Good Romance Movies

Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm

It shouldn’t be a mystery why good romance movies are so popular. Simply put: everyone likes to get a little from time to time, and when we’re not getting any, watching people on-screen get some is the next best thing. Oh, and women love to cuddle and stuff.

Many good romance movies are also referred to as “chick flicks,” as they draw crowds of middle-aged women looking to relive the days when the men in their lives actually acted like they gave a damn. Young women like these movie, too, as it allows them to fantasize about landing a man who’s rich and looks like Patrick Dempsey. That’s not going to happen, of course, but there’s always the dim hope of getting knocked up by a NBA superstar (or Evander Holyfield). Such is life.

Anyway…

gone-with-the-wind

If you’re looking for some good romance movies to pass the time (or to get you and your partner in the mood), here are a few that you’re sure to enjoy. I’ve tried to include a wide variety, including good romance movies from the ‘60s, good romance movies from the ‘70s, and so on. Be sure to let us know what you think about them in the comments section, or head over to our movie forum and start a whole new thread on the subject.

This list also assumes that you’ve already seen the following: Pretty Woman, Casablanca, It Happened One Night, Gone with the Wind, Love Story, When Harry Met Sally, and Titanic. If not, see these first, as they’re considered among the all-time best romantic movies.

Jersey Girl (1992) – No, I’m not talking about the Kevin Smith movie. This one stars Jami Gertz and Dylan McDermott. Gertz plays Toby Mastallone, a New Jersey schoolteacher desperately longing to look “like a city girl.” In other words, she wants to find herself a rich and attractive man and settle down. McDermott plays Sal, a slick yuppie who wants nothing to do with marriage. But when Toby decides to ram her clunker of a car into his BMW, it forces Sal to reevaluate his position on both women and romance. A sweet film with plenty of that Jersey attitude, it’s a little-known chick flick that definitely falls in the good romance movies category.

la-storyL.A. Story (1991) – A surprisingly witty romantic comedy starring Steve Martin as Harris K. Telemacher, a weatherman in L.A. looking for true love. Trapped in a loveless relationship with his current girlfriend (Marilu Henner), Harris starts getting advice from the city itself via freeway traffic condition signs. The film skewers life in America’s most shallow city at every turn, and that’s even reflected in the profession of the main character, since he’s a meteorologist in a city known for its predictable temperatures. Sarah Jessice Parker doesn’t look like she’s got an eating disorder (that would come later), and Richard E. Grant is dependable as always. A great film for fans of Steve Martin, although it’s nowhere near as zany as earlier films like The Jerk or The Man with Two Brains.

Children of Paradise (1945) – Described as the French answer to Gone with the Wind, this film was made during the Nazi occupation of France. Set in the Parisian theatre scene of the 1830s, Children of Paradise revolves around a courtesan and the four men who compete for her affections: an aristocrat, an actor, a mime, and a criminal. Yep, you know it’s a French film when a mime is involved in a romantic plot. Each male role is based on an actual person from the time period being depicted, and French critics voted it the greatest French film ever made in a 1995 poll. Martyrs may have bumped it off the list since then, but I’m not sure (just kidding). But get comfortable if you’re going to watch it, as the uncut version runs just over three hours. Believe me, its worth it.

sophia-lorenIt Started in Naples (1960) – The last film to be released while Clark Gable was alive, It Started in Naples is a romantic comedy starring the mustachioed one and Italian beauty Sophia Loren. Gable plays an attorney just days away from being married who travels to Naples to settle his dead brother’s estate. Once there, he meets Lucia, a smokin’ cabaret singer played by Loren. The two fall in love despite age and cultural differences, and you can probably guess that everything works out in the end. A fitting final film for Gable, although The Misfits would still be released after his death.

