Movies We've Just Watched discussion

February 2009: Theme of Love > Favorite films about love

Comments Showing 1-50 of 91 (91 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Ed (new)

Ed | 218 comments Mod
I think two of my alltime favorites are Albert Brooks' Modern Romance and Woody Allen's Play it again Sam. Both wonderful films about romance.

message 2: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 362 comments Since this month's theme is love there are all types of love that we can discuss. We can go decade by decade and look how love in films have changed, or have they?

I remember one of the first "love" films I saw was Love Story and I remember crying my eyes out.

What was you first memory?

message 3: by Phillip (last edited Feb 04, 2009 07:33AM) (new)

Phillip | 10274 comments this month's theme is love?
nice theme.

hmmmm, my first "love" film would have been whatever movie the young haley mills was in (circa 1964).

oddly enough, i sort of developed a crush on linda blair after seeing the exorcist (circa 1972, i was probably 13 at the time). when i think back on that, i have to ask: what the $(%*& was i thinking?!?!?!?

there are countless films on this topic. they veer easily into comedy, and tragedy. i have a special nostalgia for zefferelli's romeo and juliet....watched it with my high school girlfriend and it was a special movie for us. sounder also fits into that kind of nostalgia, associated with my first girlfriend in junior high school. remember when holding someone's hand was the most amazing thing in the world? (i suppose it still is, depending...)

i'll have to think about this more carefully and get back to you.

message 4: by Manuel (last edited Feb 05, 2009 04:40PM) (new)

Manuel | 469 comments Im not generally a fan of "love stories" they tend to fall under the category we all call "chick flicks"

I loathed "Love Story" and "The English Patient" and "Il Postino" I couldnt help rolling my eyes in disgust and frustration.

The one movie about love I found interesting, was "Somewhere in Time". I fell in love with Jane Seymore.

message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5183 comments There are love stories I like: HIS GIRL FRIDAY, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, TOOTSIE, TWENTIETH CENTURY. I notice that they're all comedies, and none of them have particularly positive relationships. Well, maybe TOOTSIE and IT HAPPENED, which raise the spectre of serious issues mainly to have the fun of chasing the spectre away. HIS GIRL FRIDAY and TWENTIETH CENTURY are pretty dark, though, aren't they?

And of course, there's the most appalling "love" story of all, VERTIGO, a sort of Don't Let This Happen To You of Movie Romance.

Probably the most appealing depiction of two people falling in love that I can think of is from a 1970s version of JANE EYRE, believe it or not, starring the sublime Susannah York and the sublime George C. Scott. They're a joy to watch together, somehow you just know they're going to have things to talk about at dinner for the rest of their lives.

message 6: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments SHOUT-OUT to you Tom!

Great call,
I had forgotten about that version of Jane Eyre.
Not the happiest of endings, but yes you are right.
They respect and love each other, and even without his eyesite, it will be fine.

message 7: by Ed (new)

Ed | 218 comments Mod
I think one's favorite film about love will probably be fairly personal and unique...just like the sensation.

message 8: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I forgot about Indochine.
a love story set in 1930's French colonial Vietnam.

Catherine Deneuve is a rich colonial widow who has adopted a Vietnamese princess as her daughter. Catherine starts an affair with a young French officer who eventually falls in love with the princess.
A tragic love affair consumes everyone it touches. Very beautiful and moving film.

message 9: by oi ling (new)

oi ling | 23 comments I liked Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson in Benny & Joon.

message 10: by Anna (new)

Anna (lilfox) | 465 comments "Love actually" and "City of angels"

message 11: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) The Piano
Once Around
Brokeback Mountain
50 First Dates
While You Were Sleeping
When Harry Met Sally
An Officer and a Gentleman

message 12: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Feb 05, 2009 07:36AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Wim Wenders WINGS OF DESIRE is one of my favorites. I skipped the American remake.

Anna, have you ever seen this version? It's the German original that CITY OF ANGELS was based upon.

message 13: by Anna (new)

Anna (lilfox) | 465 comments You're talking about Sky above Berlin (the original German title is Der Himmel über Berlin? I haven't seen it yet.

message 14: by Ed (new)

Ed | 218 comments Mod
Love, love Wings of desire.. and brokeback mountain has to be right up there as a love story.

message 15: by oi ling (new)

oi ling | 23 comments I love ROMAN HOLIDAY and SAYONARA. Both films have enchanting love stories.

