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Top 10 Romantic Movies

Romancing the Stone

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in ROMANCING THE STONE.

When I started asking around about what people’s favorite romantic movies were there was a lot of overlapping, but not one person mentioned any – not a single one – from my personal top 10 list, so I felt obliged to share them here (in no particular order) and see if there were any takers.

1. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989)

What’s more lovable than Meg Ryan in her adorable late 80s/early 90s phase? The answer is Meg Ryan side by side in an unexpected romantic duo with Billy Crystal. Who can forget her orgasmic experience at Katz’s Deli? This movie proves that sleeping with your friend doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your relationship.

2. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961)

Holly Golightly may not have found love in the Truman Capote original, but in the hands of screenwriter George Axelrod (THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES, to name a few) she not only finds love but looks fabulous doing it.

3. ROMANCING THE STONE (1984)

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner fall for each other against all odds while battling bad guys in the jungle. It also features one of Danny DeVito’s best lines ever (you can’t miss it). It’s smart, funny, action-packed and what I’ll be watching Sunday night.

4. MOONSTRUCK (1987)

Nicholas Cage is often sweaty and baggy-eyed in this 80s Cher classic. Oh yeah, he’s missing a finger, too. But nothing is sexier than when he tells Cher in a heavy Brooklyn accent: “I want you to come upstairs and get in my bed.” Cher, of course, obeys.

5. FATHER GOOSE (1964)

Cary Grant’s Walter Eckland is one of my favorite male protagonists of all time. A swarthy seaman who lives on a steady diet on Black & White, Eckland thinks he has finally succeeded in getting away from the world when he winds up sharing a small Pacific island with a prim and proper French tutor (played by a wonderfully funny Leslie Caron) and her seven shipwrecked students. It’s not quite a screwball comedy, but it has one of the more unique, not to mention well-written, screenplays for a romantic movie of the time.

6. BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (1967)

What sets this movie apart (besides gratuitous shots of Jane Fonda’s buns of steel) is that it doesn’t follow the boy meets girl plot line of pretty much every other romantic movie not only on this list, but in general. In this case, the boy (Robert Redford) and girl have not only met, they’re married. They’ve just moved into their first NY apartment and the heat doesn’t work and the neighbors are nutty but they’re determined to keep their newlywed glow alive.

7. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1995)

I want to preface that I’m referring to the A&E 6-part miniseries, which is the only adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” that captures that love-sick swelling in your chest you feel when you read the book for the first time. You can trust me; I’ve literally seen them all, and I still fall in love with Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy every time.

8. THE LADY AND THE TRAMP (1955)

What more can be said about this Disney classic? With all the tech-based animated films coming out now, it’s refreshing to return to the original.

9. TRUE ROMANCE (1993)

While I’ve never been big on Quentin Tarantino, I nevertheless enjoy his not surprisingly violent and bloody take on the romance genre. Patricia Arquette and Christian Slater are exceedingly well pared as a call girl and the nice guy who falls for her. Her fight scene with James Gandolfini remains one of my favorite scenes in any movie ever, and who can forget her final lines, “You’re so cool. You’re so cool. You’re so cool.” There are some great cameos too, like Gary Oldman as the rastafarian drug dealer and Brad Pitt as a pot-smoking slacker.

10. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)

Even though Claudette Colbert was a notorious pain on the set of the film, you can’t tell that she and Clark Gable didn’t get along whatsoever in this Frank Capra classic. In fact, this film is so fun to watch it’s hard to believe they didn’t have a blast making it. I hesitate to use the term, but this really is a ‘feel-good’ movie. Catch it on the big screen at BAM Sunday night.