Monday, August 24, 2009

Question: Your Favorite Romantic Movies

Some disloyal Commentarama readers have suggested that our romance advice wasn’t all that and a bag of chips. Clearly, they are wrong. . . and communists. Still, it never hurts to improve your knowledge base. And the best way to learn something is to see how they do it in the movies. So give us a hand, tell us your two favorite romantic movies and what you like about them.


Tennessee Jed said...

Notting Hill comes to mind for some reason. This is the one kind of movie Julia does well. Then there is just the whole "Brit" thing. What a sap am I.

Another one that I always liked was "You've Got Mail" which I think was a Nora Ephron. It is formulaic (enemies become lovers) but I think Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan actually had some chemistry on screen.

I guess I have to add a third rather than re-type, but I loved Sweet Home Alabama. I always felt Reese Witherspoon could have been the logical successor to Julia Roberts. This was a little corny, but it's a southern thing.

I am not a romantic comedy afficienado so I can't give you well reasoned answers. These are three I liked, though.

Writer X said...

Oh, my. I'm a sap for the romantic movies and could probably write all night about favorites. I'll have to give you three (two is impossible and three is damn near impossible, too):

1) GONE WITH THE WIND. Do I really need to explain this one? Two words: Clark Gable.

2) THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. I'm a Daniel-Day Lewis fan and I love anything with a western/pioneer type of theme. Not only do I adore the book, but I thought this movie had it all: great acting, big production, wonderful music, beautiful settings. Sigh...I may have to rent it tonight.

3) SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. I saw this movie a few months ago and I thought about it for days after. I loved the underdog theme and the inability to destroy the human spirit against incredible odds. The fact that it had a believable romance was the cherry on top. So many of today's romances are just so cliche; this one was a welcome change.

JG said...

1) "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1952). The remake is my favorite, although I do love Ronald Coleman. I love the ending. Not many people do, which I suppose is why it's not very popular, and maybe not a traditional romance. But the ending makes the movie, especially Deborah Kerr's speech. I won't ruin it, but if you can find it, you must watch it.

2) "Only You" 1994. I was just a kid but I fell in love with Robert Downey, Jr. I love the themes of fate and destiny, as well as the purity of the movie. It's just a love story, nothing dark or sinister, which has its place - just not here.

Now I have to watch them again!

AndrewPrice said...

Interesting that everyone has mentioned different movies.

I want to like romantic movies. Indeed, I consider myself quite romantic. But I've been looking a long time for a good romantic movie, and maybe it's my cynical, evil, lawyer heart, but good romantic movies are hard to find. I have no love for the formulas Hollywood uses, and often I don't care for the actors they like to use.

Interestingly, I more often prefer the romances that build within television series, because they seem more natural.

But there have been some good movies. I like "An Affair To Remember" and I found a pretty interesting Korean movie called "My Sassy Girl" (avoid the Hollywood remake). I think those would have to be my choices.

Cheryl said...

Well, then I'm gonna pick three too.
Number ONE: Two Weeks Notice. Because it is SO FUNNY! So many memorable scenes. So many quotable lines.
Number TWO: Sabrina. The remake with Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond & the lovable Greg Kinnear. All the characters are so likable. There's so much going on with so many different relationships. I love the father-daughter thing. I love it all!
Number THREE: The Man From Snowy River. Beautiful cinematography! Great story. This is a movie men could like too.
So many honorable mentions: Pride & Prejudice, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Everafter, Something's Gotta Give, Return To Me, The Notebook, & some that others have already mentioned.
I'm with you, Writer X, I could write all night!

AndrewPrice said...

Ok, I've got to add to my list: "Pride and Prejudice" (the BBC version, not the Keira Knightley version). Thanks Cheryl.

Also, now that I think about it, I really liked "Shakespeare in Love" as well.

StanH said...

“Bringing up Baby” 1938 Hepburn, Grant.

