50 Favorite Romances: 1 - 5

Friends, I love a good romance, but they're so hard to come by and often embarrassing to admit how much you love them. So I'm putting myself out there and giving you the first of several installments of my 50 favorite film romances.

1. Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
 I will be horribly in love with her. 
I love Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in my favorite of their onscreen pairings. Nothing beats a good "I hate you, no wait I love you because we were tricked into liking each other" story, especially when it's Shakespeare. Just ignore the other plotline that deals with the politics of virginity and pay attention to insults slung by Beatrice and Benedick:
Beatrice: I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick. Nobody marks you.
Benedick: What, my dear Lady Disdain. Are you yet living?
Beatrice: Is't possible Disdain should die whilst she hath such meet food to feed it as Signor Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to Disdain when you come in her presence.  

2. It Happened One Night (1934)
 Perhaps you're interested in how a man undresses. 
This film is a gem. It's Capra without being overly schmaltzy, it's screwball without getting too slapstick, it's sexy without getting too naked (just Clark Gable's lovely upper chest and some clingy dresses on Ms. Colbert). Still funny and smart almost 80 years later.

3. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
Someone is staring at you in personal growth.
Back when Rob Reiner directed films with unbeatable banter and comic timing, he made a great film staring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan that would make male-female friendships with unrequited love even more unbearable because of the false hope created by this movie. At least this story is funny with a choice supporting cast (what's up, Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby?). Also, baby fish mouth.

4. A Room With a View (1985)
 A young girl, transfigured by Italy! And why shouldn't she be transfigured? It happened to the Goths.  
My mind's always blown by what a typical set-up this film has: you've got the repressed girl (Helena Bonham Carter), the guy who kisses her in Italy (Julian Sands), and the ridiculous intellectual she engages herself to once she's back in England (Daniel "I can't believe how good he is as a foppish nerd" Day-Lewis). And yet, something about the performances, the inherent humor of societal expectations, and the pretty costumes elevate this film into being pretty awesome.

5. Persuasion (1995)
 I strongly object to the Navy. It brings people of obscure birth into undue distinction and it cuts up a man's youth and vigor most horribly.
This is the lone Jane Austen entry on this list, quite simply because I find most film adaptations of her work don't do the justice a miniseries can. However, Persuasion is simple enough to be effectively cut down to a couple hours in addition to the subtle interactions between characters that flesh out the back story. I adore the familiar, although awkward, interactions between Captain Wentworth (Ciaran Hinds) and Anne (Amanda Root), that feel genuine as these two fall back in love.


  1. Your top three are my top three!!! And this is why we are pop culture soul mates. LOVE it.

  2. good selection, love all of these!


  3. Emma and Kenneth doing Shakespeare is something excellent, and I like seeing the couple from A Room with a View considering, too, that the film's ending is not the books. And, I do prefer the film's ending.

  4. i feel kinda dumb now that i mentioned "much ado about nothing" to you the other day and, what do you know, it's your #1!

    *face meet palm*

    also...harry met sally is amazing. whenever i watch it, it makes me want to stop by brookstone and do some karaoke.