Thursday, 20 June 2013

Top 10 Greatest Romance Films of All Time

This is my first Top 10 ever! What better way to start this new monthly tradition than to kick it off with my Top 10 Favorite Romance Films of All Time. If there are any I've missed, sound off in the comments.

Honorable Mentions:
Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010)

Under the Hawthorn Tree absolutely broke my heart. The chemistry that Jing and Sun have is so natural. I found myself hanging on their every action and decision. What can I say? It was an extremely romantic relationship. The problem is that they fell in love during a time where you had to slave away in order to keep your head above water. This is the only movie that has ever made me projectile cry!

The English Patient (1996)

Some say that the romance in The English Patient was 'cold.' I found that Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott Thomas had electric chemistry, making this one of the most heart-breaking romances I've ever seen. The music, cinematography and performances were all spectacular, but nothing was more beautiful than the story.

Gone With the Wind (1939)

The whirlwind romance of Scarlett O'hara and Rhett Butler is easily one of the most entertaining, heart-breaking, and greatest in the genre. When he says "You need to be kissed, and kissed often," my heart just melts. It's an unconventional romance, but one of the most memorable on-screen couples of all time.

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

One quote has immortalized this movie forever. "This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime." There is one particular scene that had me crying harder than I ever have in a romance film. That is when Clint Eastwood is standing in the rain, crying and heartbroken. I didn't expect to like this movie, and I came out in love with it. Oh, I also fell in love with Clint Eastwood.

Ghost (1990)

Yet another film that had me bawling my eyes out crying at the end. The romance between Molly and Sam was so beautiful. His final goodbye at the end just tore my heart to shreds. Not to mention, the pottery scene these two shared was so raunchy and romantic. It's a scene that no one will ever forget!

Harold and Maude (1971)

Perhaps the most unconventional of all romances, seeing as she's a granny and he's just a young man. Their friendship, connection, care and love for each other is what makes this one of the greatest romances of all time. Ruth Gordon and Bud Hort had such powerful chemistry, making this a heartfelt and eye-opening piece of cinema.

Moulin Rouge (2001)

It's quite simple, really. That one song is so powerfully romantic, it just tears me to pieces every time. That song is of course 'Come What May.' "Come what may, I will love you, until my dying days." Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman are mesmerizing, convincing, and everything good with the world in Moulin Rouge.

The Piano (1993)

While many will disagree with me about The Piano, I found the relationship between Ada and George to be wonderously beautiful. It starts with their sordid love affair being "wretched," but they slowly fall in love with one another and begin to miss each other's company. It was unexpected, but Hunter and Keitel bring these characters to life with their powerful chemistry and perfect performances.  

The Sound of Music (1965)

Ahh, I could swoon over Christopher Plummer all night! There's something so romantic about a Nun falling in love. What makes it more romantic is that her love changes a hard man into a loving person. The Sound of Music is undeniably romantic, with Andrews and Plummer making the perfect couple.

The Top 10

10. The African Queen (1951)

This is one of the most awe-inspiring romances in movie history. Rose and Charlie started out imposing on each other, disliking that they have to share a boat. As they make their way down a rapid river in Africa, they have to work together in order to survive. Slowly they start to like each other, learning to compromise in order to please one another. By the end of the film, I was so entranced by their love and devotion that I couldn't stop smiling. Bogart and Hepburn had magnificent chemistry, making this one of the greatest movies of all time, let alone greatest romance.

9. In the Mood for Love (2000)

This was the first ever Chinese film I have ever seen, and my god did it make an impact. To be perfectly honest, it showed me what true romance could be like. The connection between Su and Chow was just so touching, my heart was completely hooked on their relationship. What makes it truly romantic however is the way they enjoy each other's company. They connect through their spouses cheating on each other, and leave us in awe of the impact they've left on us.

8. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Mrs. Pott's said it perfectly. It's a tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme, but it's done to perfection in Disney's most magnificent achievement. That is Beauty and the Beast. A prince that judges people based on their appearance is cursed to be a beast until he falls in love with a girl who loves him back. This story alone makes it one of the most romantic movies ever made. It is the scene where Belle and The Beast dance together in the grand-hall that makes this film one of the most mesmerizing, romantic movies of all time.

7. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Not only is Pride and Prejudice one of the most romantic novels of all time, it's also one of the most stunning romances in all of cinema. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are arguably the greatest couple in the history of the genre. I wouldn't dispute this either. The connection that they have is electric. When he proclaims his love to her, "You have bewitched me, body and soul," I literally giggle like a school girl. It's one of the most beautiful lines in movie history. In fact, it's one of the most beautiful lines in the history of communication!

6. Lost in Translation (2003)

To me, there is nothing more romantic than natural chemistry. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson go beyond acting in this film. They ARE Bob and Charlotte, and their romance comes across as very much 'real.' I'd go as far as to say they have the best on-screen chemistry ever. Both of their lives seem to be falling apart at the seams, but then they meet each other. Together, they run around Tokyo doing all sorts of hilarious stuff, yet there's always an electric sexual chemistry between them. They bring light and life into each other's lives, which is what makes this one of my all time favorite movies.

5. Titanic (1997)

This may shock you, but Titanic is my personal favorite movie of all time. The romance of Jack and Rose is a classic that will always rank up there with the very best. Who doesn't love the simple story of a poor boy that falls for a rich, aristocratic girl. However, Titanic goes so much further with their relationship. There are more romantic scenes in this movie than any other I can think of. From "I'm Flying", to "Draw me like one of your French girls," and the most heart-wrenching of all, "I'll never let go Jack." Winslet and DiCaprio have a raw and powerful chemistry, making this easily one of the greatest romances of all time.

