Tuesday, February 14, 2012

my top four love stories

i'm not one to get all mushy and stuff but i do love a good love story. boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl at the end. and all manner of variation on the theme. but for hollywood movies there are very few girl meets girl, or boy meets boy, kind of romantic stylings that one can point to. a pity. for love is manifold and various. if we are thinking of love stories in film wouldn't a good subject be the good grey poet himself, walt whitman, for he so loved being alive. i mean whitman eroticized everything, didn't he.

well but so my top four romantic films are relatively traditional in the boy-meets-girl way and all are from my own era of adolescence and young adulthood. what can i say, it's valentine's day, and these four flicks continue to shoot me thru the heart [links take you to the trailers].

valley girl [1983] -- the chemistry between val-chick julie and punk rocker randy smolders the screen. a beautiful concoction of teen innocence and first, powerful, love. i think this is nicolas cage's first lead role. it is one of his best.

say anything [1989] -- filmmaker cameron crowe creates small, intimate pictures where the leads wear their hearts on their sleeves. crowe's movies lately are more miss than hit. he struck gold with this feature starring john cusack as a sensitive lug who is crazy insane over brainy beauty ione skye. mismatched lovers make good proving that love can indeed change the world. a literate script is added depth by supporting character actor john mahoney who plays skye's father. that famous scene where cusack tries to woo back his love by holding a boombox over his head as peter gabriel's song 'in your eyes' rises in emotion over the soundtrack is iconic. a fantastic love story.

10 things i hate about you [1999] -- i'm a sucker for sweet-natured movies and despite this flick's alleged meanness and nastiness it is really a very sweet movie. a half-light rendering of the taming of the shrew the filmmakers populated all sorts of shakespearean references in the picture for an audience weened on pop culture. clever word-play and game actors make for a treat of the senses. one of heath ledger's first starring roles. he is every bit as wonderful an actor in this picture as you remember him.

an officer and a gentleman [1982] -- holy crap. romantic movies don't get more traditional than this flick. bootcamp for navy officer candidates is located next to a factory that makes paper bags. young working class women try to woo the young officer candidates to better their socio-economic condition. alas, love finds a way in anyway. this movie is both a coming of age story and a love story starring richard gere and debra winger. it is hot! i double-dog dare you to keep your eyes dry when gere literally sweeps winger off her feet to the high melody of 'love lifts us up where we belong' by joe cocker and jennifer warner. an utter classic of the genre.


At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

C and i would have add the Benjamin Bratt boy meets boy flick "La Mission" to your romantic films list. You can't help cheering for "jes and jordan" even if you don't understand their unforbiden love.B

At 9:06 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

hmm. . .i've not heard of LA MISSION, dude. i'll have to checkt that out. there are other films that are favorites of mine, like NICK AND NORA'S INFINITE PLAY LIST, that i didn't list. mostly just wanted to go with a few flicks that i -- we -- grew up with and that i love without measure.


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