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favorite romantic movies / chick flicks?

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A few random obvious titles likely to get mentioned on this board:

Amelie

Bringing Up Baby

Casablanca

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (hi Dale!)

It Happened One Night

Life is Beautiful

Monsoon Wedding

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

The Philadelphia Story

The Princess Bride

Return to Me

Roman Holiday

Sabrina

Say Anything

Strictly Ballroom

As usual, I am trolling particularly for titles to use in my Video / DVD Picks column come Valentine's Day. The usual constraints apply: Films like Say Anything and Amelie, as delightful as they may be in many respects, don't make the cut because of their indulgent perspective on nonmarital sex.

What are your favorites?

Edited by SDG

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Sunrise has forever become number one.

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You won't use some of these, by reason of your threshhold, but:

Shakespeare In Love

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

The Apartment

Truly, Madly, Deeply

Four Weddings And A Funeral

Annie Hall

The Thin Man (all of 'em)

What's Up Doc

Clueless

Mystic Pizza

Out Of Sight

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I'd add this Jane Austen trio:

Persuasion (1995)--Simply outstanding. My top choice because the time is more manageable than my next pick.

Pride & Prejudice (1995)--The A&E miniseries version. Long, but so worth it.

Sense & Sensibility

Diane

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Yes indeed, Diane. Even on which Sense and Sensibility.

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Rear Window!

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You mentioned Baz's first film, but what about Moulin Rouge! (Though again, probably has those issues you mentioned).

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SDG wrote:

: The usual constraints apply: Films like Say Anything and Amelie, as

: delightful as they may be in many respects, don't make the cut because

: of their indulgent perspective on nonmarital sex.

Where would When Harry Met Sally... (number 6 on my all-time top-ten list) fall with regard to these constraints? The characters never come out and SAY "Premarital sex is bad! Bad bad bad bad bad!" but the characters' ACTIONS speak volumes. Billy Crystal's character is rampantly promiscuous and he gets married, the first time, just because he's tired of dating; not surprisingly, this marriage only lasts a few years. Meanwhile, Meg Ryan's character lives with a guy for five years because they're not ready to talk commitment, and then, when she says she wants children, they break up; within a year, her ex-boyfriend meets a woman and the two of them get engaged, and this prompts Ryan to sob and say, "All this time he said he didn't want to get married, but the truth is, he didn't want to marry ME. He didn't love me." And the climax to this film is, of course, the moment when Crystal says to Ryan, "I came here tonight because, when you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible!" And then, of course, there is the structural device of putting interview clips with various married couples between the scenes of the film. Granted, a few of these interview clips are pretty wishy-washy (like the guy who's been through several wives), and you have to wonder what problems Crystal and Ryan will have to face because of all those wild oats he sowed, but the whole point of the film, it seems to me, is that loving marriage is the ultimate goal that all people aspire to, whether they know it or not, and those who settle for less will get hurt. Quite honestly, I think this film (which I first saw when I was 18 ) is one of a number of things that has helped to keep me chaste all these years.

Apart from that, I also note that the number 2 film on my all-time top-ten list is The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), which is a romance of sorts, and my number 3 film is The Family Way (1966), which begins with a wedding and then shows the virginal newlyweds struggling with impotence and the like, and my number 5 film is The Empire Strikes Back (1980), which is by the far the most entertainingly romantic of the Star Wars films, and the number 7 spot on my list is a tie between The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), which has one of my favorite romantic lines of all time -- "Well that's different!" -- though you have to see it in context to get it, and The Court Jester (1956), which has one of the funniest send-ups of courtly love, in which a hypnotized Danny Kaye tries to woo Princess Angela Lansbury.

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Sunrise has forever become number one.

It wouldn't have been my first thought, but yeah, come to mention it, that's a great pick. From beginning to end. And even though it has an extra-marital affair, i think the way it was depicted was spot-on. It was shown as something vile that you'd rather sweep under the rug than something wonderful and enticing.

Can't really think of much else. It's not my genre.

-s.

PS Monsoon Wedding i'd agree with as well.

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The Court Jester (1956), which has one of the funniest send-ups of courtly love, in which a hypnotized Danny Kaye tries to woo Princess Angela Lansbury.

