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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

List: Movies to Share With Your Valentine

posted by Nell Minow

In 2008, I did a Valentine’s Day tribute to great movie couples, from Mickey and Minnie to The Princess Bride and with suggestions for all ages. Here’s a list of five of my all-time favorite falling-in-love (or realizing you’re in love) stories for teenagers and grown-ups. Cuddle up with your valentine and a bowl of popcorn and enjoy these movies about how love makes us crazy and immeasurably happy at the same time.

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1. Moonstruck Cher won an Oscar as the bookkeeper who has given up on love until she meets the brother of her fiance, who tells her:

Love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and *die*.

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2. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet find that they really don’t want to forget each other, no matter how painful love can be.

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3. You’ve Got Mail This third version of the story of a couple who are at war in person, not realizing that they are tender lovers through the mail, updates the story to the computer age. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have so much chemistry on screen that we know from the first moment what it will take them the whole movie to discover — they are meant to be together.

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4. The Philadelphia Story On the eve of her wedding, socialite Tracy Lord’s ex-husband shows up with a couple of journalists and we get to watch three of the greatest stars in Hollywood history sort out their affections. This movie has everything: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart (who won an Oscar), George Cukor as director, wit, heart, and romance and an important lesson about how sometimes it is not about falling in love but recognizing that we have already fallen.

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5. To Have and Have Not

As tough guy Humphrey Bogart meets the even-tougher Lauren Bacall (only 19 years old when this was filmed), we get to see the real-life romantic sparks that gave the on-screen love story some extra sizzle. Watch her tell him how to whistle.

And be sure to check out Beliefnet’s other Valentine thoughts and recommendations.

  • EscoKate08

    Along these same lines, I’d definitely recommend “Someone Like You.” I think it was this movie that made me first start crushing on Hugh Jackman!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Jackman is amazing in that movie! Thanks for the comment!

  • Alicia

    I really like “The Talk of the Town.” There is really never any question who Jean Arthur is going to end up with – in a romantic triangle with Cary Grant and Ronald Colman. My favorite scene in the movie is the very ending, when he (I won’t say who but if you’ve seen it you know) pulls her out of the frame. Brilliant ending to a wonderful film.
    Also, I love “Midnight” with Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, and John Barrymore.

  • Alicia

    I forgot to add “It Happened One Night.”

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Great choices, Alicia! You share my affection for the classics, especially those featuring Cary Grant. While I think Jean Arthur should have gone for Ronald Coleman (I think that is because I am a lawyer and have qualms about people who do not respect the law), it is a great movie and a favorite of my law professor sister. I love “Midnight,” too! And what about “The Lady Eve” and “Tovarich?”

  • Alicia

    Hi, Nell. I do have a definite weakness for almost any movie starring Cary Grant.
    I haven’t seen “Tovarich,” though I remember liking “The Lady Eve,” it’s not one of my favorites.
    I was thinking (a bit OT) that it might be time for a remake of “The Solid Gold Cadillac” which starred Judy Holliday and Paul Douglas. You might be a good person to write it!! (In my version, there is no romance between the leads, because I would put Amy Adams in the Holliday role and Clint Eastwood in the role of the company founder. I’m sure, given your interests, you have seen this film.)

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Alicia, I used to show my children “The Solid Gold Cadillac” and tell them that was what Mommy did at the office! I sometimes show the opening scene to student groups when I give talks. Add a few zeroes to the end of the numbers and it is completely up to date. I’d love to see a remake and think your casting idea is inspired. You should know that the original Broadway play has the main character a middle-aged lady, not a beautiful young woman. But Hollywood has different ideas.

  • Alicia

    I thought it might be your kind of movie, Nell. I only saw “The Solid Gold Cadillac” once many years ago, but remember really enjoying it. As I recall, Paul Douglas did seem a wee bit too old for Judy Holliday, so it makes sense that her character was supposed to be middle-aged. As you said, that’s Hollywood.

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