I started writing movie reviews in July 2013 to share my thoughts with people about some of my favourite movies. Since I can remember I have always admired and loved romantic theme movies whether they be heartfelt dramas or laugh out comedies. When Zoe from The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger welcomed my enthusiasm to publish a Top 10 genre piece, I decided to tackle one of the toughest lists I could ever write, my favourite romantic movies.
It would be safe to say I have seen hundreds of these movies and my top eight are solid picks that will require one heck of a movie to bump them down or off the list. The final two spots were extremely difficult to fill and could rotate in or out on any given day depending on my mood. For fun here are the shortlist of titles that didn’t make the top 10 that I love for their own unique stories: An Officer and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Just Go With It, The Notebook, Notting Hill, Picture Perfect, Pretty Women, Prom, Runaway Bride, Serendipity, Silver Linings Playbook, Sweet Home Alabama, The Wedding Date, Wall-e, Wicker Park, and Wedding Daze.
But you have clicked on this post to read about my top 10, so without further ado, here we go!
10. You’ve Got Mail – Oh some of you are going to be mad at me for picking You’ve Got Mail over Sleepless in Seattle, but for me personally, there’s so much more to love in this movie. This is the second rom-com themed movie to star Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, set about five years after their first encounter. These two fall in love with each other again, but this time modern technology plays cupid. Hanks and Ryan share unbelievable chemistry on-screen that other pretend couples would envy. They are both easy-going with charming personalities that make audiences beg for them to get together at the end. In a foreshadowing of things to come, dating ads today claim that 1 out 5 relationships start online and You’ve Got Mail was the trendsetter.
9. Return to Me – In 2000 Hollywood gave us one very unique love story about finding the right heart and staying with it forever. David Duchovny stars opposite Minnie Driver in this heartwarming (no pun intended) romantic movie about giving true love a second chance. Duchovny’s character Bob loses his wife in a car crash and shortly after her heart is donated to a woman named Grace (Driver). After a year Bob decides to take a friend up on a blind date when he meets Grace at the restaurant and feels instantly drawn to her. Soon the pair develop a relationship before the truth comes out which forces them to evaluate their relationship and the fact that were meant to find one another. I don’t watch this one as much as the others on my list, but this story brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw it.
8. Leap Year – Leap Year is not a commercial success nor does it have a lot of positive reviews, but there is just something about this cliché rom-com that I absolutely love. This film stars Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, who have totally contradicting personalities, yet fate brings them together for a road trip to Dublin Ireland so Adams can propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day. Although the movie is not considered funny, Goode is able to push all her buttons and has come pretty clever one-liners that always get a reaction. Most of you can already predict how this film will end so no need to provide you details, just know despite its predictability it is a really charming story.
7. The Phantom of the Opera – Andrew Lloyd Weber’s place in broadway/musical history has been pretty secured since the late 1980’s when he took a simple story of the Phantom who lived under an opera house and turned into one of the world’s timeless romantic classics. The 2004 movie version starring Gerald Butler, Emmy Rossum, and Patrick Wilson doesn’t compare to some of the musical geniuses who have starred in the show over the years, but the same story and romantic lyrics are hauntingly perfect. Just like most love triangle stories, people fill seats in opera houses across the globe to witness this story come to life and then die within a two-hour time period. I have been listening to this soundtrack since I was a kid and would take the 25th Anniversary show from the Royal Albert Hall (2011) on a desert island with me so I can sleep peaceful listening to the Music of the Night.
6. The Adjustment Bureau – This fantasy movie follows Matt Damon as political hopeful David Norris who meets the love of his life, Elise (Emily Blunt), on the night of his first big election loss. Within a couple of days, he then meets The Adjustment Bureau, which is an organization that monitors the world and keeps everything going according to “the plan.” The only problem for David is Elise is not in his plans so he spends the next three years searching for her. The most charming aspect of this movie is Damon’s relentless pursuit of Blunt despite knowing the negative consequences if he finds her. His heart is set on spending the rest of his life with her and will stop at nothing to convince her that what they have is real and worth risking everything for.
