Jan 21, 2009

Movies you need to see (Romance edition)

Friends have been suggesting that I post about films that I feel people need to see. It makes sense really. I'm an over opinionated yutz who believes my taste in movies are better than everyones. I think everyone feels this way about their favorite motion pictures. There's a few common opinions amongst people that span all cultures, races, and creeds. Everyone believes they have the best sense of justice for all convicted felons. A strong majority of folks believe themselves to be better than average, if not great, drivers. Anyone who's ever watched a movie will tell you that any counter opinion to a film of their liking is almost blasphemous.

With every lovers favorite Hallmark holiday around the corner in this edition I'll bring you a few romance pictures that I think most will enjoy.

Say Anything: Familiar to most of my generation this film is known as the definitive 80s story of young love. Part time kickboxer and seemingly directionless Lloyd Dobbler attempts to woo the affections of the beautiful class valedictorian Diane. With a smart script that never thumbs it's nose at young people the plot is engaging and the characters are rich and likeable. For whatever reason this movie made stalking seem romantic which is quite a feat. I wrote a review about this a while back.

Dr Zhivago: This is quite possibly the definitive epic romance. Set against the back drop of the Bolshevik Revolution, Dr Zhivago tells the tale of a writer/doctor turned soldier. The events of his homeland makes his life a difficult one as he is separated from his family and later falls for an activists wife. This film has a great soundtrack and amazing cinematography. You'll admire the impressive acting and for history buffs it's detail of the party's revolution and it's effect on the common man is interesting.

Before Sunrise: Two strangers, one American and the other French, meet on a train in Europe. With a sense of urgency the guy asks the girl if she wants to spend the last night he has on the continent with him. She agrees and they walk around Vienna falling for each other. Given that they have one night together both are conflicted about their new found passion.

I first saw this movie in the theatre when I was 19 and ended up adoring these characters. I loaned this movie to a girl I was seeing and she told me that she imagined me having conversations like those two did. It was quite possibly the great compliment she ever gave me. Whether she intended that or not is a mystery.

Nine years later they produced a sequel which I was glad to see considering the first one ended on an ambiguous note. It's not as romantic as the first one, but the script is arguably better and I love how they shot it in real time. I do hope they make another one; however given it's slow box office return and the fact audiences are clamoring for Hancock part 2 it's not likely.

Casablanca: A timeless tale of love, patriotism, and sacrifice Casablanca it heralded as one of the finest films ever made. Rick, a cabaret owner, is suddenly reunited with a past love, the beautiful Ilsa. To his surprise she's married to a member of the French resistance who's fleeing Nazi persecution. A cynic/romantic Rick is torn between his desire and a sense of duty. An great story and one of the few films that gets every element down. My full review is here.

The Road Home: While most films dealing with this kind of subject manner have a cycnical edge The Road Home is refrehsingly honest as well as tender. After the death of his father a man recalls the story of how his mother fell for the local teacher and spent years waiting for the chance to express it. Even though there's no kissing, much less a gratuitous sex scenes, the actors pull this story off amazingly. Shot with rich colors and set shortly after the Cultural Revolution this film is a must see. My full review is here.

What's your favorite?

"A lot of people are not meant to be together." - John Cusack


Anonymous said...

Well, my love bone is peculiar. Oh, not that love bone, the intangible love bone that exists in my heart and soul (should you believe a monster like me could have a heart or soul).

My favourite romance is the love storyline in Ninja Scroll, an anime film. The male lead is a quiet troubled soul and the female lead is an annoying inquisitive virgin who sacrifices herself to save the man she wants to love.

Scott said...

All good movies. My favourite is Almost Famous, there is a love story between a young man and a young woman who are both a little lost, then there is the platonic love story between the young man and the rock god guitar player. Good Stuff.

Anonymous said...

I change my pick. Scott's right. Almost Famous is all about love. The chick is in love with the guy. The kid is in love with the chick.
Everybody is in love with the music.

JLee said...

I love "Before Sunrise/Sunset" and I'm cracking up at "I choo choo chose you!" I often quote that line from that episode of The Simpsons ;)

Big Ben said...

I have not seen any of those if you can believe that. I bought Dr. Z for my grandmother for her birthday this year intended to borrow it!

Miss Ash said...

Love the valentine!!

I've only seen two of those movies Casablanca (thanks!) and Say Anything. Funny enough I thought I had seen all of the 80s movies IE Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Goonies etc but did not actually see SA until I was well into my 20's.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for not choosing Jerry Macguire. So overrated.

So@24 said...

You ch-ch-chose me?

Fucking brilliant that you mentioned "The Road Home". I watched it in college and did one of my best papers on it.

The song still gets me a little choked up.

Anonymous said...

1 out of 5 aint bad... wait, yes it is! Can I schedule a privite cinematic tour?

My current fav: Moulin Rouge