Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Top 10 romantic movie moments

Regardless of the genre or time period, a romantic bond between the two main characters in a film has conquered the hearts of its audience. From the heartbreaking scenes to dramatic declarations of love, each of the films below has its own moment which really stands out in time as a romantic on-screen moment. Interestingly, for half of them the lovers sadly do not end up together at the end of the film. For Valentines Day, here is my top 10 romantic movie moments- most of them familiar:

1. The Notebook- "It still isn't over!"
There's something about reconnected lovers that seems to make for a great narrative- Noah and Allie, young lovers, are separated for a number of years, but when they reunite sparks fly and their passion is brought to the surface. This scene takes place in the pouring rain soundtracked by dramatic strings but it's a cliché that difficult to resist.

2. Romeo + Juliet- Meeting through the fish tank
Baz Luhrmann's stunning cinematography is showcased at this point of the film when the famous young lovers meet. He has drawn from Shakespeare's original imagery to depict the fantastical costumes and aquarium setup, and a young DiCaprio and Claire Danes naturally communicate the youthful innocence of first love. Soundtracked by Des'ree's 'Kissing You', it's both emotionally charged yet so simple.

3. Pride and Prejudice- "Surely you must know, it was all for you."
The 2005 adaptation of Austen's much-loved book saw a strengthening of the developing romance between Elizabeth Bennet and the classic heartbreaker Mr Darcy. In this scene, the troubled lovers, who have previously refused a relationship due to their own pride, now realise that they are unable to control their sensitivities. They meet each other at dawn in the fields and Mr Darcy articulates almost too perfectly how he feels - a tender monologue that would melt anyone's romantic doubts.

4. Love Actually- "To me, you are perfect."
A more unconventional love story, the narrative that seemed the most poignant was Mark's muted declaration of love to his best friend's new wife Juliet. In a quiet yet theatrical manner, he progresses through hand-written posters explaining his unrequited feelings. What makes this moment so romantic, is that he pronounces his timeless adoration, but accepts its impossibility- an admirable act.

5. Titanic - "I'm flying"
One of the most successful and popular romantic movies of all time, Titanic plays upon the classic rich-girl-falls-in-love-with-the-wrong-poor-boy setup. Jack woos her with his daring and grand gestures, and he is absolutely in control during the entire scene. Perhaps it's Rose's ultimate trust in this stranger or the audience's knowledge of the miserable ending that makes it so touching. It's also a sensational first kiss.

6. Moulin Rouge!- Come What May
The only thing better than an on-screen heart-wrenching dialogue is the same scene performed in a musical. In the film's dramatic finale, courtesan Satine accepts her sincere love for poet Christian and the two sing a duet that reaches astronomical heights in terms of stage presence, chorus involvement and an emotional climax. When lovers make up after a fight on-screen, it just can't happen without fireworks, literally.

7. Breakfast at Tiffany's- "I don't want to put you in a cage. I want to love you."
Sassy New Yorker Holly Golightly finally submits to the romance of her neighbour Paul in the final scene of the movie. Holly insists that she doesn't believe in commitment but her vulnerable, confused self finally admits that she can't live without the people that she loves. This scene is a classic Audrey Hepburn moment and a romantic gesture imitated in various other movies and television shows.

8. Say Anything
One of John Cusack's most renowned roles as romantic underacheiver Lloyd brought a sense of seriousness and maturity to the typical teenage summer romance. Early on, school captain Diane rejects his relationship proposal and Lloyd spends the majority of the film depressed and broody. It's when he finally gets himself up again and is determined to pursue his passion that his boldness oozes into every bit of dialogue and action. "What I want to do for a living- is I want to be with your daughter," the 19-year-old exclaims. And who can forget the famous boombox moment?

9. 10 Things I Hate About You- Patrick's serenade
It seems ridiculous that such romantic drama would occur in a high school setting but there were no complaints when Heath Ledger's character bursts into song to serenade a stubborn love interest. He plays the classic bad boy in the '90s film and so its even more surprising that he takes it upon himself to perform a ballad in public. This scene shows a romantic moment a little more comedic than most.

10. The Way We Were- "Your girl is lovely, Hubble."
Finally, one of the most melancholy love stories- the actual romance itself is short and sweet, but the unpredictable twists and turns of life ultimately separate the animated Katie and Hubble. At the end of the film, the couple meets - Katie now a single mother to their young daughter, and Hubble engaged to another woman. Barbra Streisand running her fingers through a young Robert Redford's hair shows that their relations are not completely over, and the wistful titular theme song in the background makes the moment even more pitiful.

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