To me, Valentine’s day isn’t just about romantic love, but friendship and harmony. Without friendship and harmony, romantic love eventually wears thin. Friendship means we value each other’s differences in addition to our similarities. Harmony means we can co-exist and grow peacefully without threat to each other’s individuality. When we’ve got this combination, romance can go beyond the initial blazes of physical attraction and can burn brightly into a blissful union.
If you’ve decided to stay in or go out tonight and spend it with friends, family, with a partner, or even in peaceful solitude, here are some of my favorite romantic films for your viewing pleasure.
What would you do if you had to get the love of your life to fall in love with you each day? 50 First Dates is a romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, a duo that doesn’t fail to bring on the laughs. I love the beautiful settings of Hawaii, reggae and island inspired soundtrack and the funny supporting characters like Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, and Dan Akroyd.
The Notebook is one of those dramatic romance films that gets you thinking about how long would you wait and what lengths you would go to be with your soul mate. Is love about security and comfort or about taking risks and going with your gut? Be sure to have a box of tissues ready, because this film is a tear jerker.
What happens when a geeky 40-year-old man constantly meets debacles at each romantic turn? What happens when his friends and colleagues finds out that he’s a virgin? The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a laugh out loud comedy begs many questions about sex, romance, and modern love. How can we balance traditional values in a sex driven dating world?
Based on its predecessor, The Shop Around The Corner, starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorite romantic comedies from the nineties. Sure, this movie has aged when it comes to the technology (think AOL and dial up), but the themes about family, friendship, and romantic love are timeless. Can we put our egos aside and answer to love’s true calling?
When it comes to love, do we really know what’s best for us? Sometimes, we need something completely different that what we think we need. In Sabrina The beautiful Audrey Hepburn and the stoic Humphrey Bogart show us that opposites can attract and that love can be found in the most unexpected places – even right before our eyes. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, there is a 1995 version of this film starring Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond, which I find equally lovely.
In I Love You, Man Peter Klaven realizes immediately after getting engaged, he’s ignored the joy of making guy friends. To find grooms men to stand with him on his upcoming wedding day, he undergoes a series of man dates. He then meets Sydney and explores what it male friendship really means while Sydney learns to accept that his friends will eventually marry and move on with their lives.
Ever After: A Cinderella Story is a fictional story based on the story of Cinderella. Danielle is strong-willed and determined to be happy despite a cruel step mother and her step-sisters. She then meets Henry, the prince and heir to the French crown who can’t seem to appreciate his fortunate upbringing. The couple overcome their blocks when she teaches him to appreciate all of life’s’ beauty and to do good with his fortune and power and he awakens a world of possibilities that lie dormant inside her. There’s humor, drama, romance and sweeping views of France’s countrysides and castles.
Pillow Talk is one of my hands down favorite romantic comedies. I’m a huge Rock Hudson and Doris Day fan and their on screen chemistry and friendship make for a joyful movie experience. Jan Morrow is a successful professional interior designer living alone and thriving in New York City. Brad Allen is a music composer and a serial casanova who can’t seem to be pinned down by any woman. These opposites, who believe themselves to be completely happen with their lives, have their worlds shaken when they experience a whirlwind romance under false pretenses. I love the music, the jokes, and the supporting characters like Tony Randall and Thelma Ritter.