If you are feeling especially romantic or even lovelorn this Valentine’s Day, why not have a good fantasy (or a good sulk), and watch some classic movies that will help you tap into your inner angst even more.
Here are some of my all-time favorite romantic movie scenes; I’d love to hear some of yours, so please share them in the comments section.
Say Anything. The film tells the tale of slacker, Lloyd Dobler (brilliantly portrayed by a young John Cusack), who falls hard for the class valedictorian. The film is most notable for what has now become an iconic scene— Lloyd standing outside Diane’s window, holding up a boom box that’s blaring out Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” for his beloved. When this came out in 1989, there was not a young woman I knew who did not develop a huge crush on John Cusack and started to pester the guys we knew to be more “romantic” like that. Never mind that it was stalkeresque behavior and he was lost and obsessive, to 20-something young women of the day, he was irresistible.
The Way We Were. This is a classic film in so many ways: lots of great dialogue, set during some big 20th century events, and the pairing of two of the biggest stars of the time. Barbra Streisand, at her most radiant and vulnerable, and Robert Redford was well….Redford. It tells the story of two completely mismatched college classmates,—Katie, a strident Jewish, Marxist, and Hubbell, a preppy jock who, despite their huge differences, fall in love. It goes to show that sometimes love really is not enough, and that sometimes too many differences are just too much to overcome. The end of the movie has one of the most memorable loves scenes every filmed. Years after they have parted, they run into each other, and she, having seen him with his current love says, “Your girl is lovely, Hubble.” No matter how many times I have seen it, it still gets me every time, because you can see the love that they still have for one another in spite of the time and the drama that defined their romance. It’s such a memorable scene that the character Carrie Bradshaw used it on her love, Mr. Big in Sex and the City.
Bull Durham. One of my favorite movies, I think is one of the most romantic ever made. As I wrote about the film before, it is smart and sexy. In the film, Kevin Costner plays minor-league catcher “Crash” Davis who winds up falling hard for team groupie Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon at her most endearing). From Crash’s soliloquy on life and romance, to my absolute favorite scene where he’s painting her toenails, somehow turning one of the most mundane tasks around into one of the sexiest, Crash is the kind of man most women are looking for. He’s funny, smart, and so sexy. As Annie Savoy says, “Oh my!”
When Harry Met Sally. Having grown up watching Billy Crystal the comedian, first on the TV shows Soap and Saturday Night Live, and in movies like City Slickers, romantic lead is certainly not a category I would put him in. Maybe that’s why this movie seemed so relatable and so much more real in its portrayal of love. Harry is just an every day schlub, who continually argues that women and men can’t be just friends, and Sally, played so endearingly by Meg Ryan, is a neurotic hot-mess, who together, manage to find one another in spite of that, just like most of us do in real life. At the end of the movie he runs to find her on New Year’s Eve to declare his love for her. When he does, he tells her all the things about her that he loves, ending with: “And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Dirty Dancing. I have seen this movie so many times that I have actually lost count. Starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, it tells the story of 17-year-old Francis “Baby” Houseman, vacationing at Kellerman’s summer resort with her family, and who falls in love with hot, dance instructor Johnny Castle. This is a classic summer romance movie, from the forbidden romance between the two to the memorable dance scenes. Johnny’s now-famous line “Nobody puts baby in a corner” is his way of declaring his love for her. And, it leads to one of the best dance sequences ever filmed.