For this Valentines Day, experience something a bit different to the generic chick flick. This list of critically acclaimed romantic films should appeal to a wide variety of couples with something for everyone:
This animated classic needs little introduction, the film revolves around Belle and The Beast, in which the Beast was punished for his arrogance as a human and to become a prince again will have to win her love or remain a monster forever. A wonderfully romantic film for all ages.
Dev Patel stars in Slumdog Millionaire, the story of a ‘slumdog’ Jamal
a poor individual living in India and how he managed to workout the answers on his Who Wants to be a Millionaire appearance. This is the backdrop to the romance between Jamel and Latika and the lengths they will both go to make their romance work amidst conflict.
American Beauty comes from critically acclaimed writer Alan Ball, showing the life of a dysfunctional family. Kevin Spacey stars as he experiences a mid-life crisis with a slightly psychedelic infatuation with his daughters best friend. This film is not your conventional romance with its dark comedic undertones, unusual sequences and excellent writing.
Arguably the greatest musical comedy of all time, Singing in the Rain stars Gene Kelly as a film performer in the transition from silent films to the talkies. The romance between Kelly and Debbie Reynolds works wonderfully with their own quirky nature, and best friend Donald O’Connor providing the comedic touch which holds up fantastically.
Bill Murray is the presenter of the festival ‘Groundhog Day’ a real event celebrated in Pennsylvania, however he finds himself experiencing the same day over and over again no matter what he does. The possibilities show what you can do if given infinite time, an emotional yet comical film that shows what is truly important in life.
The quintessential romance film set during World War 2, stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, their relationship takes many twists, with Bogart having incredibly difficult decisions to make during the film. Their romance is key to the plot however the cinematography and soundtrack add significantly to this classic drama-romance film.
4. Amelie (2001) – Subtitled
Amelie is a wonderfully strange film, Audrey Tautou is captivating as Amelie, a naive girl living in Paris proceeding to help those around her find love. Amelie does not shy away from its connection to Paris but embraces it. This is the ultimate in French cinema, it is romantic, comical and extremely unusual.
Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett star in this psychological romance film, a new technology is invented to allow people to erase their memories. They use this to forget each other as their relationship is failing, however through this they discover everything they have. This is a fantastic film, Jim Carrey is not his wacky usual self and that works for the better showing what an excellent performer he is. Kate Winslett shines as well, creating a very believable romance in an otherwise unusual setting, a romantic film which can only be appreciate when watched.
“Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Forrest Gump needs little introduction, a classic loved by many stars Tom Hanks as Forrest in this tale about a sub-par intelligent man, an incredible ability to run and the pursuit of love.
1. Life is Beautiful (1997) – Subtitled
My number one pick however is Life is Beautiful, the story is set in Italy during World War 2, showing the pre-war romance between Guido and Dora. Dora is a more upper class individual who dislikes the status and her mothers attempts at marrying her to wealthy individuals.
Guido’s buffoonery makes him an extremely lovable character, he is comical and caring throughout the film. He is a book owning Jew making light of the Holocaust for his son so that he is not scared of what is going on. Life is Beautiful is a roller coaster of emotions contrasting some of the lightest with some of the darkest moments of humanity. Truly the greatest romance film of all time.
However you will probably end up watching this instead… The Notebook (2004)
The ultimate in 21st century chick flicks, starring Ryan Gosling and
Rachel McAdams. This film revolves around a couple who fall in love in the 1940’s, their onscreen chemistry and troubles during that time make it a heartwarming tale and one that optimizes the Hollywood romance. However it is a marmite of a film, loved and hated by many.
Special mention to other classics that didn’t make the top 10: City Lights, Vertigo, Roman Holiday, Annie Hall, Gone with the Wind, Edward Scissorhands, The Graduate and The Apartment.