Me and my girlfriend watched this one on the weekend, and I actually thought it was really good. Danny Kaye is brilliant. Of course, even for a goofy comedy it has another good (humourously) romantic scene where Hawkins and the girl are sleeping in the stable and she has him put his arm around her, etc.

The one romantic film that I can't believe no one has mentioned yet:

Casablanca

And as for myself, I have always found certain parts of It's A Wonderful Life to be wonderfully romantic. And also Donna Reed is a babe.

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WOO HOO!

I just finished Holiday (1938), a romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, and I am blown away. I think it could be my favorite Hepburn film and possibly even my favorite Grant film. Brilliant, delightful, subtle, elegant, just a wonderful, wonderful romantic comedy. Where has this film been all my life, and why is it not on DVD?!!?!

It will be my "classic" (50s and before) pick for Valentine's Day -- and a tough act to follow for the "older" (60s-90s) and "recent" (2000s) picks that will have to accompany it.

Persuasion and Sense & Sensibility are both great recommendations (too bad for me my predecessor at the Register already wrote them up).

Sunrise: Haven't yet seen this one, though it's been on my list for awhile. Thanks for the recommendation, Asher.

Yikes, Rich -- MOST of those titles wouldn't work for me, except What's Up, Doc? which I've already done, plus I haven't seen the Sherlock Holmes and Mystic Pizza films. I have seen Truly, Madly, Deeply but don't remember it all that well.

Rear Window?! Sure, Grace Kelly is the epitome of elegant allure and all, but it's hardly a Valentine's Day type flick.

Peter: When Harry Met Sally is well into the grey zone, but I'd have to watch it again to be sure. Of the others you mention, The Court Jester sounds most promising, though I don't know if I'll want to use it for Valentine's Day.

Anders: I did mention Casablanca. smile.gif

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Yikes, Rich -- MOST of those titles wouldn't work for me, except What's Up, Doc? which I've already done, plus I haven't seen the Sherlock Holmes and Mystic Pizza films. I have seen Truly, Madly, Deeply but don't remember it all that well.

Well, you asked for my favorites. Sorry. I'm truly sad that Shakespeare doesn't make it (my best flick of the '90's). Sherlock won't either, unless the fact that the characters are spanked "for" doing the nasty compensates (it's bittersweet romance, for which I'm a BIG sucker, as is...) Truly. Mystic Pizza is an indie film from when that actually meant something (late '80's). I'm not sure at the moment whether there is extra-marital sex in it, but there is intent to commit that is foiled. And marriage. And a dizzying aray of screen debuts.

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SAY ANYTHING (already mentioned) is my great favourite, but I understand the problem for your readership.

I can't remember if WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING has the usual laxness about sexual morality, but it might qualify. And it's my next favourite: nothing profound, but sweet, charming, and I think it's heart is in the right place. There's stuff about how authentic relationships grow. And Sandra Bullock's at her cutest. (Which for some, is not a good thing. For me, it worked worked worked. Sigh.)

I think of RUNNING ON EMPTY when I think of SAY ANYTHING: also about a teen romance, also more substantial than the usual. No memory at all about the sexual element, but given the liberal politics of the film's milieu, I would suspect a similar sexual liberality.

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It Happened One Night.

Il Postino.

Cyrano de Bergerac.

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SDG wrote:

: Of the others you mention, The Court Jester sounds most promising,

: though I don't know if I'll want to use it for Valentine's Day.

Plus it's a '50s film and it sounds like you've already got that era covered.

Rich Kennedy wrote:

: Mystic Pizza is an indie film from when that actually meant something

: (late '80's). I'm not sure at the moment whether there is extra-marital

: sex in it, but there is intent to commit that is foiled. And marriage.

I made a point of seeing this film on the big screen after seeing a clip on Siskel & Ebert in which the Vincent D'Onofrio character tells the commitmentphobic Lili Taylor character that he isn't going to have sex with her unless they get married first. It was a nice reversal of the typical gender roles, and I remember thinking the film handled this aspect of the story rather well -- he even says this because he's a Catholic, as I recall -- but I believe the Julia Roberts and Annabeth Gish characters do have non-marital affairs of their own.