5. The Lucky One – Nicholas Sparks may have the happiest wife in the history of wives. He is famous for killing off a major character in all of his books, but this guy can write a love story. In the first of back to back Sparks’ movies on my list, the Lucky One came out in 2012 and was my favourite movie of his for a year. Zac Efron plays a Marine named Logan who finds a picture that saves his life, so after serving his tour he wants to track down the beautiful girl in the photo to say thanks. This part of the story may sound creepy, but when he meets Beth (Taylor Schilling) he just knows this was meant to be. In Iraq, a bomb nearly took his life, but in Beth’s small southern town he has to deal with her jealous ex-husband who happens to be the sheriff. He is extremely mature and respectful when his buttons get pushed because he wants Beth and knows the situation doesn’t have to be this way. One of the best quotes in all of the romantic movies is his line “You should be kissed every minute of every day,” now if only love like that existed in real life!
4. Safe Haven – I own five of Sparks’ nine movies and this is my all-time favourite. I didn’t hear much about Safe Haven before I saw it in theatres but it turned out to be one of the top five films I saw in 2013. I loved almost everything about this movie, which left me amazed that I didn’t see the two major plot twists coming at the end. Both these turning points were very vital to the storyline and made the events that unfolded even more powerful. Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel look like the picture-perfect couple on-screen. When they first meet the sparks fly and one could say it was love at first sight. The Notebook may be Sparks’ most famous movie hit, but this should be right up there.
3. Love Actually – Self-proclaimed as the “Ultimate Romantic Comedy”, Love Actually was the first to feature such an ensemble cast in a rom-com movie back in 2003. There have been other pretenders who tried to copy the framework for this movie but nothing compares to this original. Featuring an all-star cast of some Hollywood’s most famous British actors, this film takes the audience through ten relationships during the Christmas season. This is a love it or hate it movie for so many people because there are so many flows within the storyline, but for hopeless romantics, just the thought of all these happy ever after endings makes this one of the most-watched movies around the holiday season. I personally try to watch it every Christmas Day.
2. Meet Joe Black – Here is another fantasy movie on the list with an intense romantic sub-plot that actually takes up the majority of the movie. I can remember back in 1999 when I got to watch MJB it was the second movie I ever got to watch on DVD and I fell in love with it instantly. The story follows Susan (Claire Forlani) a human female who falls in love with a human male named Joe Black (Brad Pitt) who just happens to be Death. She doesn’t know who he is but still vows to love him no matter what. Death is only there to take her father and is just using Joe’s body as a means to interact with the living. Together they will develop a deep love for one another that results in some rules being broken and tears to be shed. I personally love the on-screen chemistry between Forlani and Pitt, their display of affection and love are extremely passionate which has left a lasting impression on my mind and heart. This long movie (three hours) has an amazing supporting cast led by Anthony Hopkins and despite the rather long slow parts is one of the best romantic themed movies of all time.
1. The Twilight Saga- I know naming the Twilight Saga as my favourite romance film(s) of all time will lose me my man card, take away any creditability I may have, and disappoint you that you read this far down and this was number 1. I became hooked on Twilight after the first movie back in 2009. Since then I have fallen in love with all the characters in the series and eagerly waiting for all five films to come out. I have no problem openly admitting my love of this series and refer to the “forever” tagline often when talking about the film or love. I understand their vampire and human love story is very unrealistic and Kristen Stewart can’t act, but there’s something about Bella Swan and how much she loves Edward (Robert Pattinson) that drew me in. My feelings are totally bias because of my crush on Stewart, but there are so many things within the series that I fell in love with. My favourite movies in the series are New Moon followed by Breaking Dawn Pt 2, Twilight, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn Pt 1. Also if anyone really wants to know I rooted for Team Edward because he gets her in the end.