10 romantic movies — eclectic picks sure to melt your heart
It's Valentines Day, in case your haven't checked the calendar, Facebook or Twitter today.
We know a lot of folks dress up and head out to dinner and a movie tonight. There are some great romantic choices in the theater now — among them the award-winning "The Shape of Water."
But if you take your romance snuggling on the couch at home with your love and a big bowl of popcorn, I've a few suggestions. These are all streaming or on cable or in the bargain bin of DVDs at your favorite brick and mortar.
These are in the proverbial "no particular" order, with synopsis culled from various sources: vanityfair.com, usmagazine.com, imdb.com.
Put on your comfy clothes, pour a glass of wine. settle in with your sweetie and get ready to fall in love all over again.
"The Wedding Singer" — 1998
Set in 1985, Adam Sandler plays a nice guy with a broken heart who's stuck in one of the most romantic jobs in the world, a wedding singer. He loses all hope when he is abandoned at the altar by his fiancé, Linda. He meets a young banquet waitress named Julia (Drew Barrymore), who enlists his help to plan her wedding. He falls in love with her and must win her over before she gets married. Spoiler alert: He does. Bonus points to the the adorable rapping wedding granny. Best cameo: 1980's pop/punk icon Billy Idol, of course. See also "50 First Dates."
"Valentine's Day" — 2010
A romantic movie list for your Valentine wouldn't be complete without this one. Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts are among the legion of stars who appear in this ensemble comedy about Los Angelenos couples and singles who break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day. Sound just a little depressing? Nah ... it's directed by the great Garry Marshall. Need I say more? See also "New Year's Day."
"When Harry Met Sally" — 1989
Audiences fell in love with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal's tale of two New Yorkers who fear that having sex would ruin their friendship. The Rob Reiner directed movie sparked a catchphrase, "I'll have what she's having." Sweet, funny and lovely ... this one posesses the true trifecta of a romantic comedy. See also "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail."
"Armageddon" — 1998
If you take your romance with a side of testosterone, the Michael Bay-directed "Armageddon" is the one for you. After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, NASA recruits a misfit team of deep-core drillers — Bruce Willis, Ben Afleck, Steve Buscemi, Michael Duncan Clark and Will Patton among them — to save the planet. Oh and did we mention Liv Tyler is both the daughter and a girlfriend of team members? And that soaring Aerosmith anthem? Grab the tissues, it's gonna get dusty. See also "Top Gun."
"BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN" — 2005
It's testament to our increasing enlightenment that this movie about the secret love affair between two cowboys ranks 12th among the highest-grossing romantic dramas of all time. It's a heartbreaker. The late Heath Ledger, in the role of Ennis Del Mar, underplays stoicism—which takes some doing. No one can know him because he hardly knows himself, except for one thing: he knows that he loves Jack Twist. Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack is less frightened by their love. He wears his heart, well, not on his sleeve but close at hand. And he has a vision of the life they could have together. But Ennis can't go there. So close, so far. Their two shirts in the closet—one over the other on a single hanger—embody everything, profoundly. See also "Carol."
"The Sound of Music" — 1965
A tuneful, heartwarming story, it is based on the real life story of the Von Trapp Family singers, one of the world's best-known concert groups in the era immediately preceding World War II. Julie Andrews plays the role of Maria, the tomboyish postulant at an Austrian abbey who becomes a governess in the home of a widowed naval captain with seven children, and brings a new love of life and music into the home. She also captures the heart of Christoper Plummer's stoic Captain von Trapp as they escape the Nazis. See also "Mary Poppins."
"Hope Floats" — 1998
Birdee Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) has been humiliated on live television by her best friend, who's been sleeping with Birdee's husband. Birdee tries starting over with her daughter, by returning to her small Texas hometown to live with her mom (Gena Rowlands), but she's faced with petty old acquaintances who are thrilled to see Birdee unhappy — except for her friend Justin (Harry Connick Jr.). As he helps Birdee get back on her feet, love begins to blossom. This movie features my all-time quote (which may or may not explains why it made this list of romantic favorites): "Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will." It's a sweet little flick with pretty people and a lotta heart, win-win my book. See also "The Proposal."
"Ghost" — 1990
Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) is a banker, Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) is an artist, and the two are madly in love. However, when Sam is murdered by friend and corrupt business partner over a shady business deal, he is left to roam the earth as a powerless spirit. When he learns of Carl's betrayal, Sam must seek the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) to set things right and protect Molly from Carl and his goons. In 1991, Goldberg won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. I know, I know ... doesn't sound romantic on the surface ... lest your forget that pottery wheel scene? And Sam's departure for heaven? Sniff, sniff. See also "Dirty Dancing."
"Titanic" — 1999
James Cameron's "Titanic" is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic, the largest moving object ever built. She was the most luxurious liner of her era — the "ship of dreams" — which ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912. Love it or hate it, the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson and Kate Winslet as Rose Dewitt Bukater, is synonomous with Celine Dion's signature "My Heart Will Go On." I think there was most certainly room for Jack on that door. See also "Pride & Prejudice."
"Say Anything" — 1989
In a charming, critically acclaimed tale of first love, Lloyd (John Cusack), an eternal optimist, seeks to capture the heart of Diane (Ione Skye), an unattainable high-school beauty and straight-A student. It surprises just about everyone when she returns the sentiment. But Diane's overly possessive, divorced father (the late, great John Mahoney) doesn't approve and it will take more than the power of love to conquer all. And who among us hasn't wished for boombox-toting boy outside of our bedroom window? See also "Pretty in Pink" and "Sixteen Candles."
Jonna Miller is the Tribune-Review assistant features editor. Reach her at 724-850-1270, email@example.com or via Twitter @JLMiller_Trib.