Chungking Express (1994) – Considered by many critics as perhaps the best contemporary Asian film, Chungking Express tells two different stories of romance and policemen. In the first, a cop gives his recently-ended relationship exactly one month to start anew. Meanwhile, a woman in a blonde wig struggles with the difficulties of being part of the criminal underworld. The second story involves a policemen known only as Cop 663, and he’s dealing with the end of his relationship to a flight attendant. A girl at a local snack bar falls for him, and yet another romance is explored in the city of Hong Kong. Filmed in a highly energetic style, this is a worthwhile romance which may require more than one viewing to fully appreciate. It’s worth it, and the 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes should prove it.

open-rangeOpen Range (2003) – Sure, it’s a western first and foremost, but Open Range also features a romantic subplot that’s bound to tug the heartstrings of middle-age women everywhere. While cattlemen Charley Waite (Kevin Costner) and “Boss” Spearman (Robert Duvall) butt heads with a local land baron (Michael Gambon), the lonely Charley also takes a shine to Susan Barlow (Annette Bening), the sister of the town doctor. The two express their feelings for one another, but Charley will first have to survive an impending shootout with the villains before he can settle down and start a new life. Ask yourself, would I really put it on the list if he got gunned down? There’s also great on-screen chemistry between Costner and Duvall, and the climatic showdown is one of the best-staged gunfights in years.

Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) – Drew Barrymore stars in a retelling of the Cinderella story, this time with more modern sensibilities. Sure, it’s still set in olden times, but some of the music used is anything but ancient. The supporting cast includes Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Megan Dodds, and Melanie Lynskey. If you’re looking for a Cinderella tale that doesn’t feature talking animals and fairy godmothers, then this is the one for you. Plus, Leonardo da Vinci gets in on the action, which is something we don’t see enough of in today’s good romance movies.

never-been-kissedNever Been Kissed (1999) – Drew Barrymore once again makes the list, this time as a 25-year-old copy-editor for the Chicago Sun-Times named Josie Geller. Desperate to become a reporter, she accepts an assignment to return undercover to high school and write about what she sees. Of course, Josie wasn’t very popular her first time through the public school system, so she struggles constantly to rise above the dreaded geek status with the help of her friends. Meanwhile, she begins to develop an attraction to one of her teachers, but he thinks she’s 17 and initially wants to stay away. Amusingly, the drop-dead gorgeous Leelee Sobieski plays one of the school’s geeks. Man, I’d sure love to see the real-life school where the geeky girls look like that. Co-stars include David Arquette, Molly Shannon, Marley Shelton, John C. Reilly, Garry Marshall, James Franco and Jessica Alba.

Harold and Maude (1971) – If you’re looking for an offbeat romantic tale, then look no further than Harold and Maude. Harold (Bud Cort) is a 19-year-old who enjoys tormenting his mother with fake suicide attempts when he’s not visiting the funerals of complete strangers. During one of these outings, he meets Maude, a 79-year-old hellraiser who steals cars, drives like a maniac, and generally lives each day like it could be her last. They become friends and later lovers, much to the horror of Harold’s upper-class mother. A bizarre blend of black humor and drama, it’s nonetheless a thoroughly entertaining and original work of art.

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) – Antonio Banderas and Victoria Abril star in this complicated Spanish film about sex and how it affects personal relationships. Banderas plays a mentally unstable man who becomes obsessed with Marina, a former porn star and recovering heroin addict. He kidnaps her with the intention of making her love him, and thus begins their strangely romantic yet completely unhealthy affair. Not for the faint of heart, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! features graphic sexual content, and it received a NC-17 rating in the United States. Still, if you’re looking for a film which will both excite and challenge, you could do a whole lot worse.

And while we’re on the subject of good romance movies, here are a few to stay away from:

city-of-angelsCity of Angels (1998) – Meg Ryan plays a compassionate doctor (those still exist?), and Nicholas Cage is an angel who watches over humanity and helps to guide them to the afterlife. When he finds himself developing feelings for her, he must choose between remaining apart or sacrificing his immortality to be with her. Most of the movie is what you’d expect from a chick flick, but the climax will totally piss off anyone who seeks out good romance movies with happy endings. After he becomes mortal and sleeps with her for one night, Cage’s angel promptly loses her when she runs her bicycle into a logging truck the next morning. Sure, he’s thankful for the one night they spent together, but give me a freakin’ break!

