10. Pride and Prejudice (1940)
Sir Laurence Olivier was one of the few actors in comparison to Clark Gable and Cary Grant that had the presence to dominate a scene. His charm, wit and pure model-like looks made him a perfect romantic lead. Partnering in the romantic world of Jane Austen, this film brought us back to a time of simplicity, aristocracy and the proper behavior of the elite. This is a charming film headlining the beauty of Greer Garson and the charm of Laurence Olivier in a love story between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Clearly, this is one for the ages.
9. King Kong (1933)
Only the beauty of a lady could tame the wild beast. In this timeless classic of Ape loves woman, King Kong brings the world of fantasy and romance together as one. With the backdrops of the wild and the streets of New York City with a culmination at the top of the Empire State Building, King Kong is a story full of drama and suspense, but in the end it is a true tale of love conquering all. At the conclusion, it is King Kong who makes the ultimate sacrifice for the one he loves.
8. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
What can you say about Harry and Sally?
They love each other
They hate each other
They love each other
They hate each other…Wait isn’t that what love is all about.
What other movie takes you from Chicago to New York, follows two individuals through friendship, marriage and divorce, throws in a public orgasm, a virtual date of Casablanca and still leaves you teary eyed as they realize their unconditional love for each other on New Year’s Eve.
Meet Harry and Sally, the truest of opposite attracts tales.
7. Casablanca (1942)
Perhaps one of the most quoted movies of all time. Perhaps one of the most memorable endings of all time. Perhaps one of the greatest film love songs of all time. Perhaps one of the most beautiful shots of Ingrid Bergman or any actress of all time. A classic and one of the greatest films of all time.
Humphrey Bogart’s Rick had it all. He had his bar, the partnership of the police, the fine suits and the tortured soul of a man who lost the love of his life who he met one fateful weekend in Paris. Now, “of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.”
Rick is once again faced with the ultimate challenge, fight for the love of his life or let her go once again to let her be with the man who is fighting for a cause and peace in the middle of an insane war.
Casablanca will go down as the poster child of unrequited love stories.
6. Before Sunrise (1995)
Richard Linklater has masterful skill in his films about making them about his characters. He takes the complexity of humanity and gives it a heart and allows the audience to feel and connect with each of his films actors. He is a true orator who scripts a piece of ourselves in many of his infamous characters.
Celine and Jesse were two young travelers from different worlds who found each other due to coincidental circumstance on a train in Western Europe. As we follow these two strangers for the next 18 hours through the streets of Vienna, we are taken in by the beauty of the Austrian culture and land and absorbed by the complexity of a French girl and American boy confused by love and cultural difference. In the end, we are left to our own accord to determine the future of their relationship. Ten years later, Before Sunset re-united Celine and Jesse on the screen but what happened to them in between?
5. Notting Hill (1999)
Richard Curtis has a knack for writing great romantic comedies (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, War Horse and Bridget Jones Diary) and Notting Hill is no exception. Having Julia Roberts cast as one of the most popular actresses in the world was a brilliant bit of casting while Hugh Grant as the bumbling specialty book store owner was a fine compliment. This is a wonderfully scripted story about two unlikely people from different sides of the pond finding each other and fighting off not only the paparazzi but their own self inflicted prejudices about their lifestyle choices. Though the ending is what the audience expected, the supporting cast added some fresh comedy and quirky behavior to their courtship.
4. Love Story (1970)
What began as a short story for Readers Digest became one of the most beloved tragic romances of all time. Nominated for seven Oscars, Love Story has become one of the most touching examples of young unconditional love. Jennifer and Oliver came from different backgrounds, one from money and one from humble upbringings, but when true love finds you, nothing will stop you including making ultimate sacrifices for what you know in your heart is true. If you have not seen Love Story, bring tissues. You will need them.
3. Life is Beautiful (1997)
When you think of the Holocaust, there are few happy or positive things you can take away from this historic time period. Robert Benigni took one of the most darkness moments in world history and found the light. Separated, hungry, scared and trapped in concentration camps surrounded by barbed wire and the threat of torture and death each and every day, Benigni used the love of his wife and child to hold on to hope. Hope that one day they would all be together again, free. He never stopped believing that the miracle of love was stronger than any gun or soldier. With each scene his smile and laughter brought a glimmer of sunshine to his son, himself, his fellow captives and the audience. Truly a must see for those that believe love is the strongest weapon of happiness.
2. Love Actually (2003)
Take Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Rowan Atkinson, Billy Bob Thornton, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Denise Richards and you better have a great story. Add in the mixed sub plots of a new Prime Minister of England, porn stand ins, a lustful secretary, a writer, caterer that is obsessed with the US, a love struck boy who learns drums to impress a girl, an aging rock star and a widow who buried his wife to the songs of the Bay City Rollers and you have a melting pot waiting to explode. Somehow, Richard Curtis and company not only made this a reality, but made it into a beloved story of lives inter-mingling with one common goal: the pursuit of love. This story will make you believe over and over and over again.
1. True Romance (1993)
Not many lists will have a Quentin Tarantino and Tony Scott film at the top of a Best Romantic Films list. Especially one that would make Pulp Fiction look like a PG-13 film, but it made the top of this one.
Following a story of drug trafficking, embezzlement, torture, death and revenge, Clarence Worley and Alabama Whitman found true love. When an introverted comic book manager meets a virginal prostitute, the results would not typically end well. Maybe it was loneliness or the common bond they shared being isolationists in this crazy world or just the chemical reaction that is injected into those few couples that find love at the moment they lay eyes on each other. In the most unconventional of meetings and truly a journey of redemption, it is Clarence and Alabama’s love that not only keeps them together but keeps them alive.
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
It Happened One Night (1934)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
The Way We Were (1973)
Annie Hall (1977)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Phantom of the Opera (1925)
City Lights (1931)