Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Day Movies

What is your favorite all-time romance movie to watch on Valentine's Day each year? Mine is, like many incurable romantics, An Affair to Remember. I've watched earlier and later versions of this movie, but none get me teary eyed and sentimental like the 1957 version. Much as I like Charles Boyer and Irene Dunn in the original, I relate better to the Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant version. I later learned that Kerr and Grant improvised some of their lines, so they truly were a good casting fit.

Why is this a sentimental favorite? (It's still one of the most aired movies during February and was voted the #5 greatest romance film of all time*) For me, it has the elements I look for in a good romance story. (Spoiler alert: If you've yet to watch the movie, stop reading now)

  1. Conflict. Each is engaged to marry someone else, but they're attracted to each other.
  2. Tough choices: Their significant others aren't villains or jerks. In fact, Terry's ex-fiance is a nice guy who remains her friend. We can't help but like him.
  3. Sympathetic characters. Neither Nickie nor Terry wants to hurt anyone and truly tries to do what is right. They're honest and up front.
  4. Tragic event: Terry is hit by a car on her way to rendezvous with Nickie. The accident leaves her wheelchair-bound.
  5. Secrets: Terry hides her injury from Nickie. Nickie hides his heartache from Terry.
  6. Character growth: Nickie, the rich playboy who hasn't worked a day in his life, proves he can be a successful painter. Terry finds a productive outlet in teaching music to children.
  7. Pacing: The promise to meet in six months is exchanged precisely halfway through the movie.
  8. Happy ending: Reunited and filled with hope, the two commit at the story's end.
I want a happy ending, which is why I have little enthusiasm for films like Message in a Bottle or Dr. Zhivago

If you share my love for this movie, tell me your reasons. If you have another favorite, please share. 

Happy Valentine's Day! ♥

*The American Film Institute

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