By Andrea Karen Hammer
After watching the closing scene of one of our favorite movies, we agreed that this film had achieved perfection. From the stirring opening music to the ideal casting, each frame immersed us in a mesmerizing story in a faraway land. We didn’t notice the actors reading their lines but witnessed their complete transformation into believable characters.
Here are 10 romantic movies that have created thoroughly convincing movie magic:
- Cinema Paradiso: This love letter to the film industry is a charming exploration of life-changing relationships. From a spirited young boy’s connection to an older movie theater projectionist to his teenage obsession with a young woman that lasts a lifetime, the final scenes of Cinema Paradiso cap perfectly crafted sequences, which remain stamped in viewers’ film memory.
- Room with a View: Every detail of the gorgeous movie Room With a View from Merchant Ivory transports audience members through this romantic travelogue. The swelling sounds of Puccini, embroidered graphics and humorous captions contribute to this divine film with uniquely shaped and highly entertaining characters.
- Enchanted April: Like the preceding movie, sweeping views and excursions in paradise reveal the ways that beautiful places have the power to change visitors physically and emotionally. As some couples in the movie renew, rediscover or strengthen once-wilting connections, new and unconventional ones are also formed.
- Out of Africa: This remarkable movie about the writer Karen Blixen (born Isak Dinesen) features stellar performances by Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. Along with powerful music, breathtaking views of the land reflect recurring themes about freedom and independence within a relationship as well as the pain of separation and loss.
- An Affair to Remember: This classic, starring the unusual but highly effective duo of Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant, cracks open even the most romance-resistant heart. After a missed meeting because of an ill-fated accident, the slow discovery process and the irresistible bonus performance of Cathleen Nesbitt as Cary Grant’s endearing grandmother make this one of the best romantic movies for all time.
- Summertime: As an older woman (Jane Hudson) traveling alone in Italy, Katharine Hepburn shines naturally in this unconventional role. Her surprising encounters and affair with the suave Renato de Rossi (Rossano Brazzi) make this unlikely pairing all the more compelling. Gaetano Autiero (evoking the same magnetic energy displayed by the young boy in Cinema Paradiso) plays the spirited young boy (Mauro) who follows her and becomes a loyal friend.
- It Happened One Night: In another unlikely match, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert are masters at showing surface distaste for each other, which ultimately brings the “Walls of Jericho” down. During an all-time favorite scene, the edgy Gable asks Colbert’s father in the film (Walter Connolly) for minor reimbursements rather than claiming reward money for finding his runaway daughter. In another frequently referenced scene, Colbert creates a signature movie moment getting a car to stop on the road.
- Goodbye, Mr. Chips: The magnificent Greer Garson and Robert Donat capture the flourishing love of an independent but warm-hearted woman and boys’ school teacher who has remained a loner. During an unexpected twist through the emotional ending, this enduring classic is a heart breaker.
- Brief Encounter: Although dark in spirit and appearance, this intense film is a notable trendsetter ahead of its time. Tackling the subject of an illicit love affair, the original 1945 version with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard was so powerful that it inspired later remakes.
- Roman Holiday: In another film set in the visually stunning Italy, Audrey Hepburn is the charming princess on the run from non-stop duties at the palace. Her budding romance with reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) and escapades with photographer Irving Radovich (Eddie Albert) in Roman Holiday create the essence of “movie magic.”
What are your votes for the best romantic movies? Post your comments now!