50 Favorite Romances: 21 - 25

Also check out 1 - 56 - 10, 11 - 15, and 16 - 20.

21. In the Mood for Love (2000)

Feelings can creep up just like that. I thought I was in control.
When a man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) and a woman (Maggie Cheung) find out their spouses are having an affair together, they start a relationship of their own. It's a measured love story, with moments of unbearable tension as these two try to decide between having an affair or remaining faithful to their cheating spouses. The music also keeps you on edge, reminding you of the controlled closeness of a dance by using a waltz and rhumba throughout the film.

22. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper.
Bridget Jones has all the characteristics of a film I would hate--woman obsessed with her weight, nice guy vs. bad boy, embarrassing costumes, Renee Zellweger--but it works so damn well. Probably the because the potential boyfriends make sense to me. I mean really, has Hugh Grant ever been as sexy as he is here? I can totally buy a woman being on that guy's hook. And has Colin Firth ever been this adorable (okay, maybe the Pemberly scenes in P&P)? But also, the film remembers the comedy part of a romantic comedy. My favorite moments of comedy, of course, are the inappropriate things the mother says. I can relate.

23. Say Anything... (1989)

Kickboxing. Sport of the future.
First things first: this movie is on this list probably as much for Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" as anything else. Other reason it's on my list: the high school awkwardness of it all. I'm not sure what the deal is with a lot of people writing for high schoolers, but teenagers are not that cool. They're doing a lot of things for the first time, so they're kind of bad at it. So Lloyd Dobbler (John Cusack) starting a new relationship with Diane Court (Ione Skye) is interesting because it capture the nerves of falling in love that first time. That we watch it as Diane's father (John Mahoney) loses his perfect man luster perfectly captures the other part of growing up: disillusionment. So, with naivety and disillusionment, these two start a life together. A life maybe doomed for failure, but they're giving it a shot.

24. Love Story (1970)

-You know, Jenny, you're not that great looking.
-I know. But can I help it if you think so?
Much like Bridget Jones, this movie should be on my hate list, but instead, the tragic love story of college sweethearts makes swoon a little bit. Oliver (Ryan O'Neal) and Jenny (Ali MacGraw) meet at the library and instantly start fighting/falling in love. It's the sort of self-defense fighting that's full of false bravado and hidden emotions and I LOVE IT, and the lead actors have enough chemistry to pull it off. Overall, the story is simple: boy and girl meet, boy gets disowned from rich family, boy and girl marry, girl dies from cancer. It strangely effective, too, in the last moments, even though the end of the relationship is conveyed from the opening scene. Just ignore the line about love meaning you never have to say you're sorry (terrible advice) and the soundtrack. Talk about overkill.

25. The New World (2005)

I feel like I should be embarrassed by this choice, but I'm not. In essence, you get a twofer of love stories: one of young love and careless decisions and one of cautious love that comes after heartache. The fact that the film manages to take the old chestnut of the Pocahontas story and make it fresh should be proof enough of the film's effectiveness. Terrence Malick's signature montage/voice over style is perfect for conveying the small moments that create a relationship. The film may be overly long, but in segments, it's perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Say Anything is the WORST. I haven't seen any of these other movies, so that is all I have to say.