Brainsmasher…A Love Story (1993) – Andrew Dice Clay is the world’s greatest bouncer, and Teri Hatcher plays an international super-model whose botanist sister has discovered a rare Tibetan flower. When crazed ninjas try to steal the red lotus to further their plans of world domination, it’s up to Ed “Brainsmasher” Malloy (Clay) to save the day and get the girl. Yes, that’s actually the film’s plot, and it’s about as goofy as it sounds. Clay doesn’t look the least bit tough with his giant headband, but at least there’s some great character actor work courtesy of Brion James and Tim Thomerson. Skip it unless you’re a fan of the Diceman, in which case you’re already conditioned to below-average movies (aka The Adventures of Ford Fairlane).

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If you’re still conscious, here are a few other articles you might want to take a look at:

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 26th, 2009 at 12:59 pm and is filed under Good Movies, Movie Megalists, Thoughts on Film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “Good Romance Movies”

Leave a Comment

January 16, 2010

Oh no.

I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS. WHY THE FU*K DO YOU WRITE THE ENDS OF THE MOVIES IN YOUR SYNOPSIS?!?!? THIS IS RIDICULOUS. I WAS ACTUALLY THINKING OF WATCHING CITY OF ANGELS AND YOU JUST FU*KING RUINED FOR ME. THANKS A LOT DOUCHE BAG.

January 16, 2010

Shane

You know what else is ridiculous? People who type in all caps. You should be thanking me, as I just spared you from watching City of Angels, a movie that deserves to be near the top of the cinematic dungheap. Here’s hoping you ride your bicycle straight into a LOGGING TRUCK. Peace out.

July 18, 2010

Someone

Why did you put city ofangles on a romance movie list if you hated the movie? That was the worst discription ever! Oh, and both my parents, both my brothers, my aunt, my uncle, my other aunt and uncle,3 of my cousins, 1 of my second cousins, his parents, and my sister who’s in med school along with me are or are studing 2 become doctors! So what the hell do u know about compassionate doctors? it takes 4 years of college studing pre – med, 4 years of medschool, while shadowing at a near by hospital, one year of internship, 3 – to 7+ years of residency with close to no sleep, killer hours and crap salery, then you have to take the boards, and finally you have to find a job somewhere. And after all that you getto havethe same sleepless stressful job as always! With lots of migraines, advil, coffee and all for wanting to help people with internal bleeding, pregnancy, or, depending on your specialty, something wierd like people with bottles shoved up places you dont want to know about! so honestly stop being an a$$!

July 18, 2010

Shane

If you’ll notice, I clearly placed City of Angels under the section labeled “romance movies to avoid.” I don’t know how I could’ve been any more clear.

Are your family pets also studying to be physicians?

August 10, 2010

lindsey

wow i mean you guys are pretty messed up like lets not forger its his/her website so they can do and say whatever they please. yo all dont have to be such jerks ans this is coming from someone who isnt very compassionate on a regular basis.

August 10, 2010

Shane

Thanks for the support, Lindsey. I need all the help I can get.

April 1, 2011

raylene

i dont know why everyone’s being such big jerks!! personally shane i think your list is very good, also i think it’s good of someone to let someone else know when a movie or something is horrible so they wont make the mistake of wasting their money buyng the stupid thing! thanks for putting this list up in the first place, cause what no one realizes is that you never had to put a list up for us, so thank you :)

April 2, 2011

Shane

Thanks, Raylene. I appreciate it.

April 13, 2011

Person in the sidelines

I don’t mean to intrude or anything, but seriously. What’s up with all the fighting? We all have different opinions. Personally, I sometimes like to find out the end of a movie beforehand so I can really pay attention to the details, but it depends on the movie. If you don’t like this format, then just go to another website! It’s not like you HAVE to read this. No one’s forcing you. Then again, spoiling a movie for other people WITHOUT NOTICE might not have been the best idea. Maybe you can give a warning next time. Thanks for the suggestions though.

May 25, 2011

Someone

Okay shane i disagree with you completely because i think that City Of Angels is a great movie and it should not be avoided. Because it shows the power of what love can do. And it shows that when you truely love someone and they happen to die then the time you spent with them will make up for everything else.

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