Pretty much everyone likes romantic movies at some point or another, but we don’t all like the same kind.
Some people like humor with their romance.
Some people like a bit of darkness or irony in the mix.
Some people love tearjerkers.
Some like straight love stories.
Some go for anything historical.
Which type of romantic movies do you like most? (Or least?)
What are your favorite romantic movies?
Are any of your favorites hidden treasures, things you’d love to recommend to people as a nice surprise?
All responses welcome!
Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER, a Regency romance with a bit of humor, not much darkness, a few tears, and lots and lots of card-playing — but sadly, no bit about a dog
I tend to like the ones with some humor thrown in. Especially the ‘oldies’ lately with Cary Grant, Doris Day, Rock Hudson. Pillow Talk never fails to put a smile on my face
Some recent ones that spring to the mind. The list is a long one.
P&P 2005 (Keira-stands-defiant)
My Fair Lady
Cyrano de Bergerac
Gorillas in the Mist
Une Pure Formalité
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Usual Suspects
Bleu, Rouge, Blanc (Kieslowski)
Remains of the Day
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont
The Syrian Bride
Mrs. Henderson Present
84 Charing Cross
Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Most movies with Audrey Hepburn, Sidney Poitier, Gerard Depardieu, Ben Kingsley, and Anthony Hopkins.
Diane, Susan, and others thanks for your wishes. I’m doing better now, and am eagerly catching up on all the posts I missed.
Excellent discussion on covers. Thanks, Megan, for bringing up the topic.
And thanks also to Diane for the eye-opening interview with cover model Richard Cerqueira.
I liked Casablanca and French Kiss best, I think. Although Beauty and the Beast is a guilty fav.
I always think it’s interesting how tastes vary! For instance, Georg, I never really got into French Kiss, much though I love Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan. In fact, I prefer most other Meg Ryan romantic comedies to it!
Lis, I’m with you on Cary Grant! His Girl Friday is one of my all-time favorite movies. And though I’m not the biggest Doris Day fan, I did like Pillow Talk!
Keira, I like your taste! Move next door to me and let’s do a movie night. 🙂
My favorite romantic movie, hands down, is Bull Durham. I could watch it forever. In fact, it’s right up there in a 3-way tie with The Shawshank Redemption and Fellowship of the Ring as my favorite movie of ANY kind.
I’m also a total sap for Dave and The American President, which I don’t quite understand, because it’s not like I have fantasies about dating or becoming a politician. But those movies just make me happy.
Impromptu is a major go-to romance for me. As are Jack and Sarah, Bringing up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, Persuasion, St. Ives, Walk the Line, The Matchmaker, Danny Deckchair and for some reason I’m on a real Just Like Heaven kick right now (maybe it’s cause I love Mark Ruffalo?).
Add me to the His Girl Friday group, also Moonstruck with Cher and Nicolas Cage (before he got all weird).
And African Queen, which was just on the other night. What a fabulous romance!
I still love Bridges of Madison County with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.
Almost anything with Cary Grant is among my favorites, although it’s interesting that in “Notorious”, the villain treats the Ingrid Bergman character better than Cary does, at least at first (the classic bullying hero). Among my favorites not yet mentioned are “Ladyhawke”, with Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer (he of the amazingly compelling eyes), the original “Return of Martin Guerre” (when he teaches her to write, it’s so touching), and “Ever After” with Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott (although my art conservator sister points out that the Mona Lisa is painted on wood so couldn’t have been rolled up as shown in the film but the concept of Leonardo da Vinci as fairy god father is so much fun I don’t carea about any inaccuracies).
A pleasant surprise, re fast clever romantic comedy craft, was Hitch with Will Smith. (And no, it’s not based on the life of the brilliant, ascerbic political writer Christopher Hitchens). Very well written and nicely plotted. I was spacing out on an airplane, and then all of a sudden I wasn’t. “Taking notes?” my husband leaned over to ask. And yes, I was.
To me, the most romantic films ever are the Fred & Ginger RKO films of the 1930s. The perfection of their dancing reveals the many facets of love — the chase, sexual attraction, heartbreak, playful friendship, euphoria.
