Romance films

“True Romance”, “His Girl Friday”, More

Every Valentine’s Day, the Hollywood powers that be impose a coterie of gruesome films on impressionable teens and adults in love. This year, instead of a sappy adaptation of Nicholas Sparks, there’s the miserable-looking duo of Everlasting love and Winter tale– a remake of DOA and fairytale duds. The disheartening combination of cold winter temperatures, snowy sidewalks and dreaded V-Day will make many retreat to the comfort of their couch for a serious movie session. You’ve probably heard of the classics of all time—Blown away by the wind, West Side Story, A case to remember, etc. — but here is a selection of excellent romance films that have not received their due in the annals of cinema. So, drink a bottle of wine and sample these (should be) classics.

his daughter friday (1940)

A must have for anyone interested in journalism (or goofy comedies). This black-and-white film by Howard Hawks – who is, in this writer’s opinion, arguably the greatest director of all time – is an adaptation of the play. The first page, only the role of Hildy Johnson was changed to a female, turning reporters feud into a pair of old flame feuds, played by Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Journalist Ace Hildy (Russell) intends to leave the fast-paced world of the press and settle down with a bland insurance agent (Ralph Bellamy), but her ex-lover / boss, Walter (Grant), has other projects. He wishes to sabotage Hildy by convincing her to cover up one final story involving convicted murderer Earl Williams, who is about to be hanged. The Hawks movie features fantastic, mile-a-minute dialogue, delivered with panache by the two stars of the game. It’s one of the best wacky comedies ever made.

Brief meeting (1945)

Prior to Laurence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, legendary filmmaker David Lean directed this poignant adaptation of Noel Coward’s one-act play Still life. The 1938 film centers on Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson), a bored British housewife in a sexless marriage who meets Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard), a kind, unassuming doctor at a train station. It is too married with two children, and before long, the two romantics in their late thirties embark on a passionate affair. For 86 tense minutes, Lean presents an unglamorous and painfully realistic portrayal of passion, accented by lush black-and-white cinematography by Robert Krasker and a hypnotic, heavy score by Rachmaninoff. It is in a way the anti-Casablanca– a film completely devoid of leading stars and, as Captain Louis Renault would say, “a sentimentalism of rank”.

Popular (1946)

This romantic spy thriller is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest and most criminally underrated films. In Rio de Janeiro, US government agent TR Devlin (Cary Grant) recruits Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Berman), the daughter of a convicted Nazi spy, to infiltrate a gang of Nazis who retreated to Brazil after WWII global. She is responsible for seducing Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains, in a Casablanca reunion), one of his father’s Nazi friends, who may be aware of the whereabouts of the missing uranium. Things get complicated when she falls in love with Devlin. In typical Hitchcock fashion, the film features excellent directing, fine performances by Grant, the astonishing Bergman and a delightfully sassy Rains, and one of Hitch’s most memorable tracking shots, focusing on a key in the hand of the character of Bergman.

Harold and Maude (1971)

Yes, this Hal Ashby film has achieved “cult classic” status at this point, but there are still a surprising number of young people who have yet to be surprised by the wonder of this eerily brilliant love story. . It centers around Harold (Bud Cort), a disillusioned 20-year-old fascinated by death and the macabre. It is a troubled young man at odds with his detached mother, who sends him through a revolving door of shrinks. One day, during a funeral, he meets Maude (Ruth Gordon), a 79-year-old woman who has the joy of life. The two form an unlikely friendship – she teaches the dark young man to enjoy and participate in the gifts of life – which ends up blossoming in romance. Ashby’s film was filmed upon release, deemed too twisted and dark for most viewers, but is now considered timeless for its weird humor, excellent soundtrack (courtesy Cat Stevens) and its considerable heat.

Air combat (1991)

If you see a River Phoenix movie, see My own private Idaho. But if you see two, you should do the second Air combat. In Nancy Savoca’s film about the Vietnam War, Phoenix plays Eddie Birdlace, an 18-year-old marine who is about to ship to Vietnam. Before he leaves, he and his Marine buddies engage in “aerial combat”, a competition to bring out the ugliest date. Eddie chooses Rose (Lili Taylor), a simple-looking waitress. Rose finally got wind of the “air combat” scenario and pounced on Eddie, who convinces her to give him a second chance. They spend the rest of the night having dinner and talking, and soon fall in love with each other. The night ends with an awkward but touching sex. The next morning, Rose gives Eddie her address and tells him to write, and the action soon cuts him off in Vietnam. Savoca’s film is a little-known classic – kind of a backing piece for The deer hunter-through his heartfelt and touching performances and outstanding soundtrack, starring Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.

