10 Most Romantic Movies
a suggested list of ten romantic movies perfect for an early dating situation.
Most of us have at least one movie in our memory that will reduce us to tears or put us in a romantic mood. Some of these movies may be acknowledged 'Classics', while others have more personal significance. Movies have also become a popular choice for a first date situation, because they are comfortable for both participants and are usually a good springboard for conversation afterwards. If you're looking for an appropriate romantic movie to rent as a first date or early introduction, you can't go too wrong with these ten movies. Some are classics, while other have been overlooked by critics or the public. All are available on videotape at any good video store.
1. Casablanca. Why not start out this list with the king of the romantic film genre? If you've seen Casablanca before, watch it again with your heart. If you or your date have never seen this movie, you are in for a real treat. Humphrey Bogart portrays a ex-patriate restaurant/bar owner in Morocco during WWII. His decision to remain non-committal about the war is challenged when Ingrid Bergman arrives. Her present companion is a true underground hero and resistance fighter, a fact that sparks Bogart to take more of an interest in the world around him. Risking his own safety to save the woman he loves, while realizing that he cannot have her for himself, Bogart is a wonder to watch. Great movie for old movie buffs.
2. Say Anything. Perhaps the best of the 80s teen romance genre, Say Anything will satisfy viewers of any age. John Cusack plays a good-hearted slacker named Lloyd Dobler, who has developed a serious crush on the beautiful and intelligent Diane Court, played by a stunning Ione Skye. Diane's father (John Mahoney of Frasier fame) has ambitious plans for his daughter, which do not include the 'distraction' embodied by Lloyd. While Diane and Lloyd try to make sense of their budding relationship, secrets are revealed that have devastating effects on their lives. Can their love survive the challenges? Strong contributions from supporting cast members and intelligent dialogue make this a modern romance classic. Watch out for the best romantic moment in the movie, involving Cusack and a boombox blaring a Peter Gabriel tune. Powerful moment.
3. Picnic. A surprising choice for some, but still worth finding. Based on the play by William Inge (Bus Stop, Come Back Little Sheba), Picnic explores what happens to a repressive small town when a sexually-charged drifter named Hal Carter (William Holden) hops off a train and into their lives. The local beauty Madge, played by the stunning Kim Novak, is instantly drawn to Hal's animal magnetism, but is engaged to marry the rich boy in town, Alan (Cliff Robertson). As Madge and Hal tentatively explore their forbidden relationship, the rest of the women are forced to confront their own repressed feelings towards love and romance. Look for strong support from Rosalind Russell and Arthur O'Connell.
4. Sommersby. Based on an earlier French film called the Return of Martin Guerre, Sommersby sets the action during the American Civil War. Jodie Foster portrays a woman who has finally come to terms with the assumed death of her husband. When a mysterious man (Richard Gere) comes to town claiming to be the presumed-dead Sommersby, Foster must make the final determination of his validity. When the truth concerning his identity becomes apparent, Foster must decide how far she is willing to go for true love. Definitely keep a box of Kleenex handy for the moving ending.
5. Grease. A 70s movie recreating a 50s way of life, Grease is simply a fun movie to watch. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John lead a marvelous cast through some of the best musical routines ever put on film. The story? Fahgeddaboudit. High School greaser Travolta falls for squeaky clean Newton-John, but he can't tell his friends that he's fallen for such a square chick. Newton-John tries to fit in with the tough local girls, lead by Stockard Channing, but they know when they have a fish out of water on their line. A series of breakups and makeups follow, but it all works out in the end. Good, harmless fun.
6. An Officer and a Gentleman. Troubled recruit Richard Gere must survive the tauntings of a tough drill instructor (the memorable Lou Gossett, Jr) while finding himself. While the other local girls plot and scheme to snag themselves an officer and some security, Deborah Winger holds out for a real opportunity to find true love. If the ending doesn't move you, check for a pulse.
7. When Harry Met Sally. The prototype for many other 'relationship' movies, When Harry Met Sally is a smartly written film, with engaging lead actors and a satisfying plotline. Billy Crystal is Harry, a cynical and somewhat self-absorbed young man who becomes friends with Sally (Meg Ryan), a neurotic and equally self-absorbed young college student. The film traces their relationship as it ebbs and flows from year to year. Nothing is dealt with on a surface level- there are always layers of meaning behind each encounter. The film builds towards a satisfying conclusion, leaving no doubt for the audience that true love can survive even the deepest scrutiny.
8. The Princess Bride. In general, The Princess Bride is the movie you know you can show to your five year old cousin and your 80 year old grandmother. Robin Wright plays the title role of the Princess, and dashing Cary Elwes portrays her ever-diligent suitor. The plot is inventive, playing with the classic 'lady in distress' plotline. The romance between Elwes and Wright may not be at the level of Bogie and Bacall, but you won't feel a bit cheated. Plenty of quotable lines, and you can be assured that your date won't question your taste in movies.
9. City of Angels. Few modern romance movies have reached the level of absolute sacrifice and redemption as City of Angels. Nicolas Cage plays an angel who becomes so smitten with the vivacious mortal Meg Ryan that he considers making the greatest sacrifice an angel can make- his immortality. City of Angels does not force decisions- all aspects are explored before the characters decide their fates. The chemistry between Cage and Ryan is palpable and believable, and the luscious soundtrack adds to the experience. If you ever wondered why Sarah McLachlan has so many fans, just listen to her evocative performance of the main theme song.
10. The English Patient. The movie is a bit long, and you must observe each and every plot twist carefully, but ultimately you'll be glad you made the commitment to watch the film. Just be sure that your date is similarly inclined. Ralph Fiennes is superb as the romantic lead in this tale of true love and the tragedy of deception. There are actually two threads to follow, which explains the length of the movie. One plot follows Ralph Fiennes as a Bavarian count attached to a non-political surveying organization. Caught on the wrong side of a line on a map during WWII, Fiennes falls for the wife of a rival philanthropist, who may not be everything he appears to be. As their romance deepens, the level of danger around them increases exponentially. The second thread surrounds a nurse who is placed in charge of a critically burned patient who appears to be English. She is devoted to his recovery, despite the desperation surrounding her small cottage. As more and more clues to the patient's past emerge, the nurse must confront her own feelings towards life and the meaning of love. Stay with the film, and you'll both be rewarded with a satisfying ending that proves love is not a dying concept.