25 FebWhat Are Your Favorite Modern and Historical Romance Movies?

The other day at lunch the conversation turned to favorite movies in general and favorite romance movies in particular.  I was surprised at how many were common to everyone’s lists.  Everyone has them, those favorite romance movies that you cannot resist watching whenever your run across them while channel surfing. For the most part the ones that were commonly chosen were the recent favorites that made everyone’s lists-although there were a few surprises among the group, including on my own list. [Comment For Your Chance To Win A Copy of A Very Merry Chase.] [The Winner, selected via Random.Org of the drawing for a copy of A Very Merry Chase was Alexia 561.]

Because A Very Merry Chase is a Regency romance, and I’m greatly prejudiced in favor of both historical romance books and movies, I’ve separated my list into two sections, of five each-modern and historical-otherwise it would be quite top-heavy with historicals in general.  Here is my list.  How many, if any, made your list of favorite romance movies, and what are your all-time favorite romance movies?

My top five post WWI favorites are:

Love Actually is an ensemble movie featuring Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightly, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy and so many other wonderful actors.  It depicts so many aspects of love and romance and evokes so many different emotions, it is just a sheer joy to watch.  I have it on DVD, so if they play it often enough to suit me-especially during the Christmas holidays-I’ll pull out my own copy.  Early last December, I couldn’t find my copy and called my oldest son to see if he and his fiance has borrowed it, and he just started laughing out loud, it seems that she had just finished watching at almost the same moment I called.  I love my soon to be daughter in law, she had great taste in men and movies.

While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman is one of the sweetest movies ever made.   Never in any romance movie have I ever needed a couple to get together so badly, she is this sweet waif who is all alone in the world dreaming of love and she not only gets that, but she get a great big wonderful loving family to boot.

My Best Friend’s Wedding with Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett is another offbeat romance, but totally delightful even with its funny, bittersweet ending.  Everyone in the movie is great; but Rupert Everett as the gay friend absolutely makes this movie shine.

You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan is one of those special movies that I love and really, really hate to see end because I want to see more of his “tweeking” their quirky courtship.  Anyway, despite that one failing I still cry each time the strains of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” starts to play and she finds out, it’s really him.

Rent, which is surprising-even to me.  I absolutely adore the movie Rent, which is based on the opera La Boheme.  Maybe it’s the music-which is downright odd, because I usually do not have the patience to sit through musicals-or maybe I just have a weakness for modern ensemble romances but I absolutely adore the movie Rent and all the different love stories contained within.  I’ve probably watched it half a dozen times since it was released to television.

Romance movies set in WWII and before:

Gone With The Wind always has been and always will be one of my all time favorite romance movies.  Scarlett is one of the most complex heroines ever written. She epitomizes the concept of courage under fire and the hard choices she has to make mirror the hundreds of thousands of hard choices that women-as the powerless ones, particularly in ages when muscle created might-have had to make throughout history.  It is downright painful to watch her struggling to survive and determined to carry everyone she loves-whether she realizes it not-along with her.  And it is absolutely heartbreaking to watch her constantly destroy her own chances for happiness.

The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn is the most wonderful love story in the world.  Most of us are born to be ordinary people, living and dying and leading ordinary lives of quiet desperation.  The African Queen is the love story of two people who transcend those odds and became legends.  Two extraordinary, ordinary people meet, heroically face tragedy and adversity together, and against incredible odds defy a powerful naval force…and, oh yeah, along the way they fall oh-so-charmingly in love.  If you’ve never seen this movie, beg, borrow, rent or steal it today,  and when you’ve finished watching it go find Katherine Hepburn’s book The Making of the African Queen, or How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind.

The Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stowe.  This is a brutal historical story; but oh what a romance.  I remember years ago saying that I wanted a man that would be willing to go to the lengths that John McClain went to save his estranged wife Holly in the Die Hard movies-even if he were never called upon to do so, since I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself-and my friend said that without question, her husband would do that for her…. They are still married and I’m not, if that tells you anything.  Since I prefer historicals, The Last of the Mohicans epitomizes true love for me.  The scene under the falls in one of the most emotionally compelling movies scenes ever made.  When he says to her, “You’re strong. You survive. You stay alive. No matter what occurs. No matter how long it takes.  No matter how far. I will find you…. “  my heart swells near to bursting and the tears gush and from that moment on I am so deeply invested in that movie my whole body is tenses and I literally cannot look away from the screen until the last strain of music playing over the credits dies away.

That Hamilton Woman, also with Vivien Leigh is a true Regency era romance.  Although technically pre-Regency in a political sense, it is barely so and many of the scenes, costumes and situations will be very familiar to loves of Regency romances.  It is based on the true story of Lady Emma Hamilton and her love for the British naval hero Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson-a beautiful movie with a bittersweet ending, and in many ways one of history’s great romantic tradgedies.

