Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Hearts and Flowers Day

Well, hopefully you don't buy into this BS holiday too much. There shouldn't be just one day out of the year where you recognize the love in your life. But I guess outside of engagements, anniversaries, and Christmas, the jewelry industry needs to peddle its wares somehow. At least now I won't be subjected to anymore inane jewelry store commercials on TV.

While my hardened cynic's heart has little tolerance for conventional romance, there are a few cinematic love stories that don't make me roll my eyes in disgust or feel like vomiting. In honor of the Holiday That Is All Things Hallmark, my ten favorite romantical-type movies:

1. True Romance: Love, Tarantino style. Plus Christian Slater when he was still foxy.
2. Amelie: Paris, Audrey Tautou, and the magical realism of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Makes me melt with every viewing.
3. Truly, Madly, Deeply: Kind of like Ghost. Only British and with Alan Rickman. Oh, and much, much better.
4. The Princess Bride: Duh.
5. Iris: The unconventional love story of English novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John through their courtship until her demise at the hands of Alzheimer's.
6. Pride and Prejudice: The 2005 version with Keira Knightly. I hated reading Jane Austen, but she certainly cleans up pretty for the silver screen.
7. Love Actually: Funny, cheesy, sad, and bittersweet. And more Alan Rickman.
8. Sense and Sensibility: More Austen. More Rickman. Emma Thompson's breakdown tears me up.
9. A Very Long Engagement: Another fabulous outing with Audrey Tautou and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The ending breaks my heart into a thousand pieces.
10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Brilliant. Just brilliant. Love laid bare, warts and all.

Looking at the list it seems I lean towards love yarns woven by French and English filmmakers. Especially those starring either Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, or perhaps both. American romantic movies tend to be schlocky and full of nonsensical ideas about true love and a woman being swept off her feet by some "prince". Bah, I say. Give me a good tragio-realistic love story soaked in Earl Grey tea or red wine with a heavy dash of overcast skies.

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