Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Here’s looking at you, kid: 10 Romantic films for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, all. It’s that time of year when flower shops jack up the price of roses to exorbitant heights; when Hallmark yields huge profits; when men go to Tiffany’s; when everything is painted red and dotted with hearts; when hopeless romantics are extra mushy; when the sale of chocolate goes on the rise; when restaurants are booked solid for dinner; when men pop the question, and when romantic movies are watched the world over.

Romantic movies are pretty conventional, as the basic plot usually unfolds like so: boy and girl meet; they fall in love; boy loses girl; boy wins girl back; boy and girl live happily ever after. Yes, they can be trite and predictable, but they can also be damned good films. Studios release close to a dozen romance movies each year, and nowadays, Hollywood is straying from using those predictable conventions and producing romance films that are fresh and smart, with just the right amount of angst, emotion, longing and drama.

In honour of Valentine’s Day, I’ve come up with a list of my ten favourite romantic movies. You’ll find some angst here, but I think you’ll also find some “feel good” movies and some unlikely selections. And guys, maybe there’s a film or two here that you’re not ashamed to love because it doesn’t impinge on your machismo.

Ten Things I Hate About You

Lars and the Real Girl

When Harry Met Sally

The Princess Bride


Before Sunrise/Before Sunset

Say Anything

500 Days of Summer


The Notebook

What are your favourite romantic movies? Let us know in the comments section.


  1. Lars and the Real Girl? wow thought that looked more creepy than romantic. will have to check it out one of these days! Good call on Wall-E and the Before Sunset/rise duo.

  2. Despite your numerous recommendations, I still have not seen The Notebook…just saying. :)

    Some of my favourites romantic films include:

    Circle of Friends
    Roman Holiday
    Chasing Amy
    In the Mood for Love
    Brokeback Mountain

  3. @Pete - Lars is definitely an unorthodox pick for Valentine's Day because it's a rather sombre film, but it takes a unique and look at unconventional love, and Ryan Gosling is incredible in the film. It's worth seeing.

    I just LOVE Wall-E. I caught it on TV a couple of weeks ago and it instantly put a smile on my face. It's so heart-warming!

    @CS - You should set your fragile machismo aside and give The Notebook a chance...just saying :)

    Chasing Amy nearly made my list - it's a great film too.

    Brokeback Mountain is a beautiful film, but it's so tragic. It honestly hurts me to watch it because of the way it ends. I realize that not all romantic movies end happily, but that one is more of a tragic love story to me and I'm left feeling all depressed after I watch it.

  4. Well, I'm male and I've liked almost all of the movies on your list. At least four of them would probably be on a top ten list of mine. (I've never compiled one, so maybe another one would sneak on, too.)

    I just did a set of posts on Pride and Prejudice and the 2005 version would definitely make my list. Here's what I had to say on it:

    Wall-E is the surprise in your list for me because I didn't get much romantic feeling from it and the EVE robot, but I suppose I could see where someone would.

    @Pete - I highly recommend Lars and the Real Girl, too.

  5. Phips1:41 pm

    The Princess Bride is great. Watching that tonight.

    My 2 fav. rom films are all cheesy rom-coms:
    - Serendipity
    - How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
    - Crazy, Stupid, Love
    Theres a few more but I cant remember

  6. Well, in honor of that day. I posted my fifth Favorite Films essay on Chungking Express.

    Secretary was supposed to be that essay last month but... I fucked up and over-wrote the damn thing.

    If I was to make a list... let's see...

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    True Romance
    Brokeback Mountain
    In the Mood for Love
    Midnight in Paris
    Before Sunrise/Before Sunset
    The Princess Bride.

    Those are the essentials.

  7. If you are in the mood to break up, I would suggest Blue Valentine ahah

  8. It's more on the tragic side, but I really love Brief Encounter. I'll admit I get misty-eyed while watching this movie.

  9. Brief Encounter really is great. I'd probably include Now, Voyager as well.

    (Maybe not, though. My word verification is "pity me.")

  10. Phips2:57 am

    I forgot, one of the most real love stories Ive seen in film is "True Romance"...written by Tarantino and filled with some action its truly is a great tale of love. Maybe not the best for V Day but still...

  11. No Four Weddings love? I know it has that terrible 'Is it still raining?' bit, but otherwise it's good, silly fun. Isn't it?

    @Chip Lary - P&P is a great story, but I do prefer the BBC adaptation from the mid-nineties to any of the big screen adaptations.

  12. I haven't watch The Princess Bride and Lars and The Real Girl, but I agree with the rest!

  13. @Chip Lary – very cool – it’s nice to hear that some of my picks would be picked by you too.

    I read your post on the 2005 version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and you wrote a great review. I actually haven’t seen that film, but I will make a point to see it now.

    Granted ‘Wall-E’ may not be an obvious pick, but it comes to mind immediately when I think about feel-good, romantic movies. The way Wall-E follows EVE into space and all of that – I found it touching. I love the film.

    @Phips - The Princess Bride never gets old. I love re-watching that movie.

    Serendipity’ and ‘How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days’ are good rom-coms too. Actually, I think ‘How to Lose a Guy…’ is one of Matthew McConaughy’s better romantic comedies.

    I have yet to see ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’, but I’m looking forward to that one.

    ‘True Romance’ definitely fits the romance bill, albeit not in the most traditional of ways, but it’s a great film. Good call.

    @Castor – ‘Blue Valentine’ definitely shows how romance can turn. Great performances by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling.

    @Dave Enkosky – I haven’t seen ‘Brief Encounter.’ Thanks for the mention. I’ll have to check it out.

    @SJHoneywell – I haven’t seen either of those films, and with two recommendations for ‘Brief Encounter’ now, it’s been added to my "movies to-watch" list. Thanks for the mentions.

  14. @JBT - Thanks. When you have seen it, please let me know what you thought.

    @Multiplex Slut - I understand where you are coming from. Even though I rated the 2005 version higher, you still might be interested in my recent posts for Valentine's Day on the various P&P versions: http://tipsfromchip.blogspot.com/2012/02/many-versions-of-pride-and-prejudice.html

  15. @Chip Lary - will do!


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