielle: No. The part where you said my name.
Henry: Danielle.


Swoon!

And my VHS copy of "While You Were Sleeping" actually wore out I watched it so much - sole possession of the remote control, very important. Haven't worn out the DVD, yet.

Anonymous said... [reply]

Dasha, you are definitely NOT the only one who hated the new P&P. I agree with your review. That "Mrs. Darcy, Mrs. Darcy, Mrs. Darcy" scene reminded me of "I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you" in Singin' in the Rain. And not in a good way. Although, had they called it something other than Pride and Prejudice, I think I would have hated it less. Because it sucked at following the book.

april said... [reply]

you totally nailed this!!! you got the ones i love and amelie, lars and eternal spotless have been on my netflix que. (i was glad to see the lars one as i was taking a chance it wasn't too crude). i would second, love actually, ever after, legally blonde, just like heaven, family stone and sliding doors (which i actually just bought at my grocery store for $6). i wouldn't classify them as full on romantic comedies, but i recently really liked "kinky boots" and "once."

p.s. over christmas, i re-watched ladyhawke with my 9 year old daughter. amen to re-doing the soundtrack. i also re-watched ice castles and married to the mob and found i still love them. (let's hear it for instant movie watching on netflix.)

april said... [reply]

oh, and how could i forget seconding "buffy the vampire slayer." i've only watched the first three seasons (or until whenever angel leaves the show), but i loved it. i even have a funny family story to go with it. i didn't discover buffy until i was a mom with two kids. re-runs would be on at 6 am in the morning and i would watch it while i got my son's lunch ready for school. if my 3 year old daughter would wake up early, i would send her out of the room telling her i didn't want to watch that show. anyhoo, in primary for mother's day that year, the kids filled out a form about their moms. one of the questions was "what's your mom's favorite t.v. show?" when asked thes, my lovely, little sunbeam responded "bad shows" - which my friend wrote down on the questionaire for her. yes, i still have it.

Why Mormon Girls REALLY Stay Single said... [reply]

Sigh.

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