Monday, February 14, 2011

My Favorite Movies for Valentine's Day

So it's Valentine's Day, and it's time to pick a romantic movie to watch with your sweetie. What's it going to be?

Scanning my DVD collection, I think I'd start with Gone With the Wind (1954), probably one of my favorite epic love stories. I mean, does it really get any better than Rhett and Scarlett? Oh, and read the book, too!

When it comes to foreign films, one of my favorites is the French movie A Very Long Engagement (2004), with Audrey Tatou as the determined Mathilde, convinced her fiancé Manech, missing in the bloodbath of the French trenches of World War 2, is still alive. It's based on the great novel of the same name by Sebastien Japrisot.

Actually made during World War 2 in Paris during the Nazi occupation, and one of the most romantic movies ever made about the theater, Les Enfants du Paradis (1945) tells the story of the beautiful actress Garance, and the mime who loves her from afar. It's an amazing portrait of 19th century France scripted by the poet Jacques Prévert and starring Arletty and Jean-Louis Barrault, himself one of France's greatest mimes.

More contemporary and more chick-flick, When Harry Met Sally (1989) has great chemistry between leads Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, lots of romance as all those couples tell their own love stories, and great music by Harry Connick, Jr. Yeah, I know it's cheesy, but sometimes cheesy is great.

Walk the Line (2005) is another romance that combines a great love story with great music. Joaquin Phoenix and the sparkling Reese Witherspoon bring Johnny Cash and June Carter's real-life love story to luminous life.

When I was in college, everyone's favorite love story was A Room with a View (1985), with Helena Bonham Carter and Julian Sands as impetuous lovers who fall for each other in the romantic Italian countryside, based on the novel by E.M. Forster.  I still can't resist this movie!

If you want something a little livelier, try Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ for short) (1995), a Bollywood sensation about star-crossed lovers Raj and Simran. Raj is a bad-boy who falls for good-girl Simran but she's set to marry someone else. What will happen? Will her father ever accept him? It'll take you four hours to find out but you'll love every minute. Plus the music is fantastic! It was the first of several films together for stars Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan and it's just wonderful.

What are your favorite romantic movies? Are you going to watch a movie tonight?


  1. I love your Bollywood suggestion, Marie, and will check it out!

    We'll be watching Moonstruck tonight. That's "our" film. My husband and I met in New York City in 1989. He lived in Brooklyn -- and you could see the Twin Towers from his window, just like in the movie. Plus, I come from a big, Catholic, and kind of eccentric family.

  2. Great list! I saw A Room With a View in college, too. And I really want to see The Long Engagement!

  3. Watched Valentines Day last night! It was sweet. Hub bought me Love Actually but it will probably be Christmas again when I get to see it!

  4. My husband and I love an 80s movie called The Sure Thing. When we're feeling romantic, we watch it again, even though we pretty much have it memorized.

  5. nice post. great list.

    love "A Very Long Engagement," such a gorgeous film; and we like Tatou in our house.

    We like "Return to Me" with David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Bonnie Hunt. Or "Chocolat" with Binoche and Depp. Hmmm, maybe I'll go out and buy a box of assorted chocolates and watch this one.


  6. Wonderful list! No movies for us tonight, as Monday night is our TV night. *L*

    I liked When Harry Met Sally, but Gone With the Wind was a little long for me. As for old favorites, I have a soft spot for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!

  7. Great list, and comments also contain some of my favorites (Return to Me is wonderful). Another one of my favorites is Jennifer Garner's Catch and Release, which has one of the most gorgeous sex scenes I've ever seen on film. Definitely in my Top 10 is Latter Days, a very under-the-radar gay romance that I've watched repeatedly. I also must recommend "Who Am I This Time?" with Susan Sarandon and Christopher Walken (in a rare sweet performance). I wore out my videotape before I got it on DVD.

  8. Casablanca is our Valentine's Day tradition :)