I’m not a film buff. I’m not even someone who has seen a lot of films. I’m probably one of the least qualified people in the world to write this post. I’ve never seen Brief Encounter or Love Story, for goodness sake. But in order to love a romantic film, you don’t have to be an expert. And so, as it is Valentine’s Day, I bring you the best romantic films to curl up and watch this evening. Unless of course, you’re actually talking (or doing something else) with your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife and then by all means, just ignore me.
Practically every line in this quite frankly brilliant film is a classic. It’s hilarious. It’s clever. It’s insightful. It debates a big question (can men and women ever really be friends?) And ultimately, it’s the wonderful story (to paraphrase Dave Gilmour) of how two lost souls floating in a fishbowl finally find one another. Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal and Carrie Fisher have never been better.
A modern day fairytale set in the most romantic city on earth, Amelie is as sweet as sugar and as quirky as a Japanese schoolgirl. Audrey Tautou plays a lonely waitress who sees it as her mission in life to right wrongs and improve the lives of her customers, and goes on to find love on the way.
The classic. The one, that over 70 years on, still tops the best of the best lists. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman spar with and ultimately lose each other in Second World War Morocco. Incredible dialogue. The most beautiful leading woman in the world and the most charismatic leading man. Stunning.
Heartbreakingly beautiful and beautifully heartbreaking, Brokeback Mountain is one of the most tender and tragic love stories of all time. Groundbreaking, in so far as it brought gay romance into the mainstream, it is stunningly shot, wonderfully acted and deeply moving. Set in the 1960s and starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, it’s a story of lost love, the ache of want and the torture of hiding who you really are.
I doubt that any woman aged 25-45 hasn’t seen this movie, it’s the ultimate chick flick. Renee Zellweger was born to play Bridget, whilst Hugh Grant cast off his floppy fringe forever with his quite brilliant turn as the dastardly Daniel Cleaver. And Colin Firth as Mark Darcy. Need we say more?
Also try In the Mood for Love, Cinema Paradiso, Singing in the Rain, Roman Holiday, Four Weddings and a Funeral (despite Andie McDowell) and for it’s sheer chick-flick brilliance How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Ps. Don’t you just love this iconic Robert Doisneau photo? It’s not from a film, but it is wonderfully cinematic.
IMAGE: Robert Doisneau