Okay you know lists are going to be popping up all over the place giving you tips for cinematic romance--and I'm all for that, really I am--but I thought I'd break out of the mold a bit and give you my top romantic films that missed the mark. You know, the ones that were supposed to be romantic but for whatever reason (and you can bet I'll be giving you plenty) they just didn't do it for me.
Feel free to disagree, some of these are terribly popular so I know there will be some arguments over my choices but that's okay--take your best shot. That's what I'm here for. We Alaskans are tough I tell you.
1. Pocahontas. I'll put this one first because it wasn't really marketed as a romance, but the whole thing between John Smith and Pocahontas didn't work for me. Maybe it's because in reality she was a child, was held for ransom and eventually died of tuberculosis or some other disease at the age of 22. Not really the basis for a romance. Maybe I'm too picky--or just old-fashioned. I prefer my Disney cartoon characters not to be on top of one another.
2. Entrapment. But even if you're okay with the Pocahontas-Smith age difference this thriller with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery was just creepy. He's old enough to be her grandfather and I don't care if he is Sean Connery, when the leading man's close-ups show liver spots you know it's time for a different role.
3. Sliding Doors. I'd heard from several people how good this movie was so we put it in our Netflix queue and watched it the other night. Is it just me or was this just so . . . so . . . so NOT romantic? Gwyneth Paltrow goes from one dumpy guy to the next and every female in the show gets pregnant--by anyone with an X and Y chromosome who happens to be wandering by. I don't care if the Scottish guy was getting a divorce, he was still married when they got together and he didn't tell her--seems pretty rotten to me. Not much of an improvement from her first guy. Too rotten to be romantic.
4. Ghost. Okay I admit that at first I liked this movie but then as I got older and realized what love really is it no longer appealed to me. Sure you can be in a relationship and love someone like Patrick and Demi did but it would have been much more romantic if they'd been married. Commit to someone and have children and face challenges together and then you know what love is--it would have been better if they'd been married rather than boyfriend-girlfriend. Maybe that's why I liked Cinderella Man and thought that it was so romantic--real commitment.
5. Somewhere in Time. Oh this one makes all the lists of romance movies and though I loved Jane Seymour I have two gripes: 1. A sad ending. I don't buy the "oh let's find each other when we're 80 years old and then we can die and finally be together" thing. Nope, not satisfactory, it was great until that point and then 2. they ruin it with sleeping together. In period movies (and this one really is a period movie) the romance is heightened by sexual tension and the unfulfilled desires, by brilliant dialog that conveys much more than the surface indicates. Think Pride and Prejudice. But this one just felt like a regular old modern story masquerading as a romance--but feel free to tell me I'm wrong on this--and I was never really a Christopher Reeves fan I guess, he always seemed rather flat.
6. Pretty Woman. I'm sorry, you just can't have a true romance with a prostitute. Nope, not going to work. Maybe it's because I'm envisioning all the diseases she would be carrying if it were real and I just can't suspend my disbelief on this one long enough to fall in love.
7. Titanic. The movie was fine (I guess) but there were a couple glaring problems. First, James Cameron decided while he was filming to ditch his wife Linda Hamilton (the one he left his previous wife for) and set up shop with the actress who plays the granddaughter of the old lady. I forget who she is, it doesn't matter because no one ever saw her again once she got together with Cameron. Pretty nasty of him, though really unrelated to the movie, but I also had a hard time with Leo DiCaprio. Not a fan, he's kind of precocious in a childish way. And you KNEW he was going to die, no question about it so I refused to get emotionally attached to him. Sorry. Did anyone else want to laugh when Kate Winslet said, "I want you to paint me in this . . . and ONLY this?" Because I've never known a woman that confident. Top grossing movie but NOT romantic. You should see this You Tube clip "Titanic in Five Seconds." It's more romantic than the original.
8. Knotting Hill. Now this one I actually liked, I like Hugh Grant, LOVED the quirky Welsh room mate Spike and thought there were some funny lines ("This yogurt tastes funny!") BUT Julia Roberts is absolutely horrid to Hugh Grant--really horrid--and let's face it the only reason he stands for it is because she's knock-down gorgeous and famous. Somehow that doesn't seem like the basis for a relationship and I can't get passed it. It's the same thing with Sweet Home Alabama--could anyone possible love a shrew like the one Reese Witherspoon played? Honestly? And she found TWO men to chase her? Unbelievable. No man I know would put up with that.
9. Indiscreet. If you haven't seen this classic with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman let me lay it out for you: He's a wealthy American businessman living abroad and Bergman plays an actress. They fall in love but can't get married because he's already married--at least that's what he tells her. He TELLS her he's married so that he can "get the milk for free without buying the cow" if you know what I mean. He wants to be free to roam and as long as she thinks he's married she won't expect any commitment. Of course she ends up finding out that he is single and that's when the scheming starts. You know they get back together in the end but I ask you, would YOU love a man who'd built your relationship on a lie for such selfish reasons? As if! I don't care if he is Cary Grant. It's kind of like Eliza Doolittle going back to Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, it irritates me every time and I want to shout at the screen, "What is with you? You had the guy who brought you flowers and actually treated you like a human being! Don't go back to that Higgins dog!"