“Kate and Leopold” 2001 Ryan, Jackman

Since this is Commentarama, two really Means three.

“Romeo and Juliet” 1968 Olivia Hussey …say no more : )

Cheryl said...

I have to disagree. The remake of My Sassy Girl is adorable. It's my 17 year old daughter's favorite movie.
I haven't seen the Korean one. Wasn't even aware it was a remake.

JG said...

Yes, the BBC Pride and Prejudice is by far the best of any version.

Joel Farnham said...

Quiet Man
and Overboard.

Quiet Man and McClintock! had Maureen Ohara and John Wayne.
'nuf said.

Overboard had Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel. The point where the Rich Socialite stands at the stern of her ship and realizes that the she was leaving, she almost cries. All the world's pain is contained in those eyes.

Cheryl said...

Writer X:
Would you believe I just watched Gone With The Wind last night for the very first time ever?
It was a great story and Scarlett was an interesting character, but I wasn't a fan of the melodramatic acting.
I can hear the groans already, but, I'd be interested to see a remake.
Your thoughts?

AndrewPrice said...

Cheryl, The Korean version is really interesting. It's not like anything you've seen out of Hollywood, except the ending kind of gives in to Hollywood. I really liked it.

Cheryl said...

Now I'm curious. I'll have to try to find it.

AndrewPrice said...

Cheryl, You're welcome. I hope you like it. I'm going to give the American version a second chance too.

ScottDS said...

Hmm... I enjoyed When Harry Met Sally and several Woody Allen romantic comedies including Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Everyone Says I Love You, which is a bit cheesy but the last fifteen minutes (with the dancing Groucho Marxes and Goldie Hawn dancing both on and over the bank of the Seine) are beautiful...

I really enjoyed Love Actually. I'm just a big sap and you can't go wrong with Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, the requisite Rowan Atkinson appearance, PLUS this film introduced me to the awesome actor that is Bill Nighy.

Writer/director Richard Curtis (who also wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral) makes it look easy and he also said this: "If you write a story about a soldier going AWOL and kidnapping a pregnant woman and finally shooting her in the head, it's called searingly realistic, even though it's never happened in the history of mankind. Whereas if you write about two people falling in love, which happens about a million times a day all over the world, for some reason or another, you're accused of writing something unrealistic and sentimental."

And while it isn't considered a romantic comedy, I recently watched Groundhog Day for the first time and almost cried at the end. The schmuck gets the girl, but only after he feels the urge to change and become a better man. (No comment :-D)

Writer X said...

Cheryl, The only thing I can advise is that you read the book. I first read the book (when I was 10, I might add) and then I saw the movie. I enjoyed the book more than the movie and I've read it so many times I've lost count; however, the movie made it so real for me. I did love it. Yes, I know the acting is cheesey. I think the movie was released in 1939 originally, or something. What can I say? I am a sucker for all things Clark Gable.

And, since I'm technically commenting again, I'd like to add STRICTLY BALLROOM to the list. Loved the fast pace, the costumes, and, of course, the dancing.

ScottDS said...

Yes, I know you said "Pick two." The ones mentioned in the opening paragraph were simply there for, uh... context... yeah, that's it. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, It's ok, no one follows the rules around here. In fact, they seem to get a kick out of openly flaunt our rules. We're used to it.

I like Bill Nighy, and I'm a big fan of Rowan Atkinson and Neeson.

I enjoyed Groundhog Day, but I didn't think of it as a romantic movie, personally.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, "Strictly Ballroom" is one of my favorite movies. I'm going to review it sometime. It's one of the few movies where I can genuinely say I love the dancing.

Writer X said...

What rules? There are rules?

Joel Farnham said...

I prefer to think of the rules as General Guidelines.

StanH said...

A independent streak is a Commentarama trait, it’s the new math thing. Andrew says two, and we all go three or four. Andrew replies, “that’s a nice try guys, you get points for effort.”

Tennessee Jed said...

