Get in a romantic mood for Valentine’s Day with a quiz on some of the classic movie love stories. And then pick one to watch with your valentine!
1. A bookkeeper falls for a baker though she is engaged to his brother in this tempestuous love story.
2. She wants to kiss him but doesn’t know where the noses go.
3. Their characters’ first date is a baseball game in this movie whose stars became a real-life couple off screen.
4. The first English-language version of this story about a couple who does not know they are in love was in black and white. The second was a musical. What is the name of the third version, updated to the internet era? (Bonus points for naming the first two.)
5. Adam gets married to a woman he just met and discovers only later how much he loves her in what film?
6. A mysterious blonde in a white car mouths “I love you” to a teen-ager played by what future Oscar-winner in a classic film set in California?
7. A runaway princess and a reporter find live in what city named in the movie title?
8. An unhappy couple take extreme measures to try to forget each other in what trippy love story?
9. A pampered young woman has to learn how to manage a farm while the man she loves is away at war in what romantic film based on an acclaimed novel?
10. A devoted husband of many years visits his wife in a nursing home to read her a love story in what movie based on a popular book?
Former Congressman Charlie Wilson, whose top-secret orchestration of the defense of Afghanistan kept that country free and crippled the Soviet Union, died today at age 76. His success in channeling hundreds of millions of dollars to that conflict was revealed years later and became best known through the movie Charlie Wilson’s War, where he was played by Tom Hanks. The movie ended on a poignant note as Wilson was unable to continue the funding that was essential for rebuilding Afghanistan, a failure that was a partial cause of the rise of the Taliban there.
Wilson was also known for his unabashed enjoyment of beautiful women and fine liquor. He will be remembered for his honest common sense and commitment to freedom.
In honor of the Olympics, take a look at these classics about winter sports competitions:
The Cutting Edge A spoiled figure skater (named Kate as in “Taming of the Shrew”) and a working class hockey player team up in this romantic comedy on skates starring Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney. This was the first screenplay by “Michael Clayton’s” Tony Gilroy.
Miracle Sportscaster Al Michaels unforgettably called out “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” as the 1980 US Olympic hockey team beat the Russians. They then went on to win the gold medal. And so the team, the last group of amateurs sent by the US to play ice hockey, has been known ever after as the “Miracle on Ice.” Kurt Russell plays coach Herb Brooks and this movie shows us that the real story is better than a miracle because it is about a team that succeeded through heart and hard work and commitment. If it is a miracle, it is in the “God helps those who help themselves” category. Be sure to watch the documentary, “Do You Believe in Miracles?” as well.
Ice Castles A young figure skater on the brink of becoming a champion loses her sight in an accident and has to start all over. Melissa Manchester sings the hit theme song, “Through the Eyes of Love.” The remake, starring Taylor Firth, will be out on DVD this week.
Cool Runnings One of the biggest long shots in history was the Jamaican bobsled team at the 1988 winter Olympics. Yes, Jamaica is a tropical country and no, Jamaica does not have any snow. But a fast start is important in bobsledding and it does have sprinters. The actual footage of the real team’s crash is featured in the film. And while a lot of it is fictional, the grace and panache of the team is based on the real story. And they will be back for the 2010 games.
Downhill Racer Robert Redford plays an arrogant skiier who clashes with his coach (Gene Hackman) in this film, which captures the focus of the athletes and the exhilaration of the sport, filmed on location in the Alps.
Sonja Henie: Queen Of The Ice and It’s a Pleasure Real-life gold medalist Sonja Henie went on to become the highest-paid performer (we won’t say “actress”) in Hollywood for her very successful series of skating films. No one paid any attention to the plots even then, but the skating scenes hold up well and the documentary about her life as an athlete and performer is worth seeing.