10. Attack of the Clones. I don't think many people will disagree with me on this one--the whole Anakin/Padme thing (besides being extremely odd in terms of age differences--EEW!) is more comic than romantic. The scene (and I hope I can quote this right because I could only handle watching it once) where he touches her bare shoulder and says, "It's so . . . [long dramatic pause] soft" makes me think it couldn't be less romantic if they had Rosco P. Coltrane from the Dukes of Hazzard playing the leading man. "Coo coo coo!"
11. Annie Hall. A classic (I'm told) but too cross-the-line-quirky to be romantic. I ended up turning it off part way through. I'm not sure who'd find Woody Allen attractive anyway. Ooops! Sorry Ms. Keaton! I forgot you were paired up with him for awhile. Yea, to me having Woody Allen be a romantic lead is only a small step up from casting Henry Kissinger as the leading guy.
12. The Graduate. Another classic but think about it: an older (much older) woman seducing a young college boy. Sounds like the stuff that tabloids are made of. I don't care if the soundtrack is great, as a romance it doesn't work. It's the same gripe I have with Dirty Dancing. When I was a kid I saw this and thought it was sooooo romantic but then I thought about it--a old guy dance instructor seduces a young teen girl who comes to the place he works. Seriously, if that happened he'd be shot by her father or something, it's the movie where statutory rpe is the plot line. Not really romantic.
13. You've Got Mail. I loved Sleepless in Seattle but the second time around with Meg and Tom wasn't as fulfilling. Maybe it was her short hair, maybe it because it had been done before but whatever the reason I just couldn't find the romance in their constant bickering and "I'm going to destroy everything you love" kind of mentality. I just didn't get it how suddenly everything was okay once they knew each other's identities--didn't they remember all the nastiness that was said? I can just see the characters, walking off into the sunset together and Tom turning to Meg and saying, "Now when you said that you'd hate me forever what exactly did you mean?"
So that's my list. Some time I'll have to do a list of movies that turn me to jelly, I love me some movie romance. But go ahead and tell me I'm crazy with those I've listed here--I can take it--but better yet, give me your unromantic romances. I'm sure there are plenty I've forgotten. Thankfully.
Technorati tags: Thursday Thirteen, Valentines Day, holidays, movies
I have to disagree with you about Sliding Doors and Ghost, but you're spot on with Entrapment and The Graduate.
Actually, the Graduate always struck me as incredibly depressing, never romantic.
I agree with "sweet home alabama" I really don't like that movie. The two people I liked were the gay guy and the original fiance! I kind of feel the same way with "Hitch" Love the movie and super cute. But she is sooo mean in the end and ruins his career it raelly makes me sad...I know it isn't really...but I get really sad at the end. So I usually just watch the first 3/4 of it :)
you are crazy.. but then- like most verb, romance is subjective..
wonder interest to note your romance movie list too. and why do i think- i would be surprised if i dont find some contridication.!;)
HATED Pocahontas. So historically inaccurate I almost started hyperventilating.
LOVED Titanic but I've been curious about that boat since I was like, 5 so it really had more to do with the ship and the costuming.
Richard Gere in anything makes me vomit.
The roomie was the best thing about Notting Hill.
LOVED Patrick Swazey in Ghost, HATED Dimi Moore.
The whole premise of the Graduate is grody and the ending sucked. Good soundtrack, though...
I love Somewhere in Time but the ending just blows.
I thought You've got Mail was pretty good. Meg at least had lips that didn't resemble inflatable rafts, then.
I may get stoned for this but I don't care for "Casablanca". I just don't.
I also thought Last of the Mohicans was HIDEOUS. (Although again, fabulous soundtrack)
Hubby and my son would hafta say that Entrapment was good for them...was it good for you? rofl...
What I mean is, I think that movie [tho I would never consider it romantic at all myself --it was only entertainment] ---men see this movie as their fantasy. Getting old, young women falling for them, etc. etc. etc. [when she goes to the floor with her butt in the air to crawl under the wires...hubby and son ALWAY squirm in their seats....see? It's a man thing]
Your list [as I love movies and have seen them all] is quite interesting, and if I may say so, quite agreeable.
I have the Thursday 13 of the Chinese New Year this week. Hope to see you there for a visit.
Have to agree with you on the Anakin & Padme issue. What was he like 9 years old when they met? That's just disgusting.
Whoopi Goldberg is the best part of Ghost. "Molly, you in danger girl!" I just don't think I could power cry over a guy who couldn't even say he loved me until he was DEAD.
Titanic...I always wished someone had thrown the mother and the fiance overboard.
I couldn't even bring myself to see Entrapment; the age gap just skeeves me out.
I enjoyed Sliding Doors, but not as a romantic movie. I just liked the concept and how it was done.
hehe Always enjoy your thirteen. So well thought out. I am not a huge romantic comedy fan, only if it is free on tv on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Though I do not have lazy afternoons anymore :)
I think true romance is hard to come by lately...but I'm with iamyuva; romance is completely subjective.
Okay, even though You've Got Mail was a bit cheesy, I have a certain fondness for it. My husband and I met in a chat room (just before the movie came out) and exchanged MANY emails before actually seeing each other. If our love story was every made into a movie, it would probably make your list - premarital sex and a love child. But, I think we turned out well. We just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on the 5th.