message 16: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Love me some Audrey in ROMAN HOLIDAY because it has an unexpected ending, and we shouldn't forget SABRINA (original) and BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS. This from a non-romantic (is that even a word? How about un-romantic?) who refuses to buy his wife roses or gifts on typical occasions: I prefer to surprise and show my affection in my own fashion. Fortunately, my wife is the same way:)
Ed, I forgot about BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, great but sad film.
Another recommendation from Ang Lee: LUST, CAUTION.

message 17: by oi ling (last edited Feb 05, 2009 06:09PM) (new)

oi ling | 23 comments I also liked Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman (1994). Wong Kar Wai's As Tears Go By, Happy Together, and of course, In the Mood for Love (You posted a nice review of ITMFL about four months ago.)

message 18: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Thanks, we should never forget Wong Kar-wai!

message 19: by Phillip (last edited Feb 06, 2009 04:48PM) (new)

Phillip | 10274 comments wings of desire is certainly one of wender's most sublime and satisfying films. what happened to him? he started out making great movies, but i haven't been so impressed with the last decade.

wong kar-wai! - yeah, i just watched in the mood for love again recently. there's a great film about friendship. not sure i would call it a love story, although love factors into it.

it happened one night is also a great one. thanks for mentioning it, tom.

what about solyaris? i think of that as a film about's about a lot of things, of course, but love is pretty high on the menu.

nice that oi mentioned eat drink man's been a while since i saw that. but that's a fine film about love.

message 20: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Some of my favorite movies about love are the ones without the traditional "they lived happily ever after" films such as Now Voyager, Out of Africa and the first one I remember watching as a young adult- Somewhere in Time (Christopher Reeve never looked so beautiful and the score is still haunting). I know it's not the best movie ever made about love, but it had some lovely moments.

And even if you didn't care for The English Patient, it captures the fall out of obsessive love-- plus I think one of the most romantic scenes is Juliet Binoche being treated to the art of the cathedral ceilings in the dark complements of her soldier lover.

message 21: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10274 comments i thought the binoche episodes were the best part of the english patient.

message 22: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (checkleyhr) | 6 comments To reiterate: Wings of Desire + In the Mood for Love

others: Gone with The Wind, Pride and Prejudice (bbc colin firth), Chaplin's City Lights...

message 23: by Val (new)

Val (valz) | 19 comments moonstruck
groundhog day
say anything
the graduate
de-lovely (unrequited love in the extreme)

message 24: by oi ling (new)

oi ling | 23 comments It Could Happen To You (1994) I like this movie with Nic Cage and Bridget Fonda.

message 25: by Val (new)

Val (CecilyAine)

I'm odd...I tend to like love stories that end badly or end with separation.

Out of Africa -- (totally different from Isak Dinesen's book Out of Africa, but an amazing film. John Barry's amazing score just puts it over the top. I am always in tears for the "Flying Over Africa" scene.

Tuck Everlasting -- Not necessarily completely a "love" story, and somewhat different from Natalie Babbitt's book Tuck Everlasting, but a beautiful film with a haunting score. Love is examined in a lot of ways in the film though -- through the relationship between Mae and Tuck, through the relationship between Winnie and Jesse, and through Miles' story.

I adore the film version of Fried Green Tomatoes (based on Fannie Flagg's book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: A Novel). It is a love story, but a love story of deep and abiding friendship.

I also love Jane Campion's The Piano (a very "literary" movie).

I definitely agree with Roman Holiday, Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn/Humphrey Bogart), and Breakfast at Tiffany's (having memorized this movie, I noticed an odd thing a few years ago -- when she gets out of the cab at the end, her hair seems to be already wet!). I also like Love in the Afternoon and Charade.

Of course When Harry Met Sally (the best "date movie" ever).

I have an entire sub-genre of films that could be categorized as "literary historial epics with men in leather pants, with amazing film scores" my favorites with a "love story" being: Dances With Wolves (Michael Blake's book Dances With Wolves is worth reading if you liked the film, though do also consider Dee Brown's Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Last of the Mohicans (with Daniel Day Lewis), and Legends of the Fall.

message 26: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 362 comments Great list. I didn't see Tuck Everlasting but I will put that on my never ending netflix queue.

message 27: by Val (last edited Feb 19, 2009 09:26AM) (new)

Val (valz) | 19 comments I love Dances with Wolves, too.
De-Lovely, the story of Cole Porter and the woman who loves him and marries him even though he's gay, is a wonderful movie, with an astonishing performance by Kevin Kline and all that wonderful Cole Porter music. I cried my eyes out in the theatre after it was over.
I just saw Slum Dog Millionaire-- a perfect example of love that will not give up.

message 28: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5183 comments I'm curious about the designation of THE PIANO as a "literary" movie. Can you elaborate a bit?

message 29: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10274 comments yeah, i'm not sure i am following that line of thought either...

message 30: by Val (new)

Val (CecilyAine)

Tom wrote: "I'm curious about the designation of THE PIANO as a "literary" movie. Can you elaborate a bit?"

