Valentine’s Day is upon us and if you want to experience some traditional romance this weekend rather than just filling your trolley with the usual heart-shaped Valentines merchanise, read on for this list of the best movies about love (as chosen by the Watkins Publishing office).
From classic romantic dramas like Casablanca, to Jean Cocteau’s dreamlike scenario in La Belle et la Bête and Jean-Luc Godard’s classic masterpiece Le Mepris, here are our 15 best Valentine’s Day movies. What are your favourites?
Adapted from French play Cyrano de Bergerac, large nosed C.D. Bales falls for the beautiful Roxanne, while she falls for his personality but another man’s looks in this witty, intelligent and brave American romantic comedy. Directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah and Rick Rossovich. Image from alchetron.com.
Il postino: The postman (1994)
Directed by Michael Radford, Il postino: The postman is a masterpiece and it was the last movie of great actor/filmmaker Massimo Troisi, who died a few hours after filming the final scene. Starring Mario Ruoppolo, an unemployed and uneducated inhabitant of a small Italian isle whose life completely changes when he is hired as a postman by poet Pablo Neruda, played by Philippe Noiret.
Romantics Anonymous (2010)
When sweet and talented chocolate maker Angélique meets Jean-René, the boss of a small chocolate factory, life takes them in a direction they never imagined before. Despite their pathological shyness, when they start to work together they find a way to express their attraction to each other. With Isabelle Carré and Benoît Poelvoorde. Image from Youtube
I Know Where I’m Going (1945)
We all think we know who we love and what love is, until it truly takes us over and turns the whole world upside down. A late wartime classic, which beautifully evokes a sense of place on the very edge of the British isle. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and starring Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey and George Carney. Image from Pinterest.
Young teen Juno MacGuff has to face an unplanned pregnancy and struggles with her emotions towards her child’s father and towards the couple she chooses to adopt her unborn child, a failed rock star and his wife. Starring Ellen Page, Jennifer Garner and directed by Jason Reitman.
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Set in a glamorous Parisian nightclub, Baz Luhrmann’s depiction of 19th century Paris is romantic, tragic and fascinating, where a young poet falls in love with Satine, the club’s most notorious and beautiful star. Starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.
Michael Curtiz’s classic masterpiece, a romantic drama starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and set in the early days of World War II. Image from tumblr.
500 Days of Summer (2009)
Greeting-card writer Tom is dumped by his girlfriend and starts to reflect upon their 500 days together. American romantic comedy-drama directed by Marc Webb, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Image from 500days.com
Philadelphia Story (1940)
What happens when a society wedding is threatened by scandal? An effervescent romantic comedy directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, John Howard and James Stewart.
Le Mepris (1967)
Adapted from Alberto Moravia’s novel, this is Jean-Luc Godard’s classic masterpiece about the destructive relationship between novelist/screenwriter Paul Javal and his beautiful wife Camille. Reality and fiction are intertwined in a real conflict between artistic expression and commercial opportunity. Starring Brigitte Bardot, Michele Piccoli, Jack Palance and Fritz Lang. Image from Pinterest
The Apartment (1960)
What happens when the personal and the professional intersect? C.C. Baxter finds himself in an awkward situation when he finds himself sharing a girlfriend with his boss. Starring the astonishing Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon, this classic love story is awkward, funny and flirtatious.
Brief Encounter (1945)
David Lean’s romantic classic about a love story between the suburban housewife Laura Jesson and doctor Alec Harvey. The cast includes Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard and Stanley Holloway.
Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
Renee Zellweger’s astonishing performance of a British woman in her early 30s who struggles to find the perfect love. Funny, sweet and awkward, she keeps track of her thoughts writing them in her personal diary. Directed by Sharon Maguire, with Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.
La Belle e la Bête (1946)
Adapted from the traditional fairy tale, Jean Cocteau’s La belle e la bête is one of the most poetic and dreamlike films of all times. The story of a gentle beast and a beautiful girl that turns into a surreal vision of death, desire, and beauty. Starring Jean Marais, Josette Day and Mila Parély.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Set in the summer of 1965, a peaceful island community off the coast of New England is turned upside down by a natural calamity that is approaching the island. The love story of two twelve-year-old runaways intersects with a community of quirky adults. Directed by Wes Anderson and starring Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray and Edward Norton. Image from youtube.
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