I would have to say I totally agree with all your assessments. I do wonder what you think of that Cary Grant movie where they meet on the ship and she is engaged, but agree to meet later at the Empire State building and she get hits by a car and he thinks she doesn't show up. Then he finds her later on the couch and she doesn't want to saddle him with her condition but he figures it out! You have to admit Cary Grant's voice is romantic even if he were saying gibberish!
I agree with you on many of these movies- when a 'romance' includes adultery or a "I-met-you-yesterday-now-we're-sleeping-together" relationship, the movie's totally ruined for me, and just makes me mad. Which is why I don't usually like romance movies.
Fun fact: Did you know You've Got Mail was a remake? It was a (very) updated remake of a 1940 Jimmy Stewart movie called The Shop Around the Corner, which I LOVE.
truly fantastic list...i dont know if i disagree with any of them really...you were pretty spot on.
new to Thursday Thirteen. poking around other participants, trying to broaden my bloggy horizons.
The Roscoe P. Coltrane comment had me rolling. I hated Annie Hall--can not believe it's a favorite for so many people.
I thought Sliding Doors was interesting, but not necessarily romantic. It made me think that maybe the British idea of handsome is different from the American idea. Or that maybe the casting director used his leverage to get jobs for his relatives.
I'm with Loralee on Titanic. It was the ship that interested me. (But I disagree with her on Casablanca).
Love, Actually turns me to jelly.
Great list. I totally agree with you on all of them.
I agree on almost all points, except (and I'm almost embarrassed to admit this) Pretty Woman and Notting Hill. The concept of Pretty Woman is just awful and I berate myself a little each time I pop it in the VCR (yes, I still have it on VHS), but the ending, with the climbing the fire escape and the flowers and the limo and...sigh.
I would add to your list. "The Mayor of Castlebridge." I bought it for my wife. It looked like a romantic movie, everyone was dressed up in Jane Austin-like-apparel BUT IT WAS NOT A ROMANTIC MOVIE!
I think all period movies set in the Victorian era that are not romantic should come with a warning label.
Your comments about each movie made me giggle. I totaly agree with your observations on Entrapment...I liked it for the movie plot, but totally did not get the "romance" part.
I have to agree completely! Even though I did like Sliding Doors, you're right. And an aside- I had the strangest dream this morning that I got an email from you and you were at the Great Wall of China. Any trips planned there soon?
I, too have to disagree on several levels, including You've Got Mail and Ghost - GREAT romantic flicks. And the pile of sap that was Sleepless in Seattle? That is where we disagree as well. :-)
I haven't seen most of those...but I seriously disliked Pocahontas, Entrapment, and Titanic. Pretty Woman is okay, in a fairy-tale kind of way, but I agree that it was kind of icky.
I have to agree with most of your list too. Seems like society mistakes lust for romance more often than not.
And I'd have to agree than the large age differences in many of the movies is weird -- and always to the benefit of the guy.
My only disagreement is with You've Got Mail (which I enjoyed much more than Sleeping In Seattle).
Didn't you find the snipey comments in YGM to be much the same as the snipey kind of things that were going on in Pride and Prejudice, just in an up to date kind of way? Each set of characters had false assumptions of the other based on appearances and jobs(or titles in the case of P&P) and once they got to know each other better, then their opinions changed.
And the "all is forgiven" stuff is just to expedite the plot.
Ghost...I always thought they were married, but Patrick Swazie (sp) always bugged me, so I couldn't get into that one. Like, ewwww...who cares if he's dead, it's Patrick Swaze. ;)
I'm not sure that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have much chemistry together. They were only in one tiny scene together in Sleepless in Seattle, and maybe that's why it worked. But You've Got Mail left me cold, too.
Great list, and I agree with you on all of them...though I do enjoy Pretty Woman, it's a guilty pleasure, and not really romantic.
Oh, and Titanic? Blech.
I liked several of these movies, but that's the great thing about different people. If we all liked the same movies, the movie producers wouldn't be able to make all of the different movies that they do:)
Lummy! I only know half of these and I've watched even fewer!
Indiscreet or any other of Cary Grant's films would win for me, sophisticated and understated ......maybe I'm trapped in a different era?
I have to disagree on a few. I loved Ghost, Titantic and Pretty Woman.
Titantic, for me is probably one of the most romantic.
You NAILED it (sans Titanic - I'm a total sap for that film). :O
I liked Ghost, but didn't like the theme of love and loss. Not my idea of a "love story"! If the guy dies, who is there to love?! lol! I'm not a love story fan...I go for action flicks and movies like "As Good As It Gets" and "SOmething's Gotta Give". They have somewhat of a love story theme, but they're more about finding (more) happiness in your life or overcoming an issue. Am I a self-help kind of gal? Kinda! I go for movies and books where I get a different perspective on life or get to watch someone "figure it out" and find what works for them in their life. ANYWAY!, I thought Pretty Woman was just disgusting. When I saw it I remember saying to my friend, "Is this for real?" Julia Roberts is pretty and Richard Gere is hot, too, but the whole prostitute thing just turned me off. I really liked Somewhere In Time, but I saw it so long ago that the only part I remember is when he sees the coin with the date on it and is transported back to modern times.
