By Nick Maylor
Following suit after Craig, Alan, and John , it’s my turn to recommend some films for St. Valentine’s Day. This puts me in a bit of a conundrum for two reasons:
- I care very little for the February 14th holiday
- The only film romance I can really strongly recommend right now is A Star is Born (2018), which I have already discussed at great length.
However, I will do my job and submit my thoughts on a few films you COULD watch, should the mood strike you. At least one of these entries has already been mentioned by my colleagues but I have to work with what I’ve got. Love is a wonderful thing when it’s achieved and a horrible thing to lose. It drives us, defines us, motivates, inspires and humbles us. Hallmark can probably say it better than I can. Maybe check out 1 Corinthians if the mood should strike you. Here I have assembled a list of five beloved films that either predominantly feature a love story, or have one stuffed in there somewhere that I find particularly cute. Here’s hoping you’re spending this Thursday with someone you love (or at least can stand to be around).
5. THE MUPPETS (2011)
That’s right, I’m starting with puppets. As far as celebrity romances go, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have had one of the longest (on again, off again) romances in Hollywood. This 2011 film (aimed at reintroducing The Muppets for a modern audience) explores the two as an estranged couple before reuniting as part of the big benefit the gang must put on to save their theatre. Some really touching stuff happens in this movie that, while steeped in nostalgia, works quite well even for those who aren’t die-hard Jim Henson fans. It shames me not to admit that when Kermit and Piggy came together to sing “The Rainbow Connection”, I got choked up.
4. GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997)
Early drafts of this film’s script contained a thriller-espionage element that was thankfully dropped at the behest of folks like Rob Reiner and William Goldman, who advised Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to focus on the relationships, particularly Will’s (Damon) relationship with Skyler (Minnie Driver). We watch lamenting as Will’s defence mechanisms prompt him to tell Skyler he doesn’t love her (even when we know he does), and while we are not treated to a union between the two on-camera, the film’s famous line “I gotta go see about a girl” suffices as we see Will venture out to win the girl back.
3. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005)
A tragic romance between two men, cursed by their time and place in the world, Brokeback Mountain was the best films of its year and featured brilliant performances. An important film about society’s judgement and a true epic romance. Marvellously directed by Ang Lee, it tells the story of two men; roughnecks and veterans of the land. Jack Twist, a bull-rider and Ennis Del Mar, a sheep herder and ranch hand, develop a romantic relationship that blossoms over decades during the few moments a year they can spend together at the titular mountain. Despite their learned biases, society’s disapproval and constant other struggles, their love maintains. We feel the lament hard in our hearts for them as they struggle to hang on to some part of their connection in the face of these obstacles.
2. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (2007)
It’s a classic story about a boy and a girl. Julie Taymor’s jukebox musical, featuring songs from The Beatles’ catalogue, follows a Scouse dock worker in 1960’s England named Jude who travels to America in search of his father, an American soldier. Along his journey he meets Lucy, an activist from a wealthy family. The sweeping story is told remarkably by the familiar songs made anew and is framed by the tumultuous love story of its two protagonists from different worlds.
1. A STAR IS BORN (2018)
Well, it turns out I couldn’t finish the piece without mentioning it again. The best film of 2018 and everything a brilliant romance is supposed to be. It has the entire rainbow spectrum of emotional highs and lows. The soundtrack also features an impressive lineup of tremendous love songs including “Shallow”, “Look What I Found”, “Music to My Eyes”, “Always Remember Us This Way” and “I’ll Never Love Again”. The film is currently available for digital download on iTunes and will be released February 19th (which seems at least five days too late).
Nick is an actor/writer/comedian/musician from Hamilton, ON Canada. Having been a film nut since the early days of his life, Nick has had an obsession with cinema and popular entertainment. Nick has written for thecinemaholic.com and is the current Foote & Friends “expert” on all things geek/superhero/comic-book related. Nick is the host/producer of the official Foote & Friends On Film podcast. Nick met John when studying acting at the Toronto Film School, for which John H. Foote was director and Film History professor. The two have been arguing ever since.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickMaylor