Tag Archives: Romance

November Genre Grandeur round-up over at Movie Rob

In November I had the honour of picking the genre for Movie Rob‘s monthly Genre Grandeur feature. I picked one of my favourite genres – Alternative Romances.

I wrote two reviews for Warm Bodies and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but loads of other people participated, which was awesome so I thought I would share a round up of their reviews so you can go and check them out! Read more…

My top 10 alternative love stories

It’s Valentines Day this week, which means that the theme of this week’s top 10 is obviously love but since I am a bit of a cynic I have to admit that most Hollywood love stories do very little for me. For example I thought The Notebook was one of the lamest movies I have ever seen. But… I am not completely incapable of any kind of romanticism or unaware that love is one of the most important story themes throughout human history. So this week I am having a look at my favourite off beat movies about love. [WARNING SOME SPOILERS]

258Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Starring: Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey
The quirk: The main couple have parted and one has already had their mind cleared of all recollection of the relationship while the other is going through the process. The story is told out of order and explores whether love is worth the pain the inevitably comes with it.
“Joel: I can’t see anything that I don’t like about you.
Clementine: But you will! But you will. You know, you will think of things. And I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped because that’s what happens with me.
Joel: Okay.
Clementine: [pauses] Okay.”

Harold-and-Maude-2Harold and Maude (1971)
Starring: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort
The quirk: We’ve seen a fair few May-December romances with an older male partner but Harold and Maude is the only onscreen love story I have ever seen with such a large age gap where the female partner is older.
“Harold: Maude?
Maude: Yeah?
Harold: [pulls the stamped coin from the arcade out of his pocket] Here.
Maude: A gift!
[reads the engraving]
Maude: “Harold loves Maude.”… and Maude loves Harold. This is the nicest gift I’ve received in years.
[she throws the stamped coin into the water]
Harold: [gasps, bemused]
Maude: So I’ll always know where it is.

f5e04d06b561b54c749e3048bf058affRuby Sparks (2012)
Starring: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan
The quirk: Calvin writes Ruby, his perfect partner into life and then realises he can continue to control and rewrite her as the relationship continues
“Calvin Weir-Fields: This is the true and impossible story of my very great love. In the hope that she will not read this and reproach me, I have withheld many telling details: her name, the particulars of her birth and upbringing, and any identifying scars or birth marks. All the same, I cannot help but write this for her, to tell her “I’m sorry for every word I wrote to change you, I’m sorry for so many things. I couldn’t see you when you were here and, now that you’re gone, I see you everywhere.” One may read this and think it’s magic, but falling in love is an act of magic, so is writing. It was once said of Catcher In The Rye, “That rare miracle of fiction has again come to pass: a human being has been created out of ink, paper and the imagination.” I am no J.D. Salinger, but I have witnessed a rare miracle. Any writer can attest: in the luckiest, happiest state, the words are not coming from you, but through you. She came to me wholly herself, I was just lucky enough to be there to catch her.

closerCloser (2004)
Starring: Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Jude Law, Julia Roberts
The quirk: Infidelity, cruelty and depression abound as these four people destroy themselves and each other all in the name of trying to find real connection.
“Larry: I know who you are. I love you. I love everything about you that hurts.

annie-hall1Annie Hall (1977)
Starring: Diane Keaton, Woody Allen
The quirk: For Annie and Alvy love is not enough to overcome all their neuroses and all the things that they think love should be, when they should be focusing on how they actually feel about each other.
“[Alvy and Annie are seeing their therapists at the same time on a split screen]
Alvy Singer’s Therapist: How often do you sleep together?
Annie Hall’s Therapist: Do you have sex often?
Alvy Singer: [lamenting] Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week.
Annie Hall: [annoyed] Constantly. I’d say three times a week.

500-days-of-summer-poster(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Starring: Zoe Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
The quirk: The story is told out of sequence with a real gender role reversal as he is the hopeless romantic and she is the cynic who doesn’t want to be tied down
“Narrator: This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie ‘The Graduate’. The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent’s marriage she’d only love two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story.

Conversation(s) avec une femmeConversations with Other Women (2005)
Starring: Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter
The quirk: As two unnamed guests at a wedding flirt with each other it becomes evident that they have a past together, one that it will be hard to completely abandon.
“Man: If I told you I still loved you, that I always loved you, that I loved you to distraction, would you leave him?
Woman: No.

A-Single-Man-319A Single Man (2009)
Starring: Colin Firth and Julianne Moore
The quirk: George is desperately unhappy after the sudden death of his lover but that doesn’t stop his female best friend, Charley from hoping she might have a chance with him.
“George: You know that only thing that has made the whole thing worthwhile has been those few times that I was able to truly connect with another person.

120803011236-celeste-and-jesse-forever-movie-story-topCeleste and Jesse Forever (2012)
Starring: Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg
The quirk: Although Celeste and Andy seem like the perfect couple, it is only when they split up that Celeste realises she might be the worst thing that ever happened to Jesse.
“Celeste: Now I know why you fucking cry all the time. This shit’s emotional.”

1secretaryL_350x250Secretary (2002)
Starring: Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader
The quirk: After being released from a mental institution, shy, fragile Lee finds herself and love after her boss introduces her to BDSM.
“Lee: In one way or another I’ve always suffered. I didn’t know why exactly. But I do know that I’m not so scared of suffering now. I feel more than I’ve ever felt and I’ve found someone to feel with. To play with. To love in a way that feels right for me. I hope he knows that I can see that he suffers too. And that I want to love him.

