Thursday, September 12, 2013

Top 10 Romantic Films

8 April 2013

So I took a bit of a break last week, terribly sorry for the inconvenience, This week's list is Top 10 Romanic Films. Did not have an easy time with this one. There are some really fantastic romance films, and I really wanted to get a wide range of them in there. I changed the list about 15 times before I finished, and chances are I'll change it another 5 before I post it. I think I've made the correct choices.

10.) Sleepless In Seattle
Meg Ryan has a knack for being in some seriously romantic films, especially the ones that also have Tom Hanks in them. Some people think that this film is creepy, and I can definitely understand, but I think its one of those things where when someone does something and you're interested in them, it comes off as sweet, but if you're not, it comes off as creepy. Personally, I think its romantic and that kid is just too damn cute. Personally, Tom Hanks isn't the one who comes to mind when I think of heartthrobs, but in these movies, he really is the perfect guy. Tom Hanks really seems to be one of the nicest people on earth. Meg Ryan is just so sweet in this film, I really love her, she always seems to find herself in really loveable roles, although it could be because she's a loveable person herself. Great cast outside of Hanks and Ryan as well, Rosie O'DonnellRita WilsonVictor Garber, and Bill Pullman. The film was nominated for 2 Oscars for Best Writing and Best Original Song. Great story, and I was so happy to witness their chemistry again in You've Got Mail, another great romance movie. It was nominated for 2 Oscars for Best Writing and Best Original Score.

9.) Brokeback Mountain
This film is certainly the most famous movie about gay men, and definitely one of my famous. There's obviously been a lot of controversy around this movie, but I think this movie actually fully solidified my feelings about equal rights for gay people. Honestly, if all of the people who bitched and complained about this movie had actually seen it I think it could have changed the world view. I don't think I'm ruining anything by saying that this is a super tragic love story. You really can't help but feel bad for pretty much everyone involved including their wives played by Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway, who both did a fantastic job I might add.. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger are absolutely convincing as a couple who are forbidden to be together, and they play their characters perfectly. I think a lot of people missed out on this because they didn't want to see two men kissing, but if you're one of those people, look past your judgements and witness this beautifully tragic story. It was nominated for 8 Oscars and won 3 for Best Writing, Best Writing, and Best Directing for Ang Lee. It was definitely robbed of best picture by "Crash", whoever was in charge of that decision was definitely having some kind of mental break at that moment.

8.) Pride & Prejudice
Pride & Prejudice is one of the most well known romance stories of the past few centuries. Jane Austen first published the story it 1813, so it was officially 200 years old in January. Its definitely my favorite period piece and the characters are wonderful. Elizabeth Bennet(Keira Knightly) is a strong independent women in a time where those aren't acceptable characteristics. She has 4 love-crazed sisters, a pushy mother, and an understanding father. She meets, grows to hate, and then ends up falling in love with the logical, rich and proud Mr. Darcy(Matthew Macfadyen). A beautiful story that everyone needs to read and watch at least once. The acting was superb and the costumes and sets were perfect for the time period. Austen's characters are deep and complicated and some of the best in literature. The cast is top-notch includeing Keira Knightly, Matthew Macfadyen, Rosamund Park, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan, Judi Dench, and Donald Sutherland. The film was nominated for 4 Oscars for Art Direction, Costume Design, Original Score, and Best Actress.

7.) Love Actually
This is a Christmas movie, and actually one of my favorites, but its such a great romantic movie. The cast is absolutely mind-blowing and can do nothing but convince you. Its the perfect example of how to make an ensemble cast to work properly. There are a bunch of different storylines of different lives, but all of the lives link together somehow. The cast of this film is mind-blowing;Colin FirthLiam Neeson, Hugh GrantEmma ThompsonAlan RickmanMartin Freeman, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy,Rowan AtkinsonBilly Bob ThortonAndrew LincolnChiqetel EjioforLaura LinneyThomas Brodie- SangsterElisha Cuthbert, and January Jones. No Joke, amazing. Its really just such a sweet, up-beat, heartwarming, funny, lovely, Christmas movie. I mean, there are some conflicts, and sadness but every movie needs some drama to keep it interesting. There is no reason for you to not have seen this movie yet. If you want to wait until Christmas, thats fair, but everyone needs to see this one.

6.) Dirty Dancing
There are few things that I don't love about this movie. The soundtrack is perfect. I think going into it you have to be aware that its not the best written, or even the best acted movie but there's something thats just so damn charming about it. Johnny Castle is played by Patrick Swayze who is absolutely oozing with charisma, charm, and badassness in this movie. The dancing is incredibly impressive, and they definitely made the correct choice with Swayze because he is actually a trained dancer. Baby Houseman is played by Jennifer Grey, and although she'll never win an Oscar, she plays her very well I think. Cute and naive, but slowly finding herself as a women with her first taste of love and lust. Its a romantic and sexy movie, but sexy for women, I think most men won't enjoy it, but all women do. The soundtrack is great, very fitting for the 60s, but also with the now classic "Time of My Life." I absolutely adore this movie.

5.) Casablanca
This is a classic story of love, loss, nazi's, and war. This film was my first introduction to both Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and I dont think it can get any better then that. Bogart's character Rick Blaine is a real 1940's man who owns a bar in Casablanca, even his name makes him sound like the manliest name in the world. He's surprised when his one time love Ilsa Lund who had left him in Paris the last time he saw her. This is one of those classics you always hear about but haven't seen yet. They were so different back then, those close-up glamour shots of the faces are priceless. They're all hazy to give them the dreamy look everyone wants. There are some really epic lines in this film, that everyone has heard, and I had no idea where they came from ie; "Here's looking at you kid", "Of all the Gin Joins, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine" , and of course the most famous line from the movie "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Just because of the true classic that it is, I think everyone needs to watch it once. Its good for men and women, I think a great date movie if you're trying to broaden your horizons. The film was nominated for 8 Oscars and won 3 for Writing, Directing, and Best Picture. 