I will recommend two perverse love stories that I find to be rivetting but not for everyone:
The Girl on the Bridge with Daniel Auteneiul and Vanessa Paradis. Its in French and black and white cinematopgraphy. Autenueil plays a knife thrower in a carnival and knife throwing has never been shown to be so erotic. Oh, those Frenchies!
The Seventh Veil with James Mason and Ann Todd. English. Won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1947. A fragile concert pianist is torn between three men.
Well, my favorites should be no surprise: adaptations of Austen and Bronte. But I love most romantic movies. The one caveat is I don’t care for sad endings if I feel someone was killed off just for tear-jerk value. I liked Sommersby despite its sad ending because it made sense in the context of the story.
Has anyone else seen “Crossing Delancey”? –late 80s, Amy Irving and Peter Riegert (sp?)
It’s one of my favorites: a very educated and literary Jewish woman (with a crush on a famous poet) is convinced to try a matchmaker and is set up with the pickle salesman from the Old Traditional Neighborhood.
Wonderful characters and the central conflict between the Traditional and the Modern adds to the romance as the heroine chooses between the pickle guy and the poet.
I saw it right before I met my husband (like, the week before) so it has a Special Place In My Heart.
Like Keira, P&P tops my list as the most romantic movie I’ve seen in recent years.
Persuasion is another (like Kalen)
And I loved the old Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movies. And anything with Cary Grant, or Jimmy Stewart, or Clark Gable or Gary Cooper.
Like Philadelpia Story, Bringing up Baby, It Happened One Night, Gone with the Wind.
I’m sure I’ll think of more by next week after the blog is past!
IQ!!!!!!! You mean someone other than me has heard of it??? LOL 🙂 Let’s face it, I first saw it because it has Albert Einstein in it. . . LOL (And it’s his birthday tomorrow!!) 🙂
But alas, other than 95P&P, I think the only other romantic movie that I have is Return to Me.
Ah, would you count the Muppets Take Manhattan seeing how Miss PIggy and Kermie did get married and all. . . ?
Lois, who seems to like more actiony movies than romantic ones.
Megan, I’m with you on Monstruck!
My earliest favorites were It Happened One Night and To Have and to Have Not. Later on came My Man Godfrey.
More recently, I’ve really enjoyed the following:
The Saint I loved the way he’s still looking out for her and palms her medicine even after she betrays him.
Conspiracy Theory The wounded hero! With unplumbed depths!
And, slightly odder choices:
The Fugitive Although it wasn’t a romance, it could easily have been and frankly, felt like a romance.
American Dreamer The romance was probably the weakest aspect of the movie, but I loved the whole idea of the main character “turning into” a character from her favorite book series after a bump on the head.
So many great movies already mentioned. I especially love screwball comedies – The Awful Truth, My Favorite Wife, The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire, etc. Oh, and musicals!
For a more recent and atypical love story, I really enjoyed Secretary.
Lindsey, did you see you won Richard’s photo? You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you like.
My first favorite romantic movie (that I can remember) was The Quiet Man. Then I thought anything with Gene Kelley was a romantic movie (Brigadoon and others) and then Danny Kaye. Hey, the right guy can make anything romantic. LOL! Then there was LadyHawke and The Man From Snowy River and Return to Snowy River (cute guy and gorgeous horses, very romantic). Princess Bride, While You Were Sleeping, Keira’s P&P, Ever After, and I too enjoyed Beauty and the Beast and others.
I totally forgot about It Happened One Night, too; and Notorious. I love Notorious, probably because of the bullying hero.
And, of course, Persuasion. A friend borrowed it, and now can’t quite locate it, and I am going crazy because I want to hear Ciaran Hinds say ‘you pierce my soul.’
Ooh, thanks for the reminder about St. Ives, Kalen! I’ve never seen it, but it was on my “must see” list, yet at some point mysteriously fell off — now I’ll put it back on!
And I love Ladyhawke too, Susan/DC — funny, exciting, romantic — what more could one ask?