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Kate Winslet makes my list again, but in a more heart-breaking and realistic romance with Jim Carrey. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind shows you how the good memories of a relationship vastly outweigh the bad. When Joel decides to erase his ex-girlfriend Clementine from his memory, he realizes that he doesn't ever want to let these memories go. He chases them down one by one, as we relive them with him, and we see the sheer amount of love that these two shared for each other once. They're complete opposites and they fight like crazy, but they're more intimate and realistic than almost any other screen couple in the history of cinema. This movie made me cry a lot and showed me that I should always cherish my relationships, both present and past.

3. Brief Encounter (1945)

Now we're really hitting masterpiece territory. Brief Encounter displays adultery not as an evil, disgusting sin. What we're seeing is one of the most beautiful and tragic romances of all time between a middle aged man and woman that both families. Celia Johnson gives one of the most heart-wrenching performances of all time in this role, because she loves this man so much that it hurts. When they break off their romance, she says "I had no thoughts at all. Only an overwhelming desire not to feel anything ever again." It's so powerful, so real, THAT'S HOW HEARTBREAK FEELS! They captured heartache in that simple statement. Not to mention, Trevor Howard is such a sweet and beautiful man in this film. It never fails to make me shed a tear. A true classic romance.

2. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

If you're a homophobe, then stop reading now. Some people can't see the genius and subtlety in Brokeback Mountain, but it comes across plain and clear to me. It's so much more than a 'gay-cowboy film.' These two men have had to suppress who they are their whole lives. Ennis and Jack fall in love while sheep-driving over Brokeback Mountain one summer. When they first leave each other, Ennis' stomach hurt so much that he tried to vomit it out. Little did he know that his heart was broken. My favorite scene is when Jack is sleeping whilst standing up, and Ennis hugs him from behind and sways with him gently. They don't utter a single word, because everything is said just by touching each other. The finale, the very end of Brokeback Mountain, is in my opinion the saddest moment in the history of romantic-cinema. When Ennis says "Jack, I swear", I cried for god knows how long. No, it's not just a 'gay-cowboy romance,' but more 'one of the greatest romances of all time.'

1. Casablanca (1942)

Yes ladies and gentleman, Casablanca got to me too! This is the greatest love-triangle of all time, the greatest romance of all time, and in my opinion, the greatest movie ever made! You can't beat the chemistry between Bergman and Bogart. You can't beat the lines "Here's looking at you, kid," "We'll always have Paris," and "The problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world." You can't beat the impossible situation that is the love-triangle! Where Ilsa must choose whether to stay with Victor for the good of the world, or follow her heart and go with Rick. When "As Time Goes By" plays, I get chills. I've seen this movie countless times, and it still gives me chills! You know what truly makes this The Greatest Romance of All Time? It's the way the ending always shocks and breaks my heart. Every single time I watch this movie I find myself wishing and wanting for a different outcome. I know what's for the best, but I can't help but get heart-broken over it. This movie just gets to me in a way that no other film can. It's timeless, it's perfect, it's Casablanca!

Thank-you for putting up with my incoherent ramblings. As you can now tell, I'm a lover of all things romance. What did you think of my list? Sound off in the comments!

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  1. I see you go more for the tragic romance than the happy romance stories. I won't deny that they have an impact, nor that I've liked them, but when I watch a romantic movie I tend to prefer one where they end up together. My biggest agreements on your list are the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice and Casablanca. I don't really have any strong disagreements.

    One I might add is Shakespeare in Love.

    This may sound strange for a straight man to say, but I feel Brokeback Mountain would have been better if they had shown more intimacy in the film. After the initial sex scene there are maybe one or two kisses in the film. I didn't really feel a connection between the two. When they meet once a year the first thing they do is hug. I'm not saying they should have repeated the scene in the tent, but two long separated lovers would at least kiss, I would think. It wasn't until the scene where the shirts are found that I really felt the connection.

    1. I only just realised that my list is filled with tragic romances! Maybe because they make me feel stronger emotions than the average light-romance. (There are some light romances though, Beauty and the Beast and The Sound of Music).

      Shakespeare in Love didn't do much for me in the romance department, but I really like the movie regardless :)

      The first time I saw Brokeback Mountain, I didn't really care for it. There weren't many intimate scenes (which I looked forward to), and it just wasn't as exciting or romantic as I thought it would be. I've seen it about five times since, and I can honestly say that I think it's a perfect film. It's all about subtlety. It's all in their eyes, their slight smiles, and their excitement to see each other. I can't really put into words what I'm trying to say, all I know is that I think it was as intimate and passionate as it needed to be. (I've read the novel, and trust me, they injected way more passion and drama into the film... and they did an exceptional job at that).

      Not to mention, the kissing scene was one of, if not THE most passionate kiss I've ever seen on screen (IMO). :)

  2. Have you seen Comrades: Almost a Love Story with Maggie Cheung?

    (Cool site BTW)

    1. I haven't seen it, but I'm curious to watch it now. I adore Maggie Cheung. Thankyou :)

  3. Good to see TITANIC, Ghost and Moulin Rouge! here. I love those three. Also Brokeback Mountain is quite remarkable piece of work.