All you need is love: Whether you are spending this Valentine’s Day with the person you love, or by yourself on your sofa, these 17 Romances will warm your cockles and make you believe that love really does conquer all…
Putting this list together wasn’t easy: a lot of my personal favourites didn’t make the cut. Therefore, I made sure to make another for 2017: if you want more romance, check out “17 Romances to watch this Valentine’s Day”.
17. A Walk to Remember
When a small-town bad boy (Shane West) is made to do community service, he unexpectedly falls for the local reverend’s daughter (Mandy Moore). But fate has other plans for the young couple… A Walk to Remember is based on the first novel that ever made me cry. Plus, the bible verse that is read at Jamie and Landon’s wedding is one of my favourite ‘poems’. It’s something of a modern re-telling of Love Story.
“Jamie saved my life. She taught me everything. About life, hope and the long journey ahead. I’ll always miss her. But our love is like the wind. I can’t see it, but I can feel it.”
16. Beauty and the Beast
An enchanted prince must find someone to love him for his character if he wants to break the curse on himself and his household. Opportunity presents itself when a young woman moves into his castle in exchange for her father’s freedom.
“You came back”
15. Tristan + Isolde
After his family is slaughtered by an Irish tribe, a young boy named Tristan (James Franco) is taken in by the king of the Britons. Years later, he starts an affair with a young Irish girl (Sophia Myles), whose marriage to Tristan’s foster father is their people’s only hope for peace… This piece of Anglo-Saxon folklore is very similar to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But Tristan’s dilemma is far greater and much more heartbreaking because the only way for him to be with the woman he loves, is to betray the man who raised him like a son.
“How many have you loved before me?”
“And after me?”
14. The Time Traveler’s Wife
A romantic drama about a Chicago librarian (Eric Bana) with a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, and the complications it creates for his marriage to his wife Clare (Rachel McAdams).
“I wouldn’t change one second of our life together”
13. Before Sunrise
A young man (Ethan Hawke) and woman (Julie Delpy) meet on a train in Europe and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.
“I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something.”
12. One Day
After spending the night of their college graduation together Dexter (Jim Sturgess) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) become close friends. But the idea that they are meant to be more than that never really lets go of them… Yet another novel that made me cry. I absolutely recommend this book and movie to anyone who enjoyed When Harry met Sally, A lot like Love, Love Rosie and What if.. It’s a moving and insightful tale of two young people’s journey through life, together and apart. More importantly, it stands out because of its unusual narrative structure as it checks in with Dexter and Emma each year on the same date, the day they first met.
“Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today”
11. Bright Star
A secret love affair begins between 23 year-old English poet, John Keats (Ben Whishaw), and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish). Together they ride a wave of romantic obsession (Keats was one of those intense Romantic poets that would lose themselves in pure emotion and unbridled sensation) that only deepens as their troubles mount… Fair warning: their love story will rip your soul apart.
“I am living today in yesterday. I was in a complete fascination all day. You dazzled me. There is nothing in the world so bright and delicate. You have absorbed me. I have a sensation at the present moment as if I was dissolving.”
10. Disney’s Hercules
The son of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it… I’m aware that my including a Disney movie – and not even a very popular one- in this list might be controversial, but remember: Not only did Hercules follow Meg down into the Underworld to recover her soul, he also renounced his rightful place among the Gods of Olympus so he could live a mortal life with her. If that isn’t the very epitome of love, then I don’t know what is.
“When I’m with you, I don’t feel so alone”
9. The Silver Linings Playbook
After a stint in a mental institution, Pat (Bradley Cooper) moves back in with his parents. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), an equally troubled young woman who offers to help him win his wife back if he agrees to enter a dance competition with her… The movie that earned JLaw her first Academy Award is an encouraging story of overcoming adversity that seems to suggest that those who persevere are rewarded with love. Total bullshit of course, but a nice thought anyway.
“You know, for a while, I thought you were the best thing that ever happened to me. But now I’m starting to think you’re the worst.”
8. Notting Hill
The life of an unsuccessful Notting Hill bookstore owner (Hugh Grant), when Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), the world’s most famous actress, enters his shop. A little later, William runs into her again – this time spilling orange juice over her. Anna accepts his offer to change in his nearby apartment, and thanks him with a kiss, which seems to surprise her even more than him. Eventually, Anna and William get to know each other better over the months, but being together with the world’s most wanted woman is not easy – neither around your closest friends, nor in front of the all-devouring press… A classic Bromcom (British Romantic Comedy). I’m not ashamed to say that I have seen this movie over a dozen times. It even introduced me to the love of my life: the city of London.
“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”
7. Celeste and Jesse forever
Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) have been best friends and sweethearts forever. Now they’re getting divorced, but they still live next door to each other and hang out every day – but don’t worry, it’s not weird at all – until Jesse meets someone new… One of the best movies about romantic relationships I have seen to date. Jesse and Celeste’s story always feels like a punch to the gut because it convincingly portrays the complete and utter heartbreak of falling out of love with the person you love more than anyone in the entire world. Click here for my full review of Celeste and Jesse forever.
“Why couldn’t you change for me?”
6. Walk the Line (2005)
A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash’s (Joaquin Phoenix) life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis and, above all, falling in love with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), the woman he would spend the rest of his life with…The performances in this movie still blow me away, from Reese and Joaquin’s singing, to the acting, to how they physically transformed themselves into Johnny and June. I always cry at the end credits when it reads that June and Johnny passed within a few months of each other. That kind of love really is once in a lifetime.
“I only wanna take care of you”
5. The Theory of Everything / Die Entdeckung der Unendlichkeit (2014)
A portrait of one of the most brilliant minds of our time, his battle with a horrible disease and his relationship with the woman whose love gave him the strength to defy all medical odds.
“And there should be no boundary to human endeavor. While there is life, there is hope.”
4. The Fault in our Stars
Two cancer stricken teenagers (Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort) begin a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam and end up falling in love. Soon after, tragedy strikes…This movie will ruin you. The dialogues are over the top, but the chemistry between Shailene and Ansel makes up for everything.
“You gave me a forever within the numbered days and for that I will always be truly grateful.”
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
When their relationship turns sour, a couple (Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey) undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
“I could die right now, Clem. I’m just happy. I’ve never felt this way before. I’M just exactly where I want to be.”
2. Titanic (1997) -Just to be clear: I will fight people on this!
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind, but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic…Go ahead and roll your eyes, but you’re never going to change my mind about Titanic: Jack and Rose’s love story is one of the all-time greats because it’s about a young woman throwing caution and, more importantly, a life of financial privilege to the wind for the love of a man who has nothing to offer her but his heart. Moreover, it is a brilliant film that deserved every single one of those 11 Academy Awards. My highschool music teacher used it as an example to teach us about Soundtrack and Score and I, in turn, used it to demonstrate different shots, angles, and transitions in my Introduction to Film Studies tutorial at University.
“You jump, I jump”
1. The Notebook
In the late 1930s, seventeen year-old Allie (Rachel McAdams) meets local worker Noah (pre-sexsymbol Ryan Gosling) at a carnival while on a seaside holiday with her family. Soon enough the two of them fall in love, but Allie’s parents do not approve of their romance since Noah belongs to another social class…The Notebook is the love story to end all love stories.
“I wrote you every day for a year. It wasn’t over. Hell, it still isn’t over”