My husband also liked Entrapment. He says any movie with Catherine Zeta Jones in skin tight anything works for him.... I almost knocked that Y chromosome right outta him. ;)
I had problems with the romance part of Entrapment, but I liked the movie anyway. Same with Somewhere in Time--loved it as a time travel drama, not a romance.
Totally agree on Titanic and Sweet Home Alabama, and pretty much all those "romantic" movies where the only reason one of the characters loves the other is that they're sooo beautiful. I just can't believe in them.
Oh, sure, sometimes I can suspend disbelief enough to enjoy watching the movie, but afterwards I pick it to bits. :)
Another one I did that with: Love Actually. I couldn't believe any of those couples were actually in love, or that they would stay together after the end of the movie. Which really made me sad, because I enjoyed it so much while I was watching it. It was only after the movie, on the way home, that I started questioning it. I mean, how much can you be in love with someone if you can't even talk to them?
I tend to not like most romance movies anyway, so I agree on all the ones you listed that I've seen.
I would add America's Sweethearts (John Cusack, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones) I think, and I'm sure others will come to mind.
I don't have anything helpful to say except that this is my favorite blog you've ever done. I love lists.
I have to say I agree with all of them but You Got mail. I'm a sucker for Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Okay I admit it I just loved the whole thing. SUCKER that is me.
Every time I watch Ghost, I can't get past the fact that Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg make out. I don't care who's "spirit" was using the body, it was still Whoopi's body.
100% ditto on Titanic and Attack of the Clones, both of those just made me giggle.
And Ghost has always just skeeved me out.
I am a movie fan period. I don't like blood or too much violence - I will tolerate a car chase - ONE.
But a movie with a girl who has a few funny girlfriends, a mean stepmother, who meets a boy... I am a sucker. An indiscriminate sucker.
I LOVE the line in Notting Hill - "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." Makes me melt with ooey gooey lovey feelings.
Ohhh, one of my all time favorites & on the top of my list is You've Got Mail. I think maybe you missed it. They are two people with similar values-down to earth. Tom Hanks is such a super star in the role! He thought he was simialr to his father more worldly but he realized he wasn't & he wanted more so he broke up with his selfish girlfriend. Then as he gets to know Kathleen & she him. They realize how much they are like each other. But this was also being developed from the beginning before they know who the other was. And he fought the feeling of how much he adored the girl he met on-line & the one he had known in real life when he realzed it was his on-line friend. There is the perfect balance of the love hate tension. I don't feel any gaps in this movie at all. It is very romantic love story. I feel Nora Ephron did a great job of showing & developing this point in the short time she had in the movie. Watch it again. I think you missed it. :)
p.s. I agree with you on all the other movies.
A home run of a blog post!
I've become uneasy and distrusting of Disney. How sad for children, especially girls, to enjoy these movies as little children, see them many times as they become older and older teens, and then suddenly catch on to the innuendo. Now there's a way to make those teens believe it is all harmless and should not be taboo at all, after all -- it is in movies for little kids.
OK here's my 2 cents worth, adjusting for inflation.
I haven't seen Entrapment (but I will admit that Sean Connery is still on my list even though he is my stepfather's age, Sliding Doors, Notting Hill (though I do love Hugh Grant - his part in Love Actually was wonderful, and of course Four Weddings and a Funeral), Indiscreet (surprising, really, since I go for old movies at every opportunity over more recent ones), and Annie Hall (I know, I know, but I just couldn't get into the way she was dressed. And I really don't care for Woody Allen. At. All.).
So here we go. Pocahontas.
I agree, the story wasn't accurate. She ended up marrying someone else (john Rolfe?) and going to England. Smith disappeared from the scene. But that's Disney for you. And I did enjoy David Ogden Stiers roles.
Ghost. I will watch this movie over and over again, not for the love part (I agree with you there) but for Whoopi Goldberg. I laugh out loud. And then there is the Righteous Brothers song, which can render me a puddle on the floor every time.
Somewhere in Time. I love this movie, because it's so beautiful and has WONDERFUL music. But I always hated the ending. It was contrived and hokey and I never understood why Christopher Plummer's character was so hateful.
Pretty Woman. Again I agree with you, but the best scene was where she carries all her purchases into the first store that snubbed her and asked the sales people if they worked on commission.
Titanic. One of the few we've seen in the theatre in the last 10 years. I cried and cried because I SO did not see it coming (I never do - Up Close and Personal did the same thing to me), and I loved them "flying" on the bow of the ship. But I love sailing and being at sea, so that was part of the charm for me. Oh, yeah, and period costumes. I love doing plays with period costumes and not stuff from my closet. And I didn't know about James Cameron. Although everything else I read painted him as pretty much of a jerk.
Attack of the Clones. We hated this movie. It was so disappointing. And yes, the Padma Anakin ick factor really did color everything else, but it was such dreadful acting. We saw this at the theater too (HUGE waste of money there - we haven't even seen the third one yet). The funniest scene for us was when Padma falls out of the helicopter and she's lying there out of breath and dying, and someone (was it Sam Jackson?) asks her if she was OK and she says yes and hops right up like nothing happened. We laughed out loud and got lots of nasty looks from the diehard Star Wars fanatics.
