Whether you hate it, or love it, or think it’s a day constructed by greeting card and chocolate companies, Valentines is nearly here. We at the Picture House will be screening Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind at Ballyclare Town Hall on the 17th (at 8pm) for a slightly belated Valentines. However, in the meantime I thought we could share with you our favourite films about love.
There are many amazing films that explore love, whether it’s romantic, familial, friendship, or the love of a pet, etc. Films look at finding love, losing love, the absence of love, the quiet comfort of familiar and unremarkable love, new loves and old loves, and loss. Sometimes we watch movies because we need sympathy; we need the reassurance that someone else has gone through this and understands. Sometimes we find a film surprises us and makes us feel something we weren’t expecting or didn’t think possible. Sometimes love makes us cry and sometimes it makes us laugh.
Here they are, our favourite movies about love (in no particular order)…
Bell Book and Candle -Lorrainne
My favourite film is Bell Book and Candle.
A sophisticated New York witch takes a fancy to a neighbour and casts a love spell on him. To her chagrin, she falls in love with him and therefore loses her powers. He finds out about the jiggery pokery and recruits a rather eccentric elderly witch to release him from the spell. He turns up at the lovestruck witches place to confront her and realises she really does love him and that he really does love her too. True Love prevails and they, we assume, live happily ever after in the muggle world.
Maybe not a conventional romance, but it is great fun, imaginative, and has some memorable scenes and great performances from a talented cast. And maybe it reminds us that “Falling in Love “ is a glamour of sorts, but once it wears off, true love remains .
Laughing Gravy -Robin
My favourite romantic movie? Laurel and Hardy’s ‘Laughing Gravy’, of course.
I’ve always thought the pair’s longstanding bowler-hatted bromance is actually a rather touching picture of a couple who are prepared to put up with the other’s deeply irritating behaviour because, well, because they love each other.
This Hollywood (sort-of) classic is what producers like to call ‘high concept’, which basically means you can sum up the plot in a single sentence.
In this case the sentence is: “Laurel and Hardy try to prevent their unruly dog getting them evicted by their landlord”.
The film opens with the two in bed together in their nightgowns. Stan snores and annoys both Ollie and the dog.
In fact, the dog, with the bizarre name Laughing Gravy, clearly represents the happy couple’s noisy child.
This 20-minute gem is unlikely to feature in any cinema near you, not even the estimable Picture House at Ballyclare Town Hall.
Happily, you can catch it on YouTube. See if you agree with me.
The scene where Stan and Ollie fall down a chimney off a snow-covered roof is a gem.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
When I think about this movie, even though it is essentially a science fiction film, I am reminded of the reality of love. The fact that it is hard, how sometimes we like to forget parts of it but ultimately that love makes us better people. The film shows me how I crave love and connection above everything else
I like best how the film explores the idea of fate in love and that there may in fact be just one person out there who is your perfect match. Even though Joel and Clementine had each other erased from their minds, they still found each other and fell in love all over again. Because the universe would have it no other way
My romantic movie is Holiday starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Cary Grant’s character John Case is set to marry the wrong women (unbeknownst to him). After meeting the rest of her family, in particular her older sister (Hepburn) the “black sheep” of the family, he starts to see that love isn’t as simple as love at first sight. This movie reminds me of a part of my life where I found love in an unexpected place.
The film also has important views on money versus experience and what love is really worth.
When Harry Met Sally -Maureen
I know this seems cliché but my favourite romantic movie really is When Harry Met Sally, and I love romantic comedies (There are a ton of them on my DVD shelves). There is something about the simple beauty of two people falling in love as friends before they realise they love each other romantically. It’s always been a go-to film to cheer me up but now that I’m older I appreciate the laughing, angry, everyday moments of their love even more than any grand-gesture kiss-in-the-rain type romantic film. Especially since parts of their relationship parallel my own.
High Fidelity -Alli
Of course, our list of top films end with High Fidelity, although yes, techinically its addition makes the list a Top 6 not a Top 5. John Cusack’s monologues about life and love, his mistakes and blunders, and his surprisingly hilarious slapstick are at the heart of this film. Once again, we have a movie that shows that love can be messy, can be interupted, can be as painful as it is healing. This film has a stellar soundtrack (of course) and is defintely one you can watch again and again and again…..
… And just because there are so many good films about love, here are some other ones we want to recommend:
A New York Winter’s Tale
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
An Affair to Remember
The Adjustment Bureau
The Princess Bride
Happy Valentine’s Day