I loved reading all the comments. It is interesting that somehow I translated romantic movie into romantic comedy which greatly altered my choices. Writer X, I absolutely can see where you are coming from with the big historical dramas. "Mohicans" with all that Clannad and Chieftans music -- whew!

Andrew, I know what you mean about television romances. I am a sap, but the Harm and Mac romance on JAG was one of my all time favorites. I have been catching up on StarTrek Enterprise and find the romance that cannot be between Archer and T'Pol pretty intriguing as well.

Joel, your comment on guidelines gave me a chuckle thinking about developing underwriting standards in my insurance days. We had a policy, position, guideline thing going on where policies were virtually never violated, positions required pretty high level sign off and guidelines were made to be broken. Commenterama-- guidelines it is!

AndrewPrice said...

An independence streak does seem to be a Commentarama trait, and that's ok I guess. LOL!

At least we kept you all on the topic of romance movies. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree. I love doing the discussions because it's neat to see what everybody comes up with.

I also liked the Harm/Mac romance.

Alright, general guidelines it is folks. We know when we're beat. LOL!

Skinners 2 Cents said...

I'm going to have to dig into my past because most the romantic stuff I've see as an adult reminds me of what's wrong with the movies and their side effects on regular relationships in society.

1 The Princess Bride - I thought the cast was excellent with over the top characters and some nice clean humor to boot. Not to mention Andrea the Giant.

2. The Man from Snowy River - This one was already taken but it's a romance for the ages. Jessica's Theme was the song I played at my first piano recital. The song it's self is incredible and crisp. The crescendo's always make me feel like I'm part of the brumby pack moving fast and wild with reckless abandon. I can't hear the song and not think of Jim riding his horse down a cliff either. I enjoyed the second one as well. I think I need to watch that movie again.

Anymore it always seems like, what the world would be like if men could just read the minds of their women. Men could do no wrong if they just came up with the right apology at the right moment in time, irregardless of the situation. "You slept with best friend!" All will be forgiven because I will know when the time is right to give you 'rescued' dog. My compassion for this animal will make you lose your senses and forgive me for my incredible trespass. Or something to that effect.

Skinners 2 Cents said...

Just so at least one person jumps the tracks on this topic. :)

I'd like to say thanks Andrew the 5 part series of Torchwood was great. Really they didn't need the first two seasons.

The more I saw of this show the more I realized it's actually everything that is wrong with society rolled into a show.

A show that lets you know it's okay to always settle for lowest common denominator. Never stop to think about the repercussions of what your doing, live in the moment. Hedonism run amok.

At least the show ended with a big dose of reality. I don't know if it was enough to right the ship though.

AndrewPrice said...

Skinner, You're welcome, I'm glad you liked it. I'm not a fan of Torchwood for a lot of reasons, including the points you raise. But Torchwood Children of Earth was really good.

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

You should never ask a guy this question, or maybe, you should never trust his answers! :-D Here goes:

1. "Somewhere in Time" - A very cheesy sci-fi but romantic movie. I like the obsession aspect--what lengths would one go to to find that one true love.

2. A neat little pair of movies called "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset". In "Before Sunrise", a young American (Ethan Hawke) traveling through Europe meets a French woman (Julie Delpy) on a train, and they decide to stop in Vienna and spend the day together. When they part, they fail to exchange contact information (doh!). Nine years later in "Before Sunset", the same actor and actress reprise their original roles, this time meeting in Paris and spending the day together. I highly recommend both.

3. "Titanic" - Please don't laugh me off the board! I'm a Kate Winslet fan, so that alone would do it for me. But there is so much to like about this film--the soundtrack (and I don't mean the Celine Dion song), impossible love, and an epic struggle for survival.

AndrewPrice said...

Pitts, We won't throw you off for Titanic, but we will watch you closely from now on! ;-P

I haven't seen Sunrise/Sunset, I'll have to check them out.

Unknown said...