My top 10 movie couples

The top tens continue and this time the topic is lurve. I’m not really much of a traditional romantic but every now and then I’ll watch a film and find myself getting caught up. These are the couples that did it!

Kat&PatKaterina Stratford and Patrick Verona
Played by: Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger
Film: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Why: Because they bring out the absolute best in each other and because they’re two very independent individuals who have chosen to close themselves off from the world but learn to reengage their softer sides through each other.
“Patrick: Someone still has her panties in a twist.
Kat: Don’t, for one minute, think that you had any effect whatsoever on my panties.
Patrick: Then what did I have an effect on?
Kat: Other than my upchuck reflex, nothing.”

The-wedding-singer-the-wedding-singer-6290338-2560-1727Julia Sullivan and Robbie Hart
Played by: Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler
Film: The Wedding Singer (1998)
Why: Because they’re perfect for each other and don’t realise it until it’s almost too late… and because they save each other from ending up with a pair of utter twats.
“Julia: May I ask what happened with Linda?
Robbie: She wasn’t the right one, I guess.
Julia: Did you have any idea she wasn’t the right one when you were together?
Robbie: I should have. Uh, I remember we went to the Grand Canyon one time. We were flying there and I’d never been there before and Linda had, so you would think that she would give me the window seat but she didn’t and… not that that’s a big deal, you know. It’s just there were a lot of little things like that. I know that sounds stupid…
Julia: Not at all. I think it’s the little things that count.”

The-Princess-Bride-0061Westley and Princess Buttercup
Played by Cary Elwes and Robin Wright
Film: The Princess Bride (1987)
Why: The separation, the angst, the secret identity and of course Westley’s endless devotion.
“Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?
Buttercup: Well… you were dead.
Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
Buttercup: I will never doubt again.
Westley: There will never be a need.”

natural-born-killers-1000highMickey and Mallory Knox
Played by: Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis
Film: Natural Born Killers (1994)
Why: There is no denying that Mickey and Mallory are a pair of depraved, sociopathic murderers but somehow that makes their ability to love each other so intensely that much more touching.
“Mallory: Wherever we go, whatever happens, Mickey, when I look up at the stars, I’ll know you’ll be lookin’ up at the same ones.
Mickey: Same ones, baby
Mallory: You make everyday feel like kindergarten.”

Jack-and-Sally-nightmare-before-christmas-17658813-720-440Jack and Sally
Voiced by: Chris Sarandon and Catherine O’Hara
Film: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Why: Because they’re so weird that neither of them could never be with anyone else. Also because Sally is Jack’s heart and the only thing that keeps him from going completely dark.
“Jack: My dearest friend, if you don’t mind… I’d like to join you by your side. Where we can gaze into the stars…
Jack and Sally: And sit together, now and forever. For it is plain, as anyone can see. We’re simply meant to be.”

Its-a-wonderful-life-jimmy-stewart-donna-reedGeorge Bailey and Mary (Hatch) Bailey
Played by: James Stewart and Donna Reed
Film: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Why: Because they’re best friends as well as husband and wife and they demonstrate what really being there for someone else means. Also at the time showing such an equal partnership between husband and wife was pretty inspiring and they have great banter.
“George: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I’ll take it. Then what?
George: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair… am I talking too much?”

brokeback-mountainJack Twist and Ennis Del Mar
Played by: Jack Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger
Film: Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Why: Because they are the light of each others’ lives. It’s also the ultimate forbidden fruit/star-crossed lovers pairing, burning with intensity but also incredible tenderness.
“Ennis Del Mar: This is a one-shot thing we got goin’ on here.
Jack Twist: It’s nobody’s business but ours.
Ennis Del Mar: You know I ain’t queer.
Jack Twist: Me neither.”
before-sunriseJesse and Celine
Played by: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
Films: Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset 2004, Before Midnight 2013
Why: Because their chemistry and banter is so good that we couldn’t resist coming back three times to revisit their connection. Also because if you’ve ever had in instant overwhelming, unexpected connection with someone, you’ll be able to identify with them.
“Jesse: I feel like this is, uh, some dream world we’re in, y’know.
Celine: Yeah, it’s so weird. It’s like our time together is just ours. It’s our own creation. It must be like I’m in your dream, and you in mine, or something.
Jesse: And what’s so cool is that this whole evening, all our time together, shouldn’t officially be happening.
Celine: Yeah, I know. Maybe that’s why this feels so otherworldly.”

arnacoeurAlex and Juliette
Played by: Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis
Film: L’Arnacoeur (2010)
Why: Because watching all of Alex, the supposed king of seduction, actually fall in love and fall apart is hilarious and beautiful and because Juliette is just so cool.
No quote because it’s in French. Nightmare!

stardustTristan and Yvaine
Played by: Charlie Cox and Claire Danes
Film: Stardust (2007)
Why: Because they paint such a heart-warming and engrossing portrait of two people gradually realising that they’re falling in love.
“Tristan: Did you really mean what you said in the caravan?
Yvaine: What I…? But… You were a mouse! You were a mouse… you wanted cheese! You didn’t… I asked you to give me a sign!
Tristan: And risk you being too embarrassed to keep saying such lovely things? You want to know what the Captain really whispered to me that day? He told me that my true love…was right in front of my eyes. And he was right.”

Who are your favourite cinematic lovers?