This is a dangerous question to as me indeed!!!

All the elements of "literature" exist within the film. For its tone, for its symbolism...the film "feels" like literture. There is so much imagery -- axes, angel wings -- which "point to" other things. I've long wondered if the key removed from the piano by Ada -- the 'A' above 'Middle C' -- was random or specifically chosen as 'A' for 'Ada.' Also, how the various characters relate to the piano (and play the piano)...and how the various characters understand (or do not understand) the importance of the piano -- there is a lot to think about there.

There is also poetry within the film. At the end is featured Thomas Hood's poem Silence (at: )

"Silence" by Thomas Hood

There is a silence where hath been no sound,
There is a silence where no sound may be,
In the cold grave -- under the deep, deep sea,
Or in wide desert where no life is found,
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;
No voice is hushed -- no life treads silently,
But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,
That never spoke, over the idle ground:
But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
Though the dun fox, or wild hyena, calls,
And owls, that flit continually between,
Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan,
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.

Something to consider while watching the film with respect to Ada's muteness (yet she not thinking of herself as mute). What is silence?

The score is, of course, of vital importance -- how the theme is used, what instruments are present is important. I've written two papers on this film for "film as literature" assignments because there is a lot to work with. What I recently discovered (long after writing the two papers) is that the title of Michael Nyman's main theme (Track 4 on the soundtrack) "The Heart Asks Pleasure First" is actually gleaned from the title of Emily Dickinson poem# 588 (at: )

"The Heart asks Pleasure - first -" by Emily Dickinson (Poem #588, written 1863)

The Heart asks Pleasure - first -
And then - excuse from Pain -
And the - those little Anodynes
That deaden suffering -

And then - to go to sleep -
And then - if it should be
The will of it's Inquisitor
The privilege to die -

You could write a whole other paper on the poems used or referenced within the film.

What has always drawn me to the story are the layers of thought and empathy required to delve through its details. It isn't quite a morality tale -- perhaps a morality tale shoved through a wood-chipper??? There is no "hero" and no "villian" in this story. Alisdair Stewart is merely a man who is a product of his time...not a villian. Ada McGrath exists in some reality outside of conventional morality. George Baines -- who has a wife in America, a detail in the screenplay but not mentioned in the film -- also lives outside of conventional morality. Ada and Flora travel "To the Edge of the Earth" (the title of Track 1), and the film is a collision course between these three characters on "A Wild and Distant Shore" (the Title of Track 3). What the film asks us to do is to answer the question as to which is better -- to submit to a man, your lawful husband, who would rape you (as Stewart attempts on several occasions, once while Ada is asleep!), or infidelity to a man whom you have come to love who understands (and values) your passions? The metaphor I love is from the film Phenomenon -- where John Travolta's character kept buying Kyra Sedgwick's handcrafted wooden chairs. George Baines "bought her chairs" when he brought Ada's piano off the beach. Baines understood what Stewart could not.

But Ada is not innocent in this either, and she very powerfully uses sex -- and denial of it to Stewart -- as a weapon. True, it is her only weapon, but sex is used within the film (and all the varying iterations of it) is another thing to consider. The one that gets me is when he makes Anna Paquin's character wash the trees -- "You have shamed these trunks" (yet this man would rape his wife...?).

There is much (and much more) that could be said, but that's a start.

message 31: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5183 comments Interesting. Thanks for the information, I hadn't thought of it in that light. Haven't seen the film in a while, I'll have some things to think of next time.

message 32: by Tina (new)

Tina | 38 comments
What make it literary? It's Holly Hunter's hair.

Jane Campion did turn me on to one of my all time favorite writers, however. If you love Jane Campion's films be prepared for the books of Janet Frame.

have mixed emotions on campion's take on henry james. have a low nicole threshold, however. have never seen In the Cut, have never read the book and probably never will...unless convinced otherwise.

message 33: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10274 comments i've read frame's poetry, and love the film, angel at my table.

message 34: by Tina (new)

Tina | 38 comments (off top of me head...which means it's a list of favorite films so i'm not getting to deeply into this. After all, movies are memory and love, attachment and projection.)
Love Theme:

To Have and Have Not
Harold and Maude
Jules and Jim
You Can Count On Me
Flesh and the Devil
American Splendor
A Woman Under the Influence
Wedlock House: An Intercourse
In A Lonely Place
Annie Hall
My Man Godfrey
A Portrait of Jennie
The Thin Man
It Happened One Night
Mulholland Drive
Paint Your Wagon
La Belle et la bete
To Be or Not To Be
The ghost and Mrs. Muir
La Notte
Sid and Nancy

message 35: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5183 comments Tina, what a wonderful list! I'll completely second the sublime AMERICAN SPLENDOR, one of the best films of recent years.

