50 Favorite Romances: 41 - 45

Also check out 1 - 56 - 10, 11 - 15, 16 - 20, 21 - 25, 26 - 30, 31 - 35, and 36 - 40.

41. Moulin Rouge (2001)

Never fall in love with a woman who sells herself. It always ends bad!
Did anyone go into this movie thinking it was going to be terrible because a lot of its promotional ads used this horrendous version* of "Lady Marmalade"? And then the first half hour was so ridiculous you didn't know what was happening, but once Ewan McGregor starting belting "Your Song," you kind of loved it? At the end of the day, this really is a downer of a love story, but it's so pretty and it remains the only successful pop-songs-to-musical musicals I've ever seen. It helps that it's about show business in the first place, but they also chose some great music. This movie would be noteworthy even if "Roxanne" were the only scene--with the growling vocals, passionate dancing, the tragic cross-cutting, Christian's new, harmonizing verse to the song--I would still say this film is worth it. That Moulin Rouge  manages to have so such emotional resonance for how melodramatic and frantic it is, is amazing.

42. Sabrina (1995)

- I never thought of you as a dancer.
-I'm crazy about it. They call me Bojangles at the office.
I'm always bummed that Harrison Ford didn't do more romantic comedies, but maybe that's what makes Sabrina so effective. Ford plays Linus Larrabee, head of the family business. He's so all business that he wears ugly bowties. His younger, more charismatic brother, David (Greg Kinnear), attracts the attention of the chauffeur's frumpy daughter, Sabrina (Julia Ormond). Sabrina spends some years abroad in Paris and comes back totally hot, distracting David from his finacee who happens to be in business with the family's company. Linus decides to save the business by seducing Sabrina away from his brother, only he starts falling for her (WHO KNEW THAT WOULD HAPPEN?). It's done in a relaxed and socially awkward way that ends up being endearing, hitting emotional beats that make sense. And let's be real, Dana Ivey as the assistant Mack steals the show.

43. The Village (2004)

It is all that I can give you.
I feel like I should apologize for this selection because popular opinion is that this was where Shyamalan went off the rails. While I don't think it's a perfect movie, it's got a lot going for it, including some effective scary scenes that give this film an interesting mixed-genre feel. It's also got a sweet romance between Ivy Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix). Maybe I'm a sucker for romances set in more formal eras of courtship, but their humorous and endearing coupling manages to gloss over the excessive and confusing twist back before there was a twist in the movie but then it isn't actually a twist back because the first twist was right in the first place. My point is this: Shyamalan makes hand holding thrilling. Outside of a Korean drama, you'd be hard pressed to find something so chaste be so effective, and effective this film is.

44. Moonstruck (1987)

We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die.
So much fighting, so much love making, so many dogs howling at the moon. This film is just plain fun if you like listening to multiple generations of Italian people argue about relationships. It also reminds you of when Nicholas Cage could harness his crazy into a weirdly attractive and hilarious role and teaches you that Cher is kind of awesome. Plus, there's a makeover scene. CASE CLOSED.

45. Forget Paris (1995)

Here, have some bread. Everything will look better after bread.
Apparently 1995 was a good year. In Forget Paris, Debra Winger is an American working in Paris who meets an NBA referee played by Billy Crystal. We learn about their romance through mutual friends telling their story to one friend's new fiancee. Their story is at times romantic and funny, and then stressful and sad as they're shown navigating compromise, taking care of her father, infertility issues, and throwing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar out of a game. Mixed in is old school Crystal humor, but it works well here. Winger and Crystal aces at creating realistic chemistry, and the supporting cast telling their story is a delight, new people coming in at each break from the story and giving us characters that feel comfortable and fully formed.  I would give this movie a hug.

*Where Christina decimates all other female voices in an effort to prove once and for all that her voice is abrasive and unblendable? And for some reason Missy Elliott shows up at the end?


  1. Love Sabrina. Hate The Village.

  2. About Moulin Rouge: YES. That is EXACTLY how it happened!

  3. didn't we see the village together? i'm pretty sure i said something REALLY blonde after the movie like..."i love how m. night's movies are scary...but they're not scary.

    then you said, "they're psychological thrillers.".

    i was like, "no that's not it...like to think about in your mind, they're like scary and thrilling, but not like monster scary".

    then you said, in the most dryly and sarcastic of ways, "yeah...kind of like a PSY-CHO-LOGICAL THRILLER..."

    ...i felt dumb that day...


    1. Hahaha. I can't believe I said that to you, but it fits into my movie snobbiness anyway.