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Being that you won't accept any other "classic" film, (and I think Hollywood classics have always trumped the modern films in terms of romance... check out "Random Harvest" or "The Lady Eve")...

I did a search on IMDB and gathered from my memories which films were (1) good and (2) not morally offensive to your readers. Forgive me if my memories lag...

60s - 90s:

Princess Bride

Charade

West Side Story

My Fair Lady

Witness

Romeo & Juliet

Purple Rose of Cairo

Room with a View

Shadowlands

Present:

Count of Monte Cristo

Monsoon Wedding

The Road Home

In the Mood For Love

Mrs. Brown

Hope this helps!

Nick

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I'd also vote for When Harry Met Sally, There is stuff about pre-marital sex in it but then its going to be difficult to find a film, at least a modern day film, where sex doesn't come into it.

Also I wouldn't have put Life is Beautiful down as a Valentines day flick.

What about Punch Drunk Love? Its such a sweet film, and IMO the sexual content is far less problemmatic than it is in Amelie (which you did list).

Also I also saw the following last year:

The Importance of Being Earnest

An Ideal Husband

About a Boy

Some Like it Hot

Bridget Jones Diary

Matt

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Well, you asked for my favorites. Sorry.
I did -- after all, just because I had ulterior motives for starting the thread doesn't mean it has to be about just me and my needs. smile.gif
I'd also vote for When Harry Met Sally, There is stuff about pre-marital sex in it but then its going to be difficult to find a film, at least a modern day film, where sex doesn't come into it.
True. Lucky me, that's my job. smile.gif

Not that it can't have ANYTHING sexual in it... My Big Fat Greek Wedding did past muster, albeit barely... but bedroom scenes per se are very problematic (more problematic than nudity in a nonsexual context), and I have to be very attentive to overall moral considerations and what's likely to offend pious readers who don't see a lot of films.

What about Punch Drunk Love? Its such a sweet film, and IMO the sexual content is far less problemmatic than it is in Amelie (which you did list).
The phone sex scene alone would probably disqualify it.

More later...

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Crossing Delancey--Amy Irving's bubbe wants the neighborhood matchmaker to fix Amy up with a nice Jewish boy (Peter Riegert) who makes pickles in Brooklyn, but Amy thinks she's too intellectual and modern for him and goes after a poet (Jeroen Krabbe) from Manhattan or Greenwich Village or some arty neighborhood. The poet, of course, is an utter cad. Fortunately, Amy figures out that one's job is not what makes a person romantic. Funny & romantic; no pre-marital sex--if I recall correctly. Rated PG, so it must be very discreet.

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Cyrano de Bergerac.

...which brings to mind ROXANNE.

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Cyrano de Bergerac.

...which brings to mind ROXANNE.

I SECOND ROXANNE!!! One of the most joyous modern romantic comedies... ever!! Fred Schescpie's best.

Nick

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Roxanne is a fun flick... but my predecessor at the Register already did it.

Has anyone seen both / either the 1990 or the 1950 Cyrano? Any specific comments?

Crossing Delancey
Haven't seen this one yet, but it looks like a possibility. (The U.S. bishops OFB reports some nonmarital sex and "rough language" which I believe is code language for the F-word, but it sounds restrained enough to be worth a look.)

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This was mentioned briefly but deserves another mention: 'The Road Home' is a sweet, simple, beautiful PG love story from China.

Also, 'Bram Stokers Dracula' is terribly romantic.

And 'Solaris' is tragically romantic.

'As good as it gets'

And don't hurt me for saying this, "Serendipity'.

'Titanic'

Baz'z 'Romeo and Juliet'

'Happenstance'

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Haven't seen the 1950 Cyrano. The 1990 Depardieu version is the one I was thinking of -- a stunning film and romantic to the nth degree. Can't think of anything offensive about it, other than that it's in French and I don't know how well your group will handle subtitles. I will admit I first thought of Roxanne , which is a sweet film with only a couple of embarrassing bits (e.g., "Can I fluff your pillows?") -- but it doesn't hold a candle to the real thing.

I remember liking Crossing Delancey a good deal.

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