And I'm a helpless sucker for THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR, one of the few actual love stories I'll willingly watch.

message 36: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10274 comments tina!

great list, girl! - thanks for mentioning several of my faves.

message 37: by Tina (new)

Tina | 38 comments yo,

sorry for the bad typing in my posts. list validation is a great way to start the day. american splendor is so layered! shows how much love love love is at the core of pessimism, eh.

tom, it's sweet to see your keaton avatar say you're a "helpless sucker."
i can't think of a better movie than the ghost and mrs. muir to get across the longing not just in the process but in the goal of relationships. the opposite of "'til death do we part." the job of movies to tell sophisticated psychological ideas through a couple of hours of narrative is almost a lost art.
they are present for each other in spirit. What an apparition! The Captain is her muse and understands her happiness comes first. even if it's the unattainable reality of george sanders.
the mesmerizing gene tierney & music by bernard herrmann will swoop you right out of that cottage and into the waves.

message 38: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10274 comments i still haven't seen american splendor.

and yes, if love (or some form of ecstasy) didn't exist, there would be nothing to long for. pessimism, like all suffering, is based on the idea that things should be different than they are.

message 39: by Tina (new)

Tina | 38 comments DUDE
did you hear dan plonsey's collaboration with harvey pekar, "Leave Me Alone"?
i missed the broadcast but apparently it was mentioned recently on npr.

(i got rained out from your nino rota thing ...hope it went well!)

message 40: by Tina (new)

Tina | 38 comments ah ha...they did do an interview on npr.

and come to think of it i would bet meg, alex and tom would be interested in this production!

message 41: by Phillip (last edited Feb 23, 2009 11:11PM) (new)

Phillip | 10274 comments i heard a lot of talk about it. i heard about all the financial problems that arose. funders said they would put up a bunch of money, and then when the market went haywire, they withdrew...the university that was co-sponsoring the opera was freaking out, because they were like 20,000 in the red on expenses paid and no one was stepping up with money that had promised it.

i did hear that plonsey and pekar are planning a west coast realization of the opera next summer.

no worries about missing the gig last night. it's always a lot of fun to play all that nino rota music with clubfoot! and how often is it that i get to see your talented boyfriend three times in one week!

and how often do i get to see you twice in one week? thanks again for the birthday present, i'm about 100 pages in and really getting into it.

message 42: by smetchie (new)

smetchie I know it's not February anymore but my favorite love stories are: "Tin Cup" because it's gritty and "Return to Me" because it is just so sweet.

message 43: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (soundandfury) | 3 comments Cecily wrote: "I'm odd...I tend to like love stories that end badly or end with separation.
Out of Africa -- (totally different from [a:Isak Dinesen|8147|Isak Dinesen|"

Honey, that's not odd at all. Just means you're wise beyond your yrs, 28 huh? All great passionate loves end in tears, badly and w separation. Makes the pleasure of being head over heels in love bittersweet right from the start. Least all my loves have ended in separation and i AM OLDER than u. So it must be so.
Would you like a date?

message 44: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (soundandfury) | 3 comments OK. I was gonna joke and say D. Lynch's "Eraserhead". But i'll go with "Gone With The Wind", "21 Grams" and "The Unbearable Lightness Of Being".

message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

The Notebok and A Walk to Remember

message 46: by Sam (new)

Sam | 548 comments Matthew wrote: "OK. I was gonna joke and say D. Lynch's "Eraserhead". But i'll go with "[b:Gone With The Wind|18405|Gone With The Wind|Margaret Mitchell|"

ha! ... Dawn of the Dead fer me ;o) ...

what? there's love in it!!!

message 47: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (renfrew) Crossing Delancey
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
An Affair to Remember
An Officer and a Gentleman

...and there are all those musicals...

In Case of Emergency, Dial C for Cutesy Chick! | 15 comments I liked 'it's a wonderful life' it is mostly about Nazi Germany, but still. it's so wonderfully sad!

message 49: by smetchie (new)

smetchie True Romance!

In Case of Emergency, Dial C for Cutesy Chick! | 15 comments Huh, that's a very straightforward movie name. :)

« previous 1
back to top