After a quick google revealed movie romance lists full of Ryan, Roberts, and Aniston (no disrespect to those actors, but I usually hate, hate, HATE their romantic comedies), I had to compile my own list.
So, without further adieu, in no particular order...
Here are my favorite movie romances
for Valentine's Day:
Why do I love it?: ...because it explores many different types and aspects of love in a way that's often funny, but never too simplistic or cloying, something I've seen all-too-much in Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts films.
PARIS, JE T'AIME
Why do I love it?: This is another one exploring many different kinds of love. This one features vignettes of varying quality, mostly for the better. ...One of which made me teary.
LOVE AND BASKETBALL
Why do I love it?: Not many movies tackle black love at all, but this one does it so very well, spanning life-long love in the lives of two basketball players, through the 80's, 90's, and 00's.
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Why do I love it?: Oh, this scene ↑. I seriously cannot watch that scene without a little girlish mew escaping from my throat. This is the movie that solidified my fanhood of Mr. Rickman.
Why do I love it?: This is one of a select few films that reflects black folks mainstream Hollywood pretends don't exist. Not thugs, not troubled, not righteously strong, not full of black angst. Just, professional, artsy, well-read, bohemian, laidback love and black love, at that? ...And that scene, you know the one after the pillow?? One of the sexiest, sensual, emotional love scenes ever.
Why do I love it?: Sweet, eternally hip, beautifully filmed, you just root for this eccentrically romantic, but somehow universal woman in her easy pursuit of happiness for all, but herself.
SECRETARYWhy do I love it?: This should probably go into the alt. list below, but I couldn't relegate this to that. This movie is just too damn sexy. Loved the journey to confident self-love (even of her kinks) and eventual coupledom because of it, for Ms. Gyllenhaal's character.
WESTSIDE STORYWhy do I love it?: This one's here for nostalgia's sake. This is one of the first musical romances and couples (the other is Von Trapp and Maria) that I loved as a girl. And oh, the dance scenes, songs, and romantic tales (yes, Anita and Bernardo were fantastic, too) get me every time it's on.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Why do I love it?: I know, I'll probably get blasted for using this one instead of the BBC production with Colin Firth, BUT, that technically is a BBC drama, not a wide-release film. So, that's why this one is here. ...And also because Ms. Knightley and Mr. Macfayden were absolutely magnetic. Sighs abounded when I saw this at the movies.
Why do I love it?: All three couples in here are just adorable. It's fun, funny, and just so much a time-capsule of the times, in the best kind of way. This is one I'd recommend for the whole family.
ONCEWhy do I love it?: The most realistically unfolding romance I've ever seen. There are no bells or whistles, nothing that pushes this couple in a "movie" way despite the fact that this is a musical. It's just quietly enduring and lovely. And the soundtrack is amazing.
BOOMERANGWhy do I love it?: Forget Monster's Ball, this is Halle Berry at her best. Charming, self-deprecating, and believe-it-or-not, funny. It is beyond me, why she hasn't done more romantic comedies. The supporting characters (Earth Kitt, Grace Jones, John Witherspoon...) really take this movie over-the-top for me.
...and for the solo fliers, here are some anti./alt./self. love movies, in which...:
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN
...a woman finds new freedom after her divorce.
...a woman rejects a shirtless, MacConaughey in his prime, for space travel.
...a woman ditches love entirely, except for her country and becomes a beloved Queen of England.
...a psychopathic woman turns the tables on the man in power who desires her and explicitly tortures him. *shudder*
MARY AND MAX
...a lonely Australian young girl finds a worthy pen pal in a New Yorker with Asperger's syndrome.
SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT
...a woman attempts to maintain multiple relationships, and resists being 'owned' by a single partner.
...a man takes a journey back through his top five break-ups.
Now, that both the lovebirds and the singletons have some movies to watch, I wish you all a wonderful Valentine's day filled with sweets and joy. ♥