The Graduate. true. Great soundtrack, but how in the world could you possibly marry a man who slept with your MOTHER!!! Eww. And I loved Dirty Dancing, but you really do have to work to get past the statutory rape thing. Or did that exist in the 60s? I love My Fair Lady, too, but that's because I want to do it on stage. Although I'm probably too old to be Eliza now. You're right about the ending. She really should have stayed with Freddy. Rex Harrison's little smug smile at the end makes me want to sing "Just you Wait, 'enry 'iggins" all over again.
sheesh. sorry to be so wordy.
13. You've Got Mail. I loved loved loved Sleepless in Seattle so much, that this movie broke my heart because it just wasn't on that level. Or remotely close. I own Sleepless in Seattle. I'll never watch You've Got Mail again.
And for my entry to the list. Well, I don't have one. But I'm sure I could come up with one given enough time. We just don't go to that many movies.
Oh my, I completely agree with your annoyance with Attack of the Clones...all my boys are ALL about Star Wars, and I can't stand to watch this episode! It just feels kinda freaky.
In defense of Julia in Notting Hill, I think she's also attracted to his "simple life" which she does not have. Yes there were parts when she was "mean" to him, but that's part of the "plot" (smile). Now can you tell I like this film? But really what I like most about this film are the scene with the friends more than the scenes with Julia and Hugh :). Watched it probably about 10 times already (one of very few love stories my husband watch with me)
Enjoyed this post :)
Thanks for the link to Titanic in 5 Seconds -- I amused myself for quite a while with others in the same genre. :-)
Of all of these the only ones I have seen in their entirety are Somewhere In Time and You've Got Mail. I did like the latter and could see how they would grow on each other. I thought the former was incredibly romantic, but I didn't like the idea that you're one and only could be in another time dimension. I know it's fantasy, but I could picture someone who was incredibly lonely feeling even more so after this. And I do agree about the sleeping together ruining it.
One little thing about #4: It bugs me to no end when people pull the "well they're not married so it isn't a real commitment" card. Not everyone needs a silly piece of paper to prove their commitment to the person they love. And half the people who do get the little piece of paper weren't really committed anyway as judging by the divorce rates.
Just some thoughts from someone who is unmarried by choice and in a deeply commited relationship.
I was very disappointed with Titanic. So much in it to dislike. I saw Sliding Doors and I remember that I enjoyed it but I don’t remember much about it. I never saw Notting Hill or Pretty Woman because I can not stand Julia Roberts. The Graduate was great though. The romance there was between Ben and Mrs Robinson’s daughter. I do wonder, though, how long their romance lasted after they ran away from the church on the bus.
Okay I'm going to jump in again and throw some more comments your way.
Hitch--it was okay but my love for Will Smith wasn't enough to overcome her nastiness.
Sorry Loralee, I do love Casablanca. Sniff. "Of every gin joint in all the world . . . " It's an honorable romance which I'm always a sucker for. I'm okay with sad endings but it has to be related to honor--like in The Age of Innocence.
I can see why Entrapment would appeal to the guys. When I saw CZ-J in Zorro I came out of there thinking, "Well now I know who the most beautiful woman in the world is." Her face is amazing. And I guess that Entrapment shows off the rest of her.
And I'd kind of forgotten about Whoopi in Ghost, she was the best part but the kissing thing? EEEW! Not going to work. When Demi cries? Amazing. Unchained Melody? I still tear up. But they should have been married! And should have had a little girl named Annie.
I thought the concept of Sliding Doors was clever but they could have left out the bed hopping. Someone re-write it so it doesn't have gratuitous sx and ugly leading men alright?
I hadn't thought of the P & Prejudice/You've Got Mail connection and you're definitely right. Maybe I'll have to see it again. There you go, you've broadened my horizons just like that.
I did know that it was a remake actually, I've seen the Jimmy Stewart version and liked that. But what's not to like about Jimmy?
And Cary Grant? LOVE him. Liked An Affair to Remember also. Have you seen Penny Serenade? Saddest ever but sweet in its own way.
Luke--HA! Yea, watch out for Hardy novels turned into movies because you'll need kleenex every time. Coincidentally, Catherine Zeta-Jones did an early version of Return of the Native where she plays Eustacia Vye and it's good. In a kleenex kind of way.
And AZ? I actually really like movies like "As GOod As It Gets" (even though the language is pretty raw and the subject matter coarse) because it paints love in such realistic terms. We're all imperfect and loving someone means wanting to be the best you can be for them. I can't think of anything more romantic than someone saying that their true love brings out the best in them and makes them want to be better. To me that seems like what it's all about. But then I'm rather old-fashioned that way.
Thanks for the comments!
Funny that I have seen several of those. I don't watch many movies.
Great List. You made me think about some of these films in a whole new light.
I've always thought The Graduate was creepy. The end scene when the couple is on the bus and turns to each other with that "deer in the headlights" look kinda summed it up for me.
Personally, I've always thought "Grease" was kinda corny. I mean, the message there is so awful -- change your looks and all of a sudden we can date? come on!
GREAT post. Now I want to see your REAL Romantic List. :-)
I mostly agree with you. I did like Notting Hill, though - however, it was a romantic comedy. Not really a romance, in my books. Not sure if that makes sense.