4.) When Harry Met Sally
I really hate how long I waited to see this movie, its now made its way into some of my all-time favorite movies. The story is a story of friendship, but ends up having one of the most romantic scenes in film history I think. The writing and directing team ofRob Reiner and Nora Ephron is unstoppable  The script is witty, hilarious, and just generally charming. The characters are relatable, and loveable because of each of their obvious flaws. All of the characters are so deep that even the ones you don't like are impressive, and with a cast like this I don't think the film could have possibly gone wrong. The cast includes Meg RyanBilly CrystalCarrie Fisher, and Bruno Kirby. I think the most impressive thing about the acting, especially from Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal is that their story spans over literally decades from the time they meet until the end, and you believe them as their ages for the entire film. Its mind boggling that they can both be believable as a 20 year old and also as someone in their late 30s in the same 2 hour movie. It also has one of the most hilarious films in movie history; the orgasm in the restaurant scene. Absolutely priceless. Again, another great example for a perfect date movie, I think men and women will both enjoy this movie because the story is told from both sides. The film was nominated for 1 Oscar for Writing.

3.) Ghost
I think everyone is going to think that my top 3 are pretty cliche, but please, if you think any other movies could have possibly been top 3 let me know. I think they get to us so much because they really are all about loss, for some reason for at least part of each movie the two lovers are separated for some reason. In this movie, and I don't think this is a spoiler considering the title, the thing that separates them is the death of Patrick Swayze's character Sam Wheat. Sam spends the rest the rest of the movie desperately trying to make contact with his partner Molly, played by Demi Moore, who is being comforted by their best friend Carl(Tony Goldwyn). When he discovers that his death might not have been an accident, but that it might have been a staged murder he recruits Oda Mae Brown(Whoopi Goldberg), a fake medium, who turns out not to be such a fake after all. The story is great, and pretty hilarious actually. Obviously its a little harder to watch now, especially the ending, since Patrick Swayze is dead, and the soundtrack doesn't help, I cannot listen to the song "Unchained Melody" without tearing up. The movie was nominated for 5 Oscars winning 2 for Best Supporting Actress for Whoopi Goldberg, and for Writing.
2.) The Notebook
This film really helped put Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams on the map. Both have made great careers out of their success, which is always good. The success of this film made Nicholas Sparks novels a pretty hot commodity in the film industry, it seems like every year theres another one or two being released in theaters, unfortunately none of them have turned out as well as this one. The chemistry between Gosling and McAdams is undeniable, and I think thats what made the movie work so well, the scene pictured above was just so full of passion that it felt like it was exploding off of the screen. The story was great, and heartbreaking. I also always enjoy a good period piece. The characters of Noah(Gosling) and Allie(McAdams) are just so loveable, they're both just so charming and naive that you just want them to stay like that forever, obviously thats not how life works, and one day life tears them apart. Honestly, I don't know if guys will enjoy this or not, but I don't think its one of those bad romance movies, I think the combination of the writing and acting makes it just explode with passion. I also can't watch it without a box of tissues next to me, so don't say I didn't warn you. 

1.) Titanic
I have an unbreakable and unforgiving love for this movie. I'm going to start off right away with acknowledging that the writing in this movie is not the greatest, thats one of James Cameron's flaws, and I accept that, but he makes up for it with literally EVERYTHING else in this movie. I think a lot of movies that get as popular as this one for some reason end up getting blown off as "oh it wasn't that great", please, tell that to the 11 Oscars this film won.  I think this was the perfect way to tell the story of the Titanic without having to use real people. The story was that classic "Romeo and Juliet", "forbidden love" story which is what really drags us in. The movie cost two hundred million dollars to make, which is actually so much money that its hard to wrap your head around, luckily its turned out to be literally the highest grossing film of all time, so no worries. All of that money went into actually building half of a life-sized Titanic to film on, and they even ended up creating new techniques in special effects in order to get the visuals they wanted/needed. Honestly, I went to see this movie last year when it was released in IMAX and I had actually forgotten just how unbelievably amazing it was. You're really on the edge of your seat for the entire last half of the movie, even though you know whats going to happen. The acting in this movie was absolutely top-notch with a really incredible cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate WinsletBilly ZaneKathy BatesFrances FisherBill PaxtonGloria StuartBernard Hill, and Victor Garber. I think the thing that they did that was just so important was them showing present-day and them showing us what the ship looks like now at the bottom of the ocean. I think those scenes was what made the story so human, and relatable.James Cameron was the best possible person to make this movie, he's been down, at the bottom of the ocean over 20 times looking at the Titanic, so I think he was really able to understand that factor. The film was nominated for 14 Oscars of which, I previously mentioned, it won 11 of for Best Sound, Best Original Song, Best Score, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Costume Design, Best Art & Set Direction, Best Director, and Best Picture.This film started my life-long fascination with both the Titanic, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Watch it again, I promise you its so much more then you remember, or were told it is.

Honourable Mentions: A Walk To Remember,  P.S I Love You, 10 Things I Hate About You, Atonement, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Pretty Woman, Forrest Gump, Annie Hall, Say Anything, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Australia, Bridget Jones Diary, The Princess Bride, As Good As It Gets, You've Got Mail, Edward Scissorhands, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

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