Saturday 20 July 2019

The most romantic movies ever in honour of Valentine's

Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind
Sleepless in Seattle
Romeo and Juliet
Annie Hall
Letter From An Unknown Woman
Moulin Rouge
Disney's Up explores aspects of grief and loss
Crazy Stupid Love
The Way We Were
The Notebook
When Harry Met Sally

Vicki Notaro

In honour of St Valentine's Day, Vicki Notaro lists the best films about love ever made


The film that spawned many misquoted catchphrases tells the tale of war-torn love and the difficult choices we make. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman star as old lovers who meet again in Morocco years after romance blossomed in occupied Paris - only now, she's married to somebody else. A tear-jerker with a script that hasn't dated, it's still moving today.


A musical that you'll either love or loathe, Baz Luhrmann's frenetic film is all about true love, and its ability to change your entire life in moments. Nicole Kidman is Satine, a courtesan stricken with tuberculosis, while Ewan McGregor is a poet that's been searching for The One, and finds her in the most unlikely of places - the Moulin Rouge.


Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams' chemistry is palpable in this Nicholas Sparks adaptation, so it's no surprise they got together in real life afterwards. The tale of two teenagers who fall head over heels and are separated by disapproving parents is beautiful, but made a true tear-jerker by the elderly couple that are telling their story from the eponymous notebook.


Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal star as the titular characters, a couple of friends who test the age old question of whether men and women can ever have a platonic relationship. Famous for the "I'll have what she's having" scene, the razor-sharp script from Nora Ephron is what makes it so watchable - and the stunning New York setting.


A melodrama from Max Ophuls, the film centres on one woman's desire for a man who never really noticed her. Lisa's unrequited love for Stefan spans her lifetime and influences her every decision, but he doesn't even realise she's alive - until it's too late. A true weepy, it'll still get you right in the gut.

6 ANNIE HALL (1977)

Woody Allen's generation-defining romantic comedy centres on the effect Annie Hall has on comedian Alvy Singer's life. Full of brilliant one-liners and wry observations from the man himself, the film is loosely based on the director's real-life relationship with Diane Keaton, and is famous for its distinctive 1970s style.

7 ROMEO + JULIET (1996)

Another offering from hopeless romantic Baz Luhrmann, this is the movie that made a heart-throb of Leonardo DiCaprio. A modern day re-telling of the Bard's romantic tragedy uses the original play's dialogue to startling effect. It looks beautiful, and the romance is beautifully offset with energetic action sequences. The soundtrack is still amazing, almost 20 years later.

8 THE WAY WE WERE (1973)

Famous for its closing scene outside New York's Plaza Hotel, this story of a mismatched couple struggling to make it work has you rooting for K-k-k-Katie and Hubble the whole way through. Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford made for an unusual but affecting on-screen duo - and the title song is still great.


It was a toss between this and You've Got Mail when it came to a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks combo, but Sleepless won because a) there's a cute kid and b) it's inspired by another timeless romance, An Affair To Remember. Because of both films, couples meet atop the Empire State Building every February 14.

10 UP (2009)

It may be animated, but anyone who remains unmoved by the opening sequence and tale of Carl and Ellie's decades-long love story must have a heart of stone. The premise of a widower attempting to fulfil his wife's lifelong dream will have you reaching for the hankies... oh, and there are some talking dogs too, for comic relief.


An epic romance for the ages, this Technicolor marvel stars Vivien Leigh as the inimitable Scarlett O'Hara who lives and learns about love against the backdrop of the American Civil War. Another endlessly quoted film, Clark Gable plays her love interest and her foil, Rhett Butler. Scarlett is one of the greatest female characters ever written, and this is one for even the un-mushiest of V-Day viewers.

12 TITANIC (1997)

It's over three hours long and the demise of the seemingly unsinkable ship is the narrative frame, but it's Jack and Rose's unlikely love story that sustains the film. He's poor and she's rich, but when he saves her life, he also changes it irrevocably. DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are great together, but don't believe her when she says she'll never let go...


The definitive modern rom-com, this film has multiple plots about the insanity love can bring into our lives. Great performances from Steve Carrell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone - but there is a romantic plot involving a teen boy that some may find superfluous.

Irish Independent

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