Pretty Woman was fun as a comedy, but not as a romance. It does not even make sense that he would fall in love with a HOOKER.
You hit the nail on the head with the whole "having sex ruins it" thing. My favorite romance ever is the BBC Pride Prejudice mini-series. I am little embarrassed to admit that I have seen it at least 7 times or so and could sit down and watch it again RIGHT NOW if my kids would give me the 5+ hours needed to do it!
You've got mail is the only one I would disagree with. I love that movie.
Many of the others I have never seen, and don't want to see them.
Titanic...if you just start where the ship starts sinking, its not too bad...I only saw it once and hated the loves story.
Star Wars...I still can't understand how they could cast that guy as Anakin! There was no chemistry. Watching him act in those movies was about as fulfilling as eating a cardboard sandwich.
You've gotten it just about right! I would add "The Bridges of Madison County". I didn't read the book ahead of time, just heard how romantic the movie was. When I was at the theater I wanted to stand up and say, "She's sleeping with him in her husband's house!" And I am not a prude by a long shot, but cheating on your spouse no matter how right it seems is just, well, not right. Even though it was Clint, whom I would totally have a romance with, if neither of us were married, and he is WAY too old for me.
And Woody Allen gives me the creeps!
And Casablanca makes me cry.
I agree with you 100%. The affair in The Graduate isn't written to be romantic in the book. Happy TT.
Wow... I've only seen four of these (I'm still protesting Titanic, ten years later--NEVER seen it, never will).
Is the Graduate even supposed to be a romance? Isn't it like a . . . drama . . . of some sort (never seen it, but know the plot pretty well).
Saw Annie Hall on PBS. No idea why it's a "classic."
I'm still pretty surprised that you liked Wharton's Summer, given one reason why you didn't like most of these is the same reason why I didn't like that.
You've Got Mail is my favorite movie and watch it a lot! The others I don't care about but absolutely love You've Got Mail.
We used to make my mom SOOOO mad when we would laugh while watching Ghost. And I can't hear the name, Richard, without screaming it with my arm outstretched like Somewhere In Time. I'd have to agree with all the movies from your list. Most of them are fun movies that I've seen multiple times but you are right that they somehow miss the mark (Even Indiscreet and I am a Grant worshipper).
Interesting list. I hadn't thought of some of them the way you did, but I had to agree, even though I really liked a couple on the list.
I'd love to see your top romantic movie list.
I'm with Robin with Sliding Doors. I really liked the movie....I overlooked the part about the second guy being married, although separated. But he just seemed to LOVEABLE to me. I was happy to see Pocohontas on your list too. I totally have to agree with loralee? with her comment, "HATED Pocahontas. So historically inaccurate I almost started hyperventilating."
Where is "Sweet Home Alabama" on your list? What am I missing?
I do not have to agree with every word in a book to enjoy the book, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. I feel the same about movies. I don't have to agree with all of the morals of a movie to enjoy it. Plus, I never considered some of the movies you mentioned to be romantic. But, that doesn't mean you are not a nice person!!!
PS- I posted a picture of some of my paintings that I thought you'd like to see.
Can I add the other Tom Hanks movie, Big? Seeing a grown woman in a sexual relationship with a boy-man was the creepiest thing ever.
And I could not agree more on Pretty Woman. "I have never treated you like a prostitute!" Only because you treat all women like prostitutes.
You are a hoot! I loved Pretty Woman or maybe I just loved the unabashed gluttonous spending spree allowed to Julia Roberts. I would be more jealous of that than anytihng Richard Gere could offer me. My recent favorite love story was Enchanted.
this list is right on.
And I loved your write ups about each.
I totally agree with you that the May-Dec is just not that romantic when Dec is the man and seems to be taking advantage. One small corrective: don't you remember Julia had all those cond*ms in her boots, so no diseases there!
I like "You've Got Mail" in a "it's 100 degrees outside and my AC is broken, let's go to the movies" kinda way.
A really good romantic movie about death and ghosts is that one with Alan Rickman -- Truly, Madly, Deeply. The British version was incredible.
I agree with ALL of them!! Yes!!
Great observations! Some of these stories are so unbelievable, very improbable in the real world. The falling in love with a prostitute thing kind of shocks me.
Now, I would love a list of romance stories you LIKED.:-)
Can't really argue with any of these, but glad to see Sleepless in Seattle was on your good list! That was the first movie Tim and I saw together, so to me it is very romantic! ;)
Lol on #1. I agree on #3, but not #4... let's see... there's a few I haven't seen. Ah yes,Julia was horrid in Notting Hill, but you're right it was a fun movie.
Hmmm, I have some homework to do, apparently. Lol!
I'm one of the only people in the world who loves Pocahontas. I just pretend it's a COMPLETELY different story than history. Like, entirely fiction. I think the animation is gorgeous and the I like the score as well. There are some things that are odd about it...a bit too sexual, I guess, but I still love it.
I also love Notting Hill and You've Got Mail. The rest I'll agree with you on!
Your ideas are too conformist for me. Marriage is not the ONLY shape that commitment can take, and a prostitute is still a human being with feelings, to me...