Hanover Street with Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, Christopher Plummer. You may not even have heard of, and the critics panned it unmercifully so it probably would not make anyone’s list of all-time great cinema, but I loved, and still love everything about this movie including the plot, the characters and even the theme song.  To me it is the quintessential love triangle, and everything a good tug at your heartstrings, tearjerker should be.

There aren’t any of the recent endless remakes of Jane Austen’s Regency Romance era novels on the list, not because I don’t like them; but because they all blend into one another to the point that they are almost indistinguishable from one another.  I enjoy watching most of them but I would be hard pressed to say which one I favor and why, other than the fact that Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly, and Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson are the ones that come immediately to mind when I think of them.

Also, my all-time favorite actress is Audrey Hepburn, but her movies don’t make the list because although I love her, and do enjoy her movies, and greatly admire her life behind the scenes, the romance in her movies just doesn’t particularly move me to any great heights of passion.

Others that I enjoy and will watch almost anytime they are on that did not make the list are are those ridiculously madcap romance movies from the late fifties and early sixties starring Doris Day.

So what are your favorite romance movies?

14 Responses to “What Are Your Favorite Modern and Historical Romance Movies?”

  1. Bernie Brown says:

    Two of my all time faves (I can recite nearly every line as I watch) are The Way We Were and Swing Shift, both set during WWII.

  2. Teresa says:

    Yes, I loved The Way We Were, and also Funny Girl. I haven’t seen Swing Shift, but I’ll have to check it out.
    Smiles,
    Teresa

  3. Chelanne says:

    I love Gone with the Wind and Last of the Mohicans too.

  4. Debra Brown says:

    While my kids grew up, we watched Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance with Linda Ronstadt and Rex Smith in the lead. The music was fabulous! The kids watched it very frequently and know it backward and forward. When my daughter met her future husband, she learned that he also watched it growing up and knew it backward and forward. So as a surprise for them, we worked with all their friends and family, putting the play together, stage, sets, costumes and all, for their shower, with them in the leading roles. It was the greatest fun we have ever had! (We used the soundtrack so nobody had to be a singer to participate.) Some people came from his town to watch and insisted that we do it over again there. So we did it twice, with great audiences each time. Great movie, btw!

  5. Teresa says:

    What a wonderful, wonderful story. I’m sure they really were delighted. When my boys were little they loved the original Muppet Movie…but I don’t think it would make a very good shower surprise. To this day when someone says bear right, one of us invariably pipes up with right frog. I also remember that their babysitter loved The Pirate Movie with Kristy McNichol which was based on The Pirates of Penance. She would always bring it with her when she came over to babysit.

  6. Alexia561 says:

    What a wonderful list! I love the movie Love Actually, and that line from Last of the Mohicans turns me into a puddle of jelly every, single time! And even though I’m not a big Julia Roberts fan, I really love Notting Hill.

    My Saturday Situation.

  7. Teresa says:

    “A puddle of jelly….” What a perfectly wonderful way to describe the effect of that speech.

    Actually, Notting Hill came close to replacing My Best Friend’s Wedding on the list; but Rupert Everette’s hilarious performance, and especially that delightful phone call at the end won the day.

    Thanks for stopping by,
    Teresa

  8. scottsgal says:

    I like Dirty Dancing and Gone with the Wind
    msboatgal at aol.com

  9. Jen says:

    I love 17 Again and The Cutting Edge and Pillow Talk

  10. Teresa says:

    One of my best friends when my sons were in elementary school absolutely adored Patrick Swayze. She would watch that final dance scene over and over again.

  11. Teresa says:

    I haven’t seen 17 Again yet; but I’ll give it try. I do remember the Cutting Edge. I loved the whole opposites attract theme. Pillow Talk is one of my favorite Doris Day films. I remember being in awe of her adorable wardrobe in all her movies when I was growing up.

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  13. Double Your Dating says:

    My list of movies is very long that is the list consists of different modern and historical romance movies and I like to view all of them.

  14. mbm says:

    People will probably not know this one, but my favorite romance movie (which also happens to be my most favorite movie of all time!) is “Moment by Moment” from 1978, starring John Travolta and Lily Tomlin.

    I love it more than any movie I’ve ever seen! It’s not too mushy and sentimental, yet it’s extremely sweet in it’s own way. And it beatiful, simple, and sophistacated! Ah, I adore it! So, you might be suprised to learn that it’s considered one of the worst films ever made. Just goes to show how screwed up the majority of the world must be!

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