True romance (1993)

Directed by the late Tony Scott, this gonzo action-romance comedy was the first screenplay ever written by a young Quentin Tarantino, who sold it for just $ 50,000. Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) is a lonely, eccentric geek who works in a comic book store. One evening, while spending his birthday alone in a triple Sonny Chiba movie, he meets Alabama (Patricia Arquette), a gorgeous southern beauty, and the two have a wonderful night of pie, conversation and sex. passionate. Afterwards, she confesses that she is a prostitute who was hired by Clarence’s boss for her birthday, but it was her first job, and she fell in love with him. He’s in love too, and goes to get his things from his pseudo-Jamaican pimp (Gary Oldman, hilarious). Clarence ends up killing the pimp, and instead of taking his clothes off, leaves with a briefcase full of cocaine. The event sets off a mad goose hunt involving mobsters, led by a brilliant Christopher Walken, a brutal Mafia henchman, played by the late James Gandolfini, and Brad Pitt as a stoner who lives on a couch. The dialogue is pure Tarantino, the bloody action is pure Tony Scott, and the actors, especially Slater, Arquette, Oldman and Walken deliver insane performances.

The wedding banquet (1993)

Before brokeback mountain, two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Ang Lee directed this touching romantic comedy centered on Wai-Tung Gao (Winston Chao), a Taiwanese gay man living with his boyfriend in Manhattan, who is under pressure from his parents to marry him and produce a grandchild. So, to appease his parents, he decides to marry Wei-Wei (May Chin), a penniless Chinese opera singer in his apartment building. The film ingeniously transforms from a wacky comedy in its first third – as the parents try to set up Wai-Tung with a series of women, to a drama in the middle part, which includes the wacky and heart-wrenching wedding banquet. , to something terribly sweet at the end of the movie. It is a very touching film about the possibilities of sexual acceptance and cultural assimilation, and was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film.

Girl on the bridge (1999)

Patrice Leconte’s French black-and-white film tells the story of Gabor (Daniel Auteuil), a knife thrower who falls on Adèle (Vanessa Paradis), as she is about to throw herself from a bridge over the Seine. Gabor saves her with her own life, convincing her to become the target girl in her acclaimed knife-throwing act. The two travel across Europe to perform their dangerous act and form a dynamic duo, each thriving in life and love, earning a lot of money from gambling. When Adele gets married and the two go their separate ways, they quickly realize that luck is only intact when they are together. Leconte imbues the film with dreamlike and Fellini visuals, old-fashioned glamor and dazzling knife-throwing scenes to create a hypnotic and unconventional love story for the ages.

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Only the great Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie evenings, There will be blood) would observe the work of comedian Adam Sandler, see the shimmer of despair and heartbreak in the performances, and mine and shape it into the central character of a surreal love story. Sandler is Barry Egan, a sad sack who has been emotionally stunted by his bossy seven sisters and turned into a time bomb. To escape his boring job of selling toilet pistons, Barry hatches a ploy to exploit a flawed promotion awarding 500 air miles per cup of pudding in the hopes of racking up enough miles to travel the world. He’s also tracked down by a phone sex operator run by a Provo-based wacko (Philip Seymour Hoffman, electrifying), who sends henchmen to shake Barry up. In the process, he falls in love with his sister’s co-worker, Lena (Emily Watson), an angelic woman. When she becomes the target of the goons, Barry takes matters into her own hands. Anderson’s hypnotic film boasts an avant-garde harmonium-laden score by the great composer Jon Brion, a magnificent lens by Robert Elswit (who won an Oscar for Anderson’s There will be blood), a surprisingly captivating turn of the head of Sandler and an entertaining turn of the late Hoffman. The scene where Barry kisses Lena and, looking her in the eye, says the following, will go down as a classic cinematic love profession: “I’m looking at your face and I just want to break it. I just want to smash it with a hammer and squeeze it. You are so cute. “

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