And I am a bit surprised that you don't criticize more those old movies with Cary Grant and co being at least 10 years older than their beloved (11 for Miss Bergman/Mr Grant). The difference is not much more than between Padme and Anakin ! Well, ok, Anakin is not the best actor I have ever seen... in fact this movie is so far from being the best I have ever seen, lol !
Anyway I still agree about some of the movies you pointed out, like Entrapment. The age gap was a bit difficult to forget, this time. But Catherine then showed us that she loved older guys, isn't it ? I say : different girls, different tastes !
Oh, one movie I love that you would probably hate too is Mr & Mrs Smith. So funny and Mr Smith is sooooo cuuuuute when they start to love each other again ! Hey, maybe you won't hate it, because... at least they are married !
Pocahontas - I haven't ever seen the whole thing, but was very confused when my girls watched Poahontas 2 and she was in love with someone different. Fickle much?
Ghost - She made out with Whoopi, right? I don't care if it was Patrick inside there; she kissed Whoopi.
Somewhere in Time - I don't think it was the romance between them that I loved; it was just the depth of Christopher Reeve's determination to get to her. Also, I loved all the time travel bits, like the little boy in the past who was the manager in the future; her portrait being made, the portrait we'd already seen. I'm a sucker for that stuff.
You've Got Mail - I have to agree with what some other commenters have said. Tom Hanks was not a bad guy in this movie, even though Meg felt that way for most of the time. He was just a businessman. He believed he was a good guy. Once she realized he was the person she'd come to know online, and she had already warmed up to him a bit in real life, then she gave up her grudges. At least that's my take on it. PLUS, it's TOM!! And MEG!!
Love your list!
Lilith--I guess I didn't make it too clear, I'm not saying that the whole Pretty Woman scenario means prostitutes don't deserve human kindness or the same rights as the rest of us, I'm just saying that the movie is laughably unrealistic. It glamorizes her illegal and immoral position and forgets the reality of such a grim profession. And no multi-millionaire Richard-Gere guy would ever go for it, completely ridiculous.
I can understand the appeal of the shopping scene (I don't remember it too well, I only saw half the movie on t.v. many years ago) but really, if we're going to be truthful, isn't it just more of the same? He's paying her money for her company, her services, whatever just in different forms and it's pretty degrading it seems.
Just an opinion. I know movies shouldn't be taken so seriously but I'd have a hard time with my girls watching this and saying, "Gosh, I want to be JUST LIKE HER when I grow up!"
Cute blog - I'm a new reader.
I will say that I completely disagree with your assessment of Ghost from the standpoint of - who cares if they are married or not? I've been with my fiance for going-on seven years, and we won't be married for another 1.5 so by the time we're married we'll have been a couple almost a decade. Plenty of "real" challenges and romance along the way - including moving to Alaska.
Kind of offensive to some people that a long-term relationship can't be challenging or romantic without marriage (or kids, but I won't go there).
Sorry I missed this clarifying comment, Scribbit:
"But I still feel that a relationship with someone without the connection of a legally binding relationship and the connection that children and trials and shared experiences bring can't be as emotionally fulfilling."
I respect that you feel that way, however I respectfully disagree. For example, I know a lesbian couple who have been together for my entire 31 years on this earth - a piece of paper they aren't allowed to have has obviously not prevented them from making an incredible life together. Marriage might have deepened your feelings of committment to your husband, but I'm not sure how the last seven years of my life don't count as "shared experiences" that are "emotionally fulfilling" - or if they are less shared or less fulfilling than if we'd had a ceremony already. His aunt died suddenly, my cousin died at 34 of ovarian cancer. He went back to school and got his undergrad, I got my grad. degree, and now he's finishing his grad work at UAF and we leaned on each other through all of those things. We're deeply, fully committed to each other and our life together and beyond emotionally fulfilled with the other person. How could I stay with someone, move away from the only home I'd ever known (to FAIRBANKS ALASKA lol), unless I were as emotionally fulfilled - or more, really - than I'd ever been?
As for children - we don't plan on having any (I know, I know, I wasn't going to go there) and at the end of my childless life (assuming we don't change our minds) I don't think I'll have been any less fulfilled, any less emotionally engaged with my partner than anyone else. I think it's a little presumptuous for people with children to assume that only by having a child will every couple reach the pinnacle of "bondedness"...which I'm pretty sure is a word I just made up.
This made me laugh a lot! THANKS!
I disagree with you on several of your choices, but BIG HUGE POSITIVE THUMBS UP on Attack of the Clones. Argh. They both irritated me. How could anyone love either of them???!!!!
I'm a fairly new reader, but I had to chime in on this post. I agree with you on all the movies you list (that I've seen anyway). Some of them I haven't seen because I knew I wouldn't like them. Pocahontas and Titanic are two of those movies.
A movie that other people I knew loved and that I hated was The English Patient. The whole "love" story was based on adultery! I could not get into it. Plus, I thought it was soooo sloooow. But mainly it was that I don't find unfaithfulness to be romantic. That's why I didn't want to see Sweet Home Alabama, which was actually better than I thought it would be. I didn't see While You Were Sleeping or The Wedding Planner, again for the same reasons. I don't like modern romances. I much prefer The Age of Innocence for romantic adultery (since they never actually do anything).