Pam, I thought Hitch was a lot of fun — definitely a guy’s romantic comedy. (The “ordinary” looking guys who are sort of dorky at times still get the supermodels, as opposed to the Cinderella-style kind where the “ordinary” woman gets the prince…)
Seton, I love the Fred & Ginger movies too! My favorites are probably The Gay Divorcee and Top Hat — but Swing Time and Follow the Fleet are close! (Shall We Dance did very little for me, I’m afraid… Or Carefree, for that matter!) 🙂
Has anyone else seen “Crossing Delancey”?
Oh, yes! One thing I really liked about it was that the heroine had to learn to stop seeing herself and everyone else as stereotypes… everyone was more complicated than they seemed at first.
And yes, Lois, I love IQ! That’s one of those hidden treasures I recommend to people because so few have seen it! I found it delightful and utterly charming — and I’m not normally a big fan of either Walter Matthau or Tim Robbins. I really liked the brainy girl thing, and the clothes Meg Ryan wore — and the gloves. Oh, those gloves! Her walking down the lovely autumn streets in Princeton wearing gloves… Sigh…
Heather, I’ve never seen American Dreamer — I’ll put that on my list too!
Oh yes, Judy, Gene Kelly! I love him too, particularly in Singin in the Rain and The Pirate.
(who is aware she is a little too dependent on exclamation points)
A second on Beauty and the Beast. I love the Jean Cocteau version, right down to the Beast’s guilty look and smoking paw after killing a deer. 🙂
The Fabulous Baker Boys, Witness, and Good Will Hunting are all romantic.
You’ve Got Mail is my favorite feel-good romantic comedy. (It helps that I’m also a Harry Nilsson fan.)I also like The Wedding Singer.
Okay, two movies that I found oddly romantic but that shouldn’t be are Twelve Monkeys and Midnight Cowboy.
Recent? The Illusionist, P&P
Best unabashed straight romance? Sense & Sensibility. If Alan Rickman looked at me the way Colonel Brandon looks at Marianne Dashwood, I’d spontaneously combust.
And I’ve always wanted to BE Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby!
Cara wrote, “Keira, I like your taste! Move next door to me and let’s do a movie night.“
SoCal?! Oh yeah! When do you suggest? 🙂
Pam Rosenthal wrote, “brilliant, ascerbic political writer Christopher Hitchens.“
I love his Slate pieces. Is that where you’ve read him, too?
Seton: I’ve watched “Shall We Dance” five times. I’ve seen Daniel Auteuille in other movies though not as a knife thrower.
Lois: How could I forget Miss Piggy? I love her fashionable ways and damsel-in-distress airs.
I fogot to add “Fiddler on the Roof” to the list. Tradition, tradition!
Coming in late after being out most of the day and so many of my favorite movies have already been listed. Would love to have a movie night and gorge on many of these!!
I love the Austen movies and rewatch often. Love Actually is one that intrigues me with the different aspects of love. Glad someone mentioned Crossing Delancey and Fiddler — the mix of tradition and modern always catches at me. So many of the movies mentioned are good because they have strong heroines who are a good match for their hero (I like the way Drew Barrymore put the spin on Cinderella with Ever After).
One of my very favorites that hasn’t been mentioned is “The Little Mermaid.” When Ariel has to decide to give up her family to go with Prince Eric, gets me every time.
I love romantic movies. Many of my faves have already been mentioned (Lady Hawke, Wedding Singer, the Saint, etc).
For a sad romantic movie I love Somewhere in Time. Young Christopher Reeves (yum!) and Jane Seymour. *le sigh*
I also really enjoyed The Lake House with Keanu Reeves (le sigh – maybe it’s about the name Reeves?) and Sandra Bullock. The Replacements, with Keanu, was also a fun one, though the romance was on the side. That scene where the commentators are talking about a game, but it coincides with the kiss is my favorite. It’s almost enough to make me enjoy watching sports. 😉
Oh, yeah, I love The Wedding Singer too! And Somewhere in Time. And Fiddler. And Ever After.