Camille and Love Story (yeah, I know, the latter was sappy but even I was affected). Maybe I'm just soft for movies where the love interest dies a slow death. Actually, that makes them chick flicks. I withdraw my nominations.

Monica said...

There's a line in "The Happiest Millionaire" (it's an old Disney musical) where, right before the first kiss happens, the guy says, "the suspension system really is remarkable." I have no idea why, but I've always loved that.
And "Strictly Ballroom" has always been one of my favorite movies, but I love any kind of an ugly duckling transformation.
To add the requisite rule-breaking third - "Mr. and Mrs. Smith"

AndrewPrice said...

Monica, "requisite rule breaking" LOL!

BevfromNYC said...

Monica: Is the "The Happiest Millionaire" the movie with Leslie Ann Warren and John Davidson?

My choices - GWTW, (without a doubt)and all of that "love" stuff.

I think "sports" movies can have a real element of romance too - Let's see - Brian Song, Field of Dreams, The Lou Gehrig Story, The Babe Ruth Story, The Rookie, and Rudy - they bring a real tear to my eyes too!

Technically, Andrew, I have followed your rules by writing only 2 paragraphs thus abiding by your incessant "rule of two". Do you have a Noah's Ark complex? ;-p

Technically, a paragraph must have more than one sentence, so I am okay...

CrispyRice said...

Princess Bride, easily. Awwwww.

<--- Bucking the rules by only giving 1.

Jenniebird said...

Definitely number 1 on my list is The Notebook. I originally wasn't going to see it, because I don't like movies in which someone dies (except Little Women). However, life has a funny way of changing our plans, and after I had my own happy reunion with an old flame, well... of course I had to watch it..and loved it! So its a sentimental fave for me.
The other one would have to be 50 First Dates.. I always wanted a man who would go to that much trouble to win me.. and now I've got him.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I wouldn't know what you mean by a Noah's Arc complex, but if you have any spare penguins, I'm trying to complete my set.

et tu, CrispyRice?

Jenniebird, Welcome! Good call on The Notebook.

DCAlleyKat said...

#1 Daddy Long Legs - Aging debonair bachelor played by Fred Astaire (sigh)...he's always fascinated me, falls in love for irresistable French orphan played by Leslie Caron.

#2 An Affair To Remember - What can I say? Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr and Kleenex!

And just to prove that I am still a part of the New Revolution...(the one that refuses to follow the rules, ahem)

#3 The Ghost and Mrs. Muir - Lovely young widow meets salty sea captain. Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison and oh how I had hoped to grow up and find a man like him! Well one that was alive anyway.

AndrewPrice said...

DCAlleykat, Everyone seems determined to make a mockery of our rules, so I have resigned myself to that fact.

Good choice of movies, by the way. I particularly like An Affair To Remember.

Monica said...

Yeah, that's the one. It has that great scene with the two ladies disagreeing, in such a genteel way, about the virtues of New York versus Philadelphia. I love civil snarkiness.
Going with sports themes, I thought "Cinderella Man" had a great stand by your man quality to it.

DCAlleyKat said...

Andrew: A little resignation now and then is good for us! LOL...

AndrewPrice said...

DCAlleyKat, I know someone who should resign. Maybe he can do it after he's done with his vacation at Martha's Vineyard.

kayfromcarroll said...

"The Long Kiss Goodnight", with Geena Davis.

As a girly-girl, how can you resist the title? Romantic water scenes, cross-country scenery, Niagara Falls, a hunky partner, it's got it all!!!
(Actually, this IS one of my favorite movies, give it a look-see sometime).

On a serious note, I like Sound of Music, myself. MMMM, Christopher Plummer!

DCAlleyKat said...

DCAlleyKat, I know someone who should resign. Maybe he can do it after he's done with his vacation at Martha's Vineyard.

Now there's some resignation we can hope for, some um real change!

AndrewPrice said...

kayfromcarroll, I love the Sound of Music! Nice addition to the list.

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