And I do like The Last of the Mohicans. I thought the relationship between Uncas and Alice was so sweet. And when she jumped off the cliff instead of going with Magua as he held out the hand stained with Uncas' blood... *sigh*
I can't wait to see your list of movies you *do* find romantic!
I agree with you on most! BUT what about 'Hope Floats' with Julia Roberts and Harry Connick ... when they danced ... Ohh My!
I enjoyed reading your reviews! I agree with you that I would prefer the characters to not hop into bed with each other and have extramarital affairs - it's so hard to find movies like that!
I disagree though with you on:
SLIDING DOORS - loved the dual plots, kept me wondering and on the edge of my seat till the end
PRETTY WOMAN - yeah, the fact that she was a prostitute detracted from it but I thought the film focused on her finally believing that she was worth something and I thought it was the same with NOTTING HILL, that yes, she treated him badly but in the end she found what really mattered and chose love and family over Hollywood
I loved YOU'VE GOT MAIL! (more than Sleepless in Seattle I think) Yes, they bickered but they met as rivals. I loved the way Tom Hanks evolves from a corporate shark and slowly wins her heart.
I'm back again. Have you watched You've Got Mail more than once? By watching it 100 times ;-) I've picked up parts that I didn't notice before she's always liked/loved Ny152 online and she's always talking about how wonderful he is not knowing he's Joe Fox. He'll say things to her and she'll have a funny look on her face.
I love the movie.
I have to agree with you on most of these. Especially Titanic. Leo DiCaprio is just too child-like to be a romantic interest in my opinion.
woah! Somebody actually has also seen Truly Madly Deeply with Alan Rickman. I saw that several years ago and loved it, wonder if I would today?
I just thought about TMD tonight while stuck in a snowstorm, and clicking on AMC, showing Die Hard, and there was A.R.
have I ever commented here before? Love your blog.
LOL. I've watched Titanic just to get to see Rose say, "I'd rather be his ****** than your wife."
Pathetic, I know... I honestly think that Celine Dion howling like a banshee isn't music, though, too.
Every time I see Woody hook up with the latest It Girl I think WHAT.EVER. And the older he gets- the more I think it. I know movies are fantasies but come on. That is really pushing the realms of reality.
I used to play out this conundrum in my head: I am an aspiring actress, and am offered a role in a Woody Allen movie, which, you know, is supposed to be the secret to your aspiring acting success. But the role calls for me to kiss Woody Allen.
Success in Hollywood, all my dreams come true
swapping spit with Woody Allen.
what to do? what to do???
Oh, praise God for small mercies. I will never have to suffer thru this decision.
I haven't seen all the movies on your list, but of the seven I've seen you are right on. I love a great romance, and those were NOT great romances. If I ever end up sitting through Attack of the Clones again (likely since I have two little boys) I know I'll be laughing through the love scene thinking of Rosco P. Coltrane!
I agree all the way down! I'm not a big movie person anyway, and the strangeness of these is just too much for me.
Is it just me, or does Disney and Pixar have difficulty including a functional couple in any of their kids movies!??
I think that you hit the nose on all of these. I do happen to like some of them, but not in the romantical sense.
As far as Somewhere in Time goes. It is ruined by them sleeping together, and the fact that it ends so sadly. One thing though, the soundtrack is so wonderful. I could listen to it all day long.
I agree with all except the Notting Hill. I think he loved her not because of beauty and fame, but because of who he found her to be outside of the limelight. But all the rest, yeah, you're dead on.
i loves titanic movies..
I had to scroll through all these comments to see if I already said this. I remember this post from before but I didn't comment.
I HATED Titanic. I thought that woman was an idiot. WHO ON EARTH would throw a priceless diamond into the ocean 80 years later in memory of THREE DAYS with a man? NO WOMAN ON EARTH! We are much more intelligent than that. Blech. Worse movie ever.
EXCEPT for Attack of the Clones. I physically can't be in the room when that movie is on--Anakin is so bad that I start to twitch.
Totally agree about You've Got Mail and Knotting Hill, but my favorite movie to hate that tried to be romantic but made my skin crawl... was Love Actually, ick! Like YGM, I've rewatched it three times to see what people see in it.
I've all this movies! But you seem to forget some best movies like... When Harry Met Sally... The Wedding Singer... Must Love Dogs and yeah, Sweet Home Alabama is fantastic.. I also love While You Were Sleeping. The Graduate is a little strange but a good script. Ghost is a little too depressing.
How did you come up with your list? Did you based this on some reviews or did you follow some criteria? I wonder why you have not included SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, A WALK TO REMEMBER, and SWEET NOVEMBER. I am glad though that your list included GHOST. It is one of my favorites.
Ahhh, finally someone out there like me. I agree with your choices almost 100%. I liked Titanic a lot, but more from a historic aspect and loved just watching how they made the movie. And I liked Sliding Doors, just because it's kind of clever, but I never understood the huge attraction to Annie Hall and Pretty Woman, etc. Good list!
Somewhere In Time was a classic. Would have put it first. I would then go with Knotting Hill. The rest would not matter to me. Some I have not seen I guess now I have a reason.
I like the post about Ghost. I think there is lots of truth in the statement about being so in love with someone you never committed to and there's no kids. Most couples nowdays don't understand that but real love commits and doesn't pretend.
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