And a weird one — Grosse Pointe Blank. Yeah, it’s mostly a darkly satirical assassin comedy, but it has a nice romance too! 🙂
I love the Disney Little Mermaid, but I think Eric is a little too boring for Ariel. 🙂
Okay, here’s some more romantic comedies and romances I really liked:
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
SOMEONE LIKE YOU (Hugh Jackman!)
FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL
Oops, I hear the dinner bell! More later…
And I also love…
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
THE KID FROM BROOKLYN
Plus, of course, almost every Jane Austen movie…
And tons of musicals, including
Sound of Music
The Music Man
Guys and Dolls
Singing in the Rain
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
I can’t believe I forgot High Society and Philadelphia Story. (been watching a lot of oldies lately) Loved Ever After too. And P&P is always in my top ten in both forms.
I like a lot of romantic comedies…no, my wife does not have to drag me to see them. For example, we just saw Music and Lyrics a month or so ago. (It was fun!)
For all time favorites, though, I have to think a little. I’d include Persuasion as my favorite Jane Austen film adaptation.
I thought Shakespeare in Love was brilliantly funny, and very romantic.
For the classics, I’d have to go with Casablanca (my favorite movie of any type) and His Girl Friday (one of the funniest movies ever made).
And then for my sentimental favorite: Notting Hill. I saw that movie on my own, when my wife was away, and it reminded me so strongly of the two years when we’d lived together in London that I had to go back and watch it two more times in the theater.
Cara, I want to know what pixie dust you sprinkled (regularly sprinkle) on Todd. Mushy about Hugh Grant?! That takes some fortitude, even if the scenery is good.
Sync me! I forgot to mention the Jane Seymour version (yes, we’ve been here before) of Scarlet Pimpernel, An Ideal Husband with dishy Rupert Everett, and Sound of Music.
Sleepless in Seattle. I can’t believe I forgot that one.
I *adore* Princess Bride, but to me, this is not a Romance, it’s a comedy. I had to break up with the guy who insisted on calling me his dulcet darling and I told him it was because I was concerned he might be trying to kill me.
Romantic movies must evolve around the couple in love.
A couple of oldies but goodies, both dating from the mid-60s:
Women in Love
Far From the Madding Crowd
Cara, I want to know what pixie dust you sprinkled (regularly sprinkle) on Todd.
Keira, I make sure he drinks tea regularly. I think that helps. 🙂
And I suspect Julia Roberts may have had something to do with his liking for Notting Hill. And the scenery. (He probably imagined himself as Hugh Grant — and as it’s not hard to imagine Todd running a bookstore, telling people “no, don’t by that book, this one’s much more erudite” I can see why.) 🙂
I always figured Prince Eric had more depth to him — we just didn’t see it since this was Ariel’s movie 🙂 Of course, I did watch the movie over and over with kindergartners; could have skewed my thinking pattern.
I’m going to have to charter a yacht to take all these movies to my deserted isle!! What a lovely group of movies. And so many great memories.
Another one I would add is The Importance of Being Earnest. A fun comedy of manners and I liked listening to Rupert and Colin singing.
Cara, I want to know what pixie dust you sprinkled (regularly sprinkle) on Todd. Mushy about Hugh Grant?! That takes some fortitude, even if the scenery is good.
I would just like to make very clear that I am not mushy about Hugh Grant. (I do like him as an actor–but not in That Way.) I like his character, I like Julia Roberts as the glamorous-but-vulnerable movie star, and I like the romance.
I’m just throwing in a few more titles, since many of my favorites were already listed. “Truly, Madly, Deeply”; “Flirting” (Australia); and “Shall We Dance?” (Japan). “The English Patient” has two scenes that affected me deeply: 1) Hanna walking down the stairs lighted by the seashells Naveen Andrews’s character and 2) Ralph Fiennes’ character grieving as he carries his lover’s body away from the cave. Except for those scenes, TEP was rather disappointing–except for the lovely music.
I will second you on the musicals–how I love musicals, and I’m happy to report that my daughters are rather fond of them, too.
I loved the scenery and camerawork in The English Patient, Jean! Beyond that, I don’t remember it hugely well. (Though I never realized that Naveen Andrews was the guy in it!)