March 17, 2008
Twentieth Century Fox has released a list of top 10 romantic movies. Take a look and see what you think. I have to admit, I haven't seen some of the older ones - a Charlie Chaplin romance? Hmm...
(Michael Curtiz, 1942)
Yep, it's a no-brainer. In a world full of slushy, happily-ever-after rom-coms, Bogie and Bergman find true romance in heartache, sacrificing their romance for the greater good. Bogie's "hill of beans" speech still gets us every time. Oh, the tragedy! Still, they'll always have Paris ...
2. City Lights
(Charles Chaplin, 1931)
Truly, madly sweetly: Blind flower-girl Virginia Cherrill recognizes Chaplin's tramp when she presses a coin into his hand. Deeply moved, as the scale of his sacrifice dawns on her, she wells up -- as did we; his expression shifts from shame to tentative delight. The most touching film moment of all time?
3. Roman Holiday
(William Wyler, 1953)
Audrey Hepburn's princess falls for Gregory Peck's noble hack (surely that's an oxymoron!) -- but while the ending is bittersweet, it's the playful scene at the Mouth of Truth, with its pitch-perfect comic timing, that captured our hearts.
4. From Here to Eternity
(Fred Zinnemann, 1953)
"Nobody ever kissed me the way you do." Army sergeant Burt Lancaster and troubled wife Deborah Kerr find refuge in their torrid, adulterous affair; the heat between them is tangible. With the tumultuous waves crashing over the embracing couple, Zinnemann creates one of old Hollywood's most iconic images.
(Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
A sheer moment of joy, as Amelie (Audrey Tautou) zooms through Paris on the back of Nino's (Mathieu Kassovitz) bicycle. The laughing couple freewheel down the cobbled streets past Sacre Coeur, filled with the delirious exuberance of new love. Ah, c'est l'amour.
6. Annie Hall
(Woody Allen, 1977)
The highlight of Woody Allen's confessional masterpiece is Annie's (Diane Keaton) first meeting with Alvy (Allen) at the tennis club where we're blown away by her vitality, ebullient charm and fresh contrast with Allen's wound-up, navel-gazing New Yorker. La-di-da, la-di-da, la la!
7. La Dolce Vita
(Federico Fellini, 1960)
Fellini's beautifully choreographed tableau in the Trevi Fountain sees young journalist Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) rendered helpless as buxom screen goddess Sylvia (Anita Eckberg) draws him into her spell. A paean to those fleeting moments between sunset and dawn when reality slips away to reveal something altogether more magical. Talking of which ...
8. Before Sunrise
(Richard Linklater, 1995)
They've no time for mix-tapes, so Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) head to a record store's music booth to acid-test their compatibility. In its confined space, they nervously avoid each other's eyes, so painfully aware of each other's physical presence. A moment that evokes strong memories of those sweet first-love connections.
9. Lost in Translation
(Sofia Coppola, 2003)
Bob (Bill Murray), a movie star well past his sell-by date, and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a neglected newlywed, are two lost souls who are cast adrift, and come together, in Tokyo. Their parting moment, when Bob whispers his secret farewell to Charlotte, is all the more romantic for its mystery.
10. When Harry Met Sally
(Rob Reiner, 1989)
Forget the orgasm scene in Katz's Deli. Forget the strolls in scenic Central Park. After ninety minutes of vacillating, Harry and Sally have one final bout of verbal sparring before they finally get it together for good. Now that's what we call New Year fireworks.
So what do you think? I'm not so sure I'd classify Lost in Translation as a romance. And I'd have to add The Princess Bride. "As you wish." A true classic and, really, how much more romantic can you get?
Vizzini: No more rhymes, now, I mean it!
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
March 07, 2008
When I was a kid, they did a special movie night at our local pool, where we all sat on rafts and watched Jaws on a big movie screen. I don't think I got back in that pool for the rest of the summer.
It just goes to show you how stories follow us long after we read the last chapter of a book or, in my case, paddle a flimsy raft as quickly as possible into shallow water and out of the pool.
What stories have you seen/read lately that have stayed on your mind?