Created on: January 29, 2013 Last Updated: January 31, 2013
Romance may not be an easy thing to define, but there are times when the movies get it just right. The images, characters, music, and moment somehow coalesce and Cupid lets fly. Knees become jelly, hearts swoon, and grown-up men and women are reduced to tears. True love can be an unstoppable force, and some movies know just how to project it.
As is the case in real life, however, not everyone finds the same things romantic. What is sweet to one person is cloying to another; what one viewer finds heart-rending can leave others unaffected. With that in mind, here is a selection of great romantic scenes with, hopefully, something to suit every taste.
Brief Encounter (1945)
In David’s Lean’s classic weepie, Celia Johnson’s Laura is trapped in a marriage that is without passion or excitement. When she meets a handsome stranger (Trevor Howard) at a train station, she sees that she can have these things, but at what cost? “Brief Encounter” is a film about longing that was adapted by Noel Coward from his own play. It is beautifully played by its principals and full of wonderful romantic moments that are set to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The ending is perfect: after the secret lovers are denied a proper goodbye, Laura’s husband tenderly holds his wife and says, “You’ve been a long way away. Thank you for coming back to me.” Cue tears.
Say Anything (1989)
There’s real understanding at the heart of Cameron Crowe’s teen drama. It’s a film that knows the crazy things that love can make us do. In the film’s defining – and much imitated – moment, John Cusack’s oddball loner, Lloyd Dobler, stands outside a girl’s window with a boombox raised above his head, playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. The scene works because the gesture is so understated and comes from the heart. Although many viewers and critics have a liking for Heath Ledger’s extravagant crooning in “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999), Lloyd’s hopeful serenade remains the most eloquent romantic scene in any movie made for teens.
The Princess Bride (1987)
“Is this a kissing book?” asks a young bedridden boy as his grandfather starts to read. Well, yes it is, but it’s also much more. “The Princess Bride” is a swashbuckling adventure with perhaps the most romantic movie line of all: “As you wish.” It’s used
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