Today: April 21, 2024

Valentine’s Day Movies – Ten Of The Best

WARNING: If your stomach turns over at the thought of romance and Valentine’s Day then click away now. No? Ok but you’ve been warned. Light the candles, draw the curtains and snuggle up with your significant other as Janet Leigh shares her Top Ten slushy, gushy, soppy love films that’ll make you all giddy this V Day.

While You Were Sleeping
An oldie but a goodie and definitely the right way to kick off this top ten list. In this goofy rom-com, lonely Lucy (Sandra Bullock) finds herself accidentally engaged to a comatose guy she’s never even spoken to. If that isn’t wacky enough, she then falls for his brother Jack (Bill Pullman). If love is a rollercoaster ride, then Lucy’s journey is one with many twists and turns that ultimately lead the two lovebirds right where they’re meant to be – in each other’s arms.

It was the film that put Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves firmly on the Hollywood map. Though they’d both enjoyed success before – Reeves with Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bullock in Demolition Man – Speed gave both their careers a high-octane boost. Speed might not be on every romantics V Day viewing list but it’s worth remembering that despite the high speed chases and mad bombers, the story hinges on the chemistry between Jack Traven (Reeves) and Annie Porter (Bullock). Together they must prevent a bomb from exploding aboard a bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph. Even after 14 years Speed still gets the heart racing and the adrenaline pumping.

The Notebook (Main Picture)
It’s been ten years since Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) first professed his undying love for long lost sweetheart Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) on the big screen and it went a little something like this…

“I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me.”

Today, The Notebook is still as fresh as it’s ever been. It certainly falls into a few romantic clichéd potholes from time to time (e.g. the passionate kiss in the rain) but when Gosling and McAdams put on a show there’s nothing hackneyed about it. Leaving you with the words of one Mr. Calhoun “it wasn’t over, it still isn’t over” and neither is the magic of this movie.

He’s Just Not That into You
This was the movie that revolutionised dating, or rather it said out loud what no woman wanted to hear: if he plays hard to get, shows no interest, doesn’t call…He’s Just Not That Into You. Imagine people’s surprise then, when unlucky in love Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) discovered that her love interest Alex (Justin Long) was very into her, despite that fact that his signals screamed the complete the opposite. So what of the new found revelation…? It’s ok, Alex explains – some people are an exception to the rule and she’s one of them. Somebody cue the ‘ahhhhhh’ sound bite.

It was love at first half-hearted suicide attempt. Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) spots Rose (Kate Winslet) tittering on the ships’ ledge and after talking her down, saving her life and almost being arrested for assault sparks begin to fly. It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s Day without the Rose throwing caution aside and embracing her short-lived destiny with the dashing vagabond.

Django Unchained
Again,  not a traditional slushy choice for V-Day and for obvious reasons. With all the violence and gore it doesn’t exactly slot neatly into the romance category. But given the chance you’ll see that Django is packed with plenty of the slushy stuff. If you toss aside the several murders, and the ocean full of blood spilt, and get right to the heart of things you’ll find a film driven by love. A simple man (Django played by Jamie Foxx) with a not so simple task. Django risks life and limb – literally – to be reunited with the woman he loves.  Nothing screams love like the willingness to die for one’s other half wouldn’t you say?

When Harry Met Sally
Everyone remembers the ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ scene but there’s more to this movie than fake orgasms across the lunch table. Take one uptight slightly neurotic girl, let’s call her Sally (Meg Ryan) and one laid back, frank kind of guy, called Harry (Billy Crystal) toss in some friendship and shake it all up. What you’ll end up with is a platter of squabbles, bad relationships and false starts, as they struggle with the question can a man and a woman ever be just friends? There are tons of laughs to be had as the two try to navigate their way through a friendship without, as Harry puts it, “the sex thing getting in the way.”

Gone With The Wind
Drama is rife in this 1939 flick in which Vivian Leigh’s character Scarlett O’Hara can bare many hardships, including war, but struggles to cope when the man she loves intends on marrying another.  Scarlett’s jealousy steers the course of her love life causing her to make a rash decision and delaying her from a truer romance with the dashing Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). You can’t go wrong with this timeless classic. If nothing else you’ll take away with you one valuable life lesson, which is, in the words of Mr. Gable himself, “You should be kissed, and often, and by someone that knows how.”

Brokeback Mountain
It’s all clandestine kisses and secret rendezvous when an unbreakable bond forms between Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger).  Their beautifully complex love affair spans decades as their relationship struggles to survive behind closed doors. Brokeback Mountain is heavy-duty kind of epic love story … keep those tissues close to hand.

Romeo and Juliet – Baz Luhrmann style
As if there could ever be a Top Ten of romantic movies list that didn’t include the heart and sole of the romance genre; Romeo and Juliet. A love caught between two feuding families given no room to grow, heart-breaking yes, permission to weep granted. Warring enemies, duels at every turn, with passion interwoven. Leonardo DiCaprio of course does Romeo justice as does Claire Danes with her exquisite portrayal of Juliet. Baz Luhrmann gives the classic a fresh lick of paint with a more modernised slant. The old English tongue against a background of cars and guns works wonders. A fab watch.

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