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List: Movies to Share With Your Valentine

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 8:00 am

In 2008, I did a Valentine’s Day tribute to great movie couples, from Mickey and Minnie to The Princess Bride and with suggestions for all ages. Here’s a list of five of my all-time favorite falling-in-love (or realizing you’re in love) stories for teenagers and grown-ups. Cuddle up with your valentine and a bowl of popcorn and enjoy these movies about how love makes us crazy and immeasurably happy at the same time.

1. Moonstruck Cher won an Oscar as the bookkeeper who has given up on love until she meets the brother of her fiance, who tells her:

Love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and *die*.

2. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet find that they really don’t want to forget each other, no matter how painful love can be.

3. You’ve Got Mail This third version of the story of a couple who are at war in person, not realizing that they are tender lovers through the mail, updates the story to the computer age. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have so much chemistry on screen that we know from the first moment what it will take them the whole movie to discover — they are meant to be together.

4. The Philadelphia Story On the eve of her wedding, socialite Tracy Lord’s ex-husband shows up with a couple of journalists and we get to watch three of the greatest stars in Hollywood history sort out their affections. This movie has everything: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart (who won an Oscar), George Cukor as director, wit, heart, and romance and an important lesson about how sometimes it is not about falling in love but recognizing that we have already fallen.

5. To Have and Have Not

As tough guy Humphrey Bogart meets the even-tougher Lauren Bacall (only 19 years old when this was filmed), we get to see the real-life romantic sparks that gave the on-screen love story some extra sizzle. Watch her tell him how to whistle.

And be sure to check out Beliefnet’s other Valentine thoughts and recommendations.

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For Your Netflix Queue Holidays Rediscovered Classic Romance

What Makes a Movie Romantic?

Posted on February 14, 2010 at 8:36 am

Many thanks once again to Cheryl Anderson of the Appleton Post-Crescent for interviewing me, this time about what makes movie romantic.

“There are so many movies about love for the same reason there are so many movies about lost treasure and secret formulas and war battles and historical accomplishments, because love really is life’s great adventure,” says film critic Nell Minow, who has been reviewing movies as The Movie Mom since 1995.

“And we like to see movies about love for the same reason we like to see other movies about adventures — to experience the vicarious thrill, the challenge, the uncertainty and the happy ending. Long before there were movies, there were fairy tales, which ended with happily ever after….”

A great love story for Minow makes viewers believe the characters “get” each other. They won’t be happy every day but they ultimately will live happily ever after. Two of her favorite true-to-life romances are 1987’s “Moonstruck” starring Cher and Nicolas Cage, and 2004’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.

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Media Appearances Romance Understanding Media and Pop Culture

List: the Hendricks’ Top Relationship Movies

Posted on August 13, 2008 at 8:00 am

Authors and consultants Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks (Conscious Loving, Attracting Genuine Love, Five Wishes, and The Corporate Mystic) teach seminars in conscious relationships and “bodymind vibrance.” They have complied a list of their top relationship movies, movies that combine “artistic merit with the ability of the movie to shed light on the inner workings of relationships and how to maximize their potential. In addition, all the movies we selected share that elusive quality known as heart.” moonstruck.jpg
All of the films on their list are worth watching and discussing. Here’s their list, with my comments. Their discussion appears in two parts on their Huffington Post column. Here are the first five:
1. Moonstruck This is one of the most romantic movies ever made. The Henricks picked it for Nicolas Cage’s speech about victimhood and responsibility, but I’d pick it for its acknowledgment that true love does not always make you happy but it always makes you feel alive.
2. The Holiday I like this movie in spite of myself. It is not very clever or witty but I love the love stories, not just Kate Winslet and Jack Black and Cameron Diaz and Jude Law but also Kate Winslet and Eli Wallach as her neighbor, a screenwriter from Hollywood’s golden era.
3. The January Man This was a surprising choice because it is a little-known thriller. The Hendricks picked it for just one scene at the beginning and they are right that it is a good model about how to talk honestly about relationships.
4. Truly, Madly, Deeply One of the wisest and most touching love stories ever made, this is about loving and letting go as a young widow (Juliet Stevenson, utterly luminous) must choose life for herself after a great loss. It has a rare romantic lead performance by the magnificent Alan Rickman and there is a magical scene when the two of them are reunited.
5. Monsoon Wedding Every possible variation of family relationships is lovingly explored in this wonderful story of the importance of honesty and loyalty.

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For Your Netflix Queue Lists Romance
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

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