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Love in the Movies: Ros’ favourite moments

Roslyn Hull

With St Valentine’s Day just one sleep away Amanda asked me to do a post on my five favourite valentine’s movies. Just five. Hhmm.

So I called together my band of trusted movie aficionados, my brains trust, my peeps. Otherwise known as ‘the girls at work’.

We came up with a shortlist of 25, amidst protests from the only man we work with. I could have asked his opinion but he was scoffing too loudly. So if you want to know which romantic movies men like there’s a cute little post on the Huffington Post this week.

Given that I can’t review all 25 movies mentioned I got to thinking – what makes a romantic movie and why do we (or at least ‘I’) enjoy them?

Is it the beauty of the protagonists? Or their wish fulfillment jobs and clothes and lives? Is it the hardships they endure so true love can win the day? Is it a fine caboose in well fitting trousers? Great hair and an I-have-no-live gym chest? Sparkley eyes and a winning smile?

Each to his/her own I say but as we discussed these movies at work, I noticed that the girls each responded to each other’s suggestions with a line from the film or described an action. ‘Aha’ I thought – I may be on to something here. Not anything as complete as a formula (because that would be like catching lightning in a bottle and I would be on the podium accepting my Oscar in a few weeks), just a thought.

Does the whole romantic film stay with us after the credits – or do we treasure THE moment that lifts our hearts and enjoy the rest of the film for those moments? If you’ve read any of my other posts you will already know I love Love Actually. Yes, pretty much all of it, but the two moments that stand out every time I see it are Emma Thompson straightening the bed cover (tragic) and Andrew Lincoln offering his ‘wasted heart’ to Keira Knightley forever (awww).

That moment, whether it is a song, an action or a truly great line of dialogue, that romantic gesture is what gets me every time. The baring of one’s heart to another is the most frightening thing we will do in our lives and when we share that moment with characters on the silver screen, we can be transported.

So, in no particular order, I thought I would share some of my favourite moments with you – and I would love to see your suggestions of others!

PS – if I get the quotes slightly wrong, sorry.

The Princess Bride: ‘As you wish’ – the three most romantic words in the English language.

The Notebook: ‘Hell, it ain’t over yet,’ from Ryan Gosling as he wraps Rachel McAdams in THAT kiss.

An Officer and a Gentleman: scooping her up from the factory line and walking out.

Ghost: everyone loves ‘Ditto’ but for me it is the incredible effort he goes to raising that penny up the door.

Salmon Fishing on the Yemen: taking a woman a sandwich when you know she needs it. Best. Idea. Ever.

Once: Buying a woman a piano and letting her go.

Young Victoria: yes, Albert takes a bullet for her, but for me it is when he says ‘you are my whole existence’.

My Girl: bee stings – sorry, can’t say more or I will cry.

You’ve Got Mail: offering a woman a bunch of fresh pencils (love that smell).

Say Anything: John Cusack + a boombox. If I need to say more you need to see the movie.

An Affair to Remember: Deborah Kerr hiding her injury and then apologising by saying ‘I was looking up, it was closer to heaven because you were there.’ Sniff.

Ice Castles: he helps his newly blind girlfriend to regain her ability to skate, then win a competition, THEN he calls out the locations of the flowers people have tossed onto the rink so she can collect them. Yes, they made movies like this in the 70s.

Blade Runner: ain’t no kissing like young Harrison Ford kissing – and he takes a chance on the future, even knowing their time might be short.

Edward Scissorhands: the moment when Winona wraps her arms around Johnny and his eyes roll back at the wonder of human touch. Pretty much when I decided I would love him forever.

Brokeback Mountain: when Ennis breathes in Jack’s scent from the shirt hanging in the closet.

The Horse Whisperer: when they dance it is the most powerful vertical description of a horizontal intent on celluloid.

The Ghost and Mrs Muir: he stays with her all her life, invisibly, so she can have a ‘normal’ happy one but makes himself visible again at the end, to ease her transition. That description just doesn’t do the moment justice!

The Proposal: the naked scene. As Sandra Bullock said – she owed it to all women. If you have Ryan Reynolds in your film he must be naked at some point. Sisterhood!

The Breakfast Club: the shy first kisses, the essay, the fist pump.

Four Weddings: the funeral poem. Sniff.

And before I get carried away – have you noticed how many gorgeously romantic moments there are in kids’ films? Eva showing Wall-E all his stuff so he gets his mojo back … the Beast and Belle … Amy Adams rescuing McDreamy from the dragon … the whole opening title sequence of Up? That last one is enough to make grown men cry.

Happy Valentines Day!



Ros Hull

Roslyn is a