Single or in a relationship, everyone loves a good romance film to make them feel all mushy inside, appreciate the love around them or have a good ol’ cry. For today’s challenge, our writers pick their favourite films that make them want to fall in love.
City lights (1931)
No modern rom-com has ever satisfied my desire to fall in love like this one. It may well be the romance of the black and white film. But City Lights crafted a love story that I fell for better than any film with dialogue. That’s because this film doesn’t need dialogue to see the love between the blind flower seller and the Tramp. It’s a love that transcends speech, one where the Tramp is willing to go to extraordinary lengths for the girl he loves. In this film you never really learn more about that the Tramp and the Blind Girl, I mean you don’t even learn their names. This makes it even the more special though as you don’t need to, to fully understand why they love each other so much and why you’d be mad as an audience member not to want a love like that. Actions speak louder than words and this film is the film that makes that sentence true.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
I actually struggled to think of a film besides this one that’s a romance film which isn’t creepy in some way, ends in misery or has a ‘yikes’ moment. I’m only going to talk about Kat and Patrick because they’re the only ones that matter to me, although I will praise Cameron for attempting to learn French for Bianca. It’s pretty yikes that Patrick originally goes out with Kat because he’s paid to, but he ends up actually liking her, so I’ll give it a pass.
Basically, this film makes me want to fall in love because I literally just want someone to go paintballing with me. I’ve never been paintballing and it looks so fun! That scene in this film is wholesome to watch, especially as it’s accompanied by ‘F.N.T.’ by Supersonic, and I don’t think I can watch it without singing along to “I’m surrppppised that you’ve never been told befooorreee that you’re lovely, and you’re perfect, and that somebody wants you.”
I also would quite appreciate a Heath Ledger (RIP) singing Frank Sinatra to me with a marching band. I love musicals, so this would be the peak of my existence if my life turned into one for a moment. However, what I like the most about this film is that although Patrick originally starts off talking to Kat because of a bet, you can see him slowly change as he learns more about her and her interests. At the end when he gifts her a guitar because he remembered that she wanted to start a band, oh boy that’s cute.
I also love Kat because this film isn’t a rom-com where the person’s only identifiable trait is that they’re in a relationship. Kat is still very independent, and has many other hobbies and passions besides her relationship. I think that’s really important, and most films don’t show that at all. I literally hate when people lose themselves for their relationship, and Kat doesn’t. Kat and Pat bring out the best in each other and make each other happy, and isn’t that all you could ask for?
Love, Rosie (2014)
I am a sucker for a rom-com. As someone who hasn’t felt love before, I live vicariously through other characters’ love stories. I am that person who is desperately invested in the romance, both in film and TV. And while it was hard choosing one out of all my loves, I chose Love, Rosie because it was this film that made me feel hollow inside, sobbing into my pillow, desperately wanting to feel the love the leads feel.
This is a film that makes you think about love being sacred, flowers being a good gift and holding hands being a fun thing to do rather than a huge inconvenience. It’s a film that makes you angry because they take so long to say they love each other that you want to scream it from the rooftops yourself. I am also a sucker for the best friends to lovers trope and this film pulled through.
Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart are best friends, they are the bestest of friends but they also fall in love. If we skip the in-between where Rosie has a baby, they see other partners, they move away from each other, they have heartbreak and focus on the love between them, this is a movie that is filled to the brim with cutesy heart-warming scenes and lines you find yourself squealing. That one part when Alex texted Rosie saying “I wasn’t ready to be a father yet anyway” as he stands in the doorway of the nursery he’s prepared…I started sobbing and didn’t stop for the entire rest of the movie.
The underlying message of this film, however, is that choosing the person you want to share your life with is one of the most important decisions any of us make because when it’s wrong, you’re whole life is wrong. This is a film that gives me hope that if two people are meant to be, they’re eventually going to be together. It also stars Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, two actors who can end all wars, cure cancer and give the best romance story I could ask for.
If you love rom-coms, please go watch this and then message me on some form of social media so we can chat, eat tortilla chips and cry together.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
So, we have almost reached the end of these 30 days of film and all of you are probably as sick of my writing as I am of the romance genre. Speaking of romance, a film that makes me want to fall in love? That is a hard one for sure…
While I mostly can’t stand the romances I have seen, I can’t deny that When Harry Met Sally (1989) is a good film. And yes, it may quite possibly have made me feel some semblance of emotion. I like how the characters are actually realistic and at times painfully awkward which makes the experience all the more relatable. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal have great chemistry which only helps the story seem more believable.
I also find it quite endearing how these characters started off hating each other, then become close friends with loads of banter before gradually becoming lovers at a believable pace. This is a lot more refreshing than the usual romance trope of “oh damn, that lady looks fine. I must have her” and the rest of the film is their on-again-off-again relationship.
When Harry Met Sally is a film that works for me, which is a top tier compliment coming from me so good job Rob Reiner.
About Time (2013)
Have I already chosen this film on a different day? Quite possibly. Am I still going to bang on about it? Oh yes…
I love a good rom-com. Give me a Nora Ephron or Richard Curtis film any day of the week and I’m happy (I know, I’m easily pleased). But About Time always feels different – maybe it’s General Hux/Domnhall Gleeson in his glorious ginger-ness, or its legendary soundtrack. Maybe it’s the fact that Mary (Rachel McAdams) wears a red wedding dress instead of white. Maybe it’s the sheer range of Tom Hollander’s insults.
Maybe it’s really that montage of them in the tube station as time passes and they go to work, pick their families up, dress in stupid costumes and dance to the band busking out a cover of “How Long Will I Love You”…
Okay, it is that montage. I’m watching it again and may or may not be crying. You can’t watch it and tell me it’s not perfect. Their love for each other is so pure and wholesome and that you don’t want something like that. There’s nothing especially fancy about it, but the cover is even better than the original song that was nowhere near upbeat enough to match what that kind of love feels like.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to ‘Il Mondo’ very loudly to drown out my crying.
What romance doesn’t make you want to fall in love? As a young girl you grow up with Disney princesses finding their prince charming, then you reach your teens and the quiet girl gets the popular boy and then you move into adulthood, and the woman who has been unlucky in love finally meets the guy. So there are many films to choose from that make us want to fall in love right from Disney to The Notebook.
For me that film is the Titanic. It might just be because of a young Leonardo DiCaprio playing Jack, but this film melts my heart and also breaks it into a thousand pieces by the end (but that’s a given with Titanic!). I adore the story of Jack and Rose…and yes I will continue to argue that Jack could have fit on the door with Rose and therefore didn’t have to die! But that is beside the point.
After watching the film for the first time I always wanted to find my Jack (but not quite in the same situation as they did!) and fall madly in love. Although there have been many other films since that have made me also want to fall in love such as P.S. I Love You, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Love, Rosie, A Star Is Born and Crazy Rich Asians, the Titanic will always be the first!
Living with Wolves (2005)
Strange, that a documentary about Wolves would make you want to fall in love.
The sequel to the documentary Wolves at Our Door, I believe Living with Wolves is far better. The documentary focuses on the lives of Jim and Jamie Dutcher, who lived in the yurt in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, for 6-years, with a pack of wild wolves, in order to try and breakdown the misinformation and advocate for the reintroduction of these beautiful animals. It’s visually stunning, the sound and music is amazing, and when you see Jamie’s photos, my God. The animals weren’t locked in cages like in Tiger King, profiteered off and mistreated. They are real, wild wolves, with whom these people developed obvious, genuine and affectionate relationships. But the human story is even more stunning.
Jim and Jamie met on a plane, decades before either film was made. They corresponded by letters for years, as Jim became a wildlife filmmaker, famous for spending years living close and personal with animals, and Jamie became a vet working at a zoo, yearning to see the animals she had always loved in the wild. When Jim invited her, she dropped everything, to live in a tent, in cold distant mountains, thousands of miles away. Because, in her own words, she already knew she loved him.
I’ve always wanted to see more of the natural beauty in the world, and I’ve always wanted to have experiences like that, but when I was 14, I wanted to know what it would be like to love someone so much, I’d leave everything behind to be with them, wherever they are, and whatever they’re doing.
I cannot recommend this film enough. It is fascinating, beautiful and spectacular, on every level. Inspiring, and at times heart-breaking, but always brilliant.
But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
Oh, to be a young Natasha Lyonne falling in love with a stunning greasy-haired Clea DuVall at an aesthetically beautiful gay conversion camp in the 90’s!
But I’m A Cheerleader is a comedic, heart-melting masterpiece, existing at the perfect intersection of being fully hilarious and beautifully fun, without shying away from the very real cruelty of the deep homophobia it portrays. It lovingly plays on stereotypes, pushing them to the point of exposing their absurdity while acknowledging that some are painfully true (see: every lesbian at the camp being vegetarian). It is also, get this: a queer film with a HAPPY ENDING!!!
This truly iconic gem of cinema is perfect for when you’re gay and in love and need a good laugh, and also when you’re gay and not in love, yearning for the greasy-haired girl of your dreams to come and find you.
Notting Hill (1999)
When it comes to British rom-coms, you have to turn to the expert – Richard Curtis. Although most would say his best work lies in Four Weddings and a Funeral or a newer hit like About Time, for me, it has to be Notting Hill.
When I saw Notting Hill for the first time, many moons ago, I thought the pairing of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts was a strange choice. Of course, Richard Curtis’ films are where Hugh Grant shines brightest as a bumbling Englishman, but I wasn’t too sure how he’d match up with Julia Roberts as his leading lady. As soon as you watch the film, you know that the right choice was made with their undeniable chemistry. Who knew a romance between a Brit who owns an independent travel bookshop would find love with a successful Hollywood actress in the now-trendy London borough of Notting Hill? It’s a classic opposites attract story with that British charm that makes it stand out from American rom-coms. Despite having visited London many times, I still have yet to visit Notting Hill.
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Yes, I’m going to be “that girl” – I love Pride and Prejudice (2005). I have no recollection of my first encounter with this film, all I know is that this probably the most influential film in my life.
Jane Austen shaped the way I think about love, as something that doesn’t always just happen to us. It can be more gradual, deeper connection that you realise over time. At 12 or 13 I was convinced I won’t settle for anything less than what Mr. Darcy and Elisabeth had.
Why this adaptation? Probably by sheer coincidence but having seen all of the others, I’m glad I fell in love with this one. Despite knowing it by heart, it brings me to tears almost every time. Perfect for a rainy day alone but a very hard sell for those, who are not suckers for period dramas.
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
Call Me by Your Name is reminiscent of 1970s style filmmaking. The camera lingering just a bit longer than expected, scenes of idleness being front and center of this tale: it creates an atmosphere which closely captures a nostalgic Italian summer. Guadagnino allows the chemistry between the characters to patiently blossom into romance, therefore succeeding in creating an organically told story. A great director knows when to step back and let the actors shine: no where is this better exemplified than in the last scene of the movie.
As Elio is left to reminisce the summer that was, full of melancholy, but never regret, the nefarious question is never asked. Was it worth it? Were those fleeting weeks worth the pain? The question is very clearly answered by Elio’s dad, played by an incredible Michael Stuhlbarg, with what is probably my favourite quote of the movie: “But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!”. Because the film is all about pleasure being defined by its inevitable end: summer and youth, characterized by their delicate and transitory beauty, mirroring the fate of the protagonists’ relationship.
This film not only wants to make me fall in love: it liberates me from the primitive view that, just because relationships come to an end, they are not important. Love is found in many forms: sometimes it is one that lasts a lifetime, others times it lives immutable in a certain place, at a certain time. Summer romances are special that way.
Last modified: 13th May 2020