Valentine’s Day, February 14th, is near! In addition to the roses, candy and dinner, you need some warm fuzzy movies to watch as you snuggle up with your honey. Good love stories provide comedy, romance and in many cases – a good cry at the expense of someone else’s relationship. These classic movies provide superb story content without a lot of the distractions of dazzling technology that we get now in movies.
Have a great date night relaxing, as you enjoy the quality time you spend with your loved one watching these beloved Top Ten Tales of Amour:
10. On Golden Pond – To witness love transcend decades is a glorious sight. Whether we see it within our own families or in film as here, it holds promise for our own relationships. Not just relationships with our spouses, but also with our children. Two powerhouses of cinema, Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, gave us grace, humor and reason to believe in lifelong love. Watching the love and admiration between Fonda and his daughter Jane provides further credence to this great and wonderful love story.
9. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing – Determination to be with the one you love: the basic love story theme abounds here, spun in a mesmerizing way between two great actors. Jennifer Jones adorns the screen in anything she plays, but watching her with William Holden is spellbinding. Crossing racial barriers and adultery, this story finds you wanting this couple to overcome it all to be together. I watched it recently and actually wept hard, just as I had before when I’d first seen it. Highly recommended. It’s a fine cuddle-up and tissue movie.
8. Pillow Talk – A terrific love story does not have to make you cry. This flick with Rock Hudson and Doris Day is the classic screwball comedy full of mistaken identity, love and absolute hilarity. Swell soundtrack, especially the little ditty that reigns throughout the film in various versions! Also featuring Tony Randall and Thelma Ritter.
7. The Shop Around the Corner – James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. This was the inspiration for “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. That was good, but regarding that, as in many cases, nothing’s better than the original. No internet here, just good ol’ fashioned letter-writing and pen-pal life in a quaint little town in Budapest at Christmas. You’ll cry in your hot cocoa.
6. The Philadelphia Story – Stellar comedy that put Katharine Hepburn back at the top after an early stall in her career. Impossible to see how it wouldn’t have. This mini-soap opera tells the intertwining story of one of Philly’s most affluent families and the tabloid-filled lives they lead. Splendid dialogue and an abundance of delightful chemistry throughout the cast provide “a most beholden” piece of entertainment. With Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart (his Oscar win) and Ruth Hussey.
5. Love In The Afternoon – May-December romance takes the stage here along with fast-living, mischief and mistaken identities. Even a case of deception can’t keep Gary Cooper from falling in love with the young and beautiful Audrey Hepburn. Captivating music also helps to spin this engaging tale. The train station scene of this film presents a classic moment that many other romantic movies have attempted to duplicate. There has been no other to reach the emotion that this movie evokes.
4. It Happened One Night – What do you get with an heiress running away from an engagement and a hungry reporter trying to capture the story of the year? One of the best romantic comedies to ever hit the screen. Filled with risque, albeit now classic, moments for the 30s, this film warms the heart as you laugh. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert were quite a pair.
3. Casablanca – Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. This is the story that has it all for everyone. War, intrigue, suspense, gambling, song, romance and, of course, Paris.
2. The Bridges of Madison County – Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. I didn’t think the movie would make me cry as much as the book, but boy does it. It’s a love she has to keep in her heart for the rest of her life, but as she delivers the legacy of this love to her children after her death, it makes understanding its’ power much easier – somehow.
1. Wuthering Heights – Sir Lawrence Olivier and Merle Oberon. The story of Heathcliff, Cathy, and the wind of the Moors. Classic story of the burdened heart and, literally, undying love. The supreme tear-jerker. I still recall many years ago in college when some of my classmates and I went to an old movie house in town featuring this film. After the lights were turned on at the end of the movie, just about all of us in the audience continued to sniffle. (We laughed in embarrassment, too.) It is lovely and perfect for a snuggle on Valentine’s Day. It will give you the gratitude of knowing love in your life – always.
The original list of my top choices I had compiled was very long, but I want to also give mention to just a few more for you to consider:
Desk Set – The lovely chemistry of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy throughout the movie, especially in the library loft, gives me chills every time I see it. They couldn’t have hidden it even if they’d tried.
Brief Encounter – Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson. Considered the love story of all love stories. There’s obviously something that pulls at the heartstrings watching stories of unrequited love or, in this case, watching love bloom between the already spoken-for. Penned by Noel Coward and moving along the glorious soundtrack of Rachmaninoff, there’s no way to stay tear-free at the end of this movie.
Legends of the Fall – Brad Pitt, the west, the war and unrequited love. Grab at least two boxes of tissues.
When Harry Met Sally – one of my all-time favorites… Women and Men can be friends. However, these two were just destined for love,period.
Gone With The Wind – my top movie… but at four hours, I thought it a bit long to mention in the top 10. Don’t miss it though… romance, war, passion, Scarlett and Rhett…
Titanic – Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. It’s quite long also, but it’s the quintessential romantic tragedy. We all know the story, but no other film version grasped the romance and desperation as this. Coupled with Celine Dion’s crescendo in the theme song and the unending story that goes on (pardon me) through the necklace, you’ll still cry about it the next day when the song pops on the radio. It always has airplay at this time of year!
Be sure to get them in time for your Valentine’s Day celebration or anytime you want to spend a glorious date night with your sweetheart!