Whether you’re planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, there is no way you can escape your yearly exposure to pseudo-romantic content of all kinds.
Thankfully, we can always count on movies.
True, over the past few years, romance movies have been – in part rightly – associated with soppy and predictable rom-coms or Nicolas Sparks’ lazy and trite re-adaptations, but some of the most iconic movies of all time are actually love stories.
So, in case you’re looking to stay in on February 14th – with your date, friends or alone – worry not, we’ve selected ten of our favourite romantic movies of all time so all you have to do is pick:
The first installation of Richard Linklater’s “Before trilogy” is a pure gem. The story is extremely simple (there is basically no plot) but it’s filled with engaging dialogue and it’s an unapologetically romantic look at modern love. The chemistry between the two strangers walking the streets of Vienna and falling for each other, is also remarkably palpable and natural.
Celine: "If there's any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it's almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt."
Sydney Pollack’s 1995 reboot of Audrey Hepburn’s classic “Sabrina” is one the few cases in which the remake of a great movie is not a total disaster. Actually, thanks to radiant colours and charming performances by Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond (she doesn’t shine as much as Hepburn does but she’s still very good), make it as romantic and dreamy as the 1950s version.
Linus: "Something happened, it was a lie, and then it was a dream..."
“Casablanca” doesn’t need an introduction, it’s just one of the most romantic love stories ever told in the history of cinema – oh, and the film just happens to be an overall masterpiece that has captured generations of watchers and film makers all over the world.
Rick: “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine…”
One of the best adapted screenplays of its decade and arguably Hugh Grant’s most complex performance to date, “About a Boy” will make you both laugh out loud – Grant’s witty banter is at its best – cry, and reflect with its smart examination of loneliness and adult relationships. Plus, the soundtrack is amazing.
Will: "I am an island. I am bloody Ibiza!"
If no list of romantic movies is complete without a Julia Roberts’ film then “My Best Friend’s Wedding” is the obvious choice. The love triangle between Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney is extremely funny and well-acted but the film’s ending is bittersweet enough to make it kind of realistic and relatable. The cast singing “I say a little prayer” at the dining table is a classic!
Julianne: "Michael, I love you. I've loved you for nine years. I've just been too arrogant and scared to realize it, and, well, now, I'm just scared, so - I-realize this comes at a very inopportune time, but I really have this gigantic favor to ask of you. Choose me. Marry me. Let me make you happy. Oh, that sounds like three favors, doesn't it?"
What do you do when you get dumped but have no idea why? Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) reflects on the 500 days he spent with girlfriend Summer (Zoey Deschanel) in an offbeat and refreshing love story that touches upon life passions at large. Also, it came out in 2009, a dark period for romantic comedies, exceeding everyone’s expectations.
Rachel: "Just because she likes the same bizarre crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate."
Hong Kong director Wong Kaw-Wai’s repertory include some passionate and unique love stories, like the universally celebrated “In the Mood for Love”. His style is as vivid as ever in this story about two lovestruck policemen filmed in impressionistic motion. “Chungking Express” is definitely not a romantic comedy and it’s not even about a romance per se, but it deals with love and emotions in a unique way.
Cop663: "Did I leave the tap running, or is the apartment getting more tearful? I always thought it would cope okay. Didn't expect it to cry so much. When people cry, they can dry their eyes with tissues. But when an apartment cries, it takes a lot to mop it up."
“Say Anything...” is iconic of Generation X cinema and a 1980s cult, which, to be honest, are the main reasons why it’s so charming. However, the coming-of-age love story between Lloyd (John Cusack) and Diane (Ione Skye) is also heartfelt and passionate – one of the best of the decade.
Lloyd: "I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen."
This one is more recent but “Call me by Your Name” hands down deserves a spot on this list. The story of 17-year-old Elio and 24-year-old Oliver captures the torment, passion and erotism of a consuming love like few other movies do. Warning: be prepared to shed lots of tears.
Oliver: “Call me by your name, and I’ll call you by mine.”
“Lost in Translation” is about two lost people. In the lights and bustling sounds of contemporary Tokyo, Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) find each other and quickly develop a friendship that might be something more. Sofia Coppola’s story shows two strangers in a foreign land, who can save and help each other to find themselves again.
"Charlotte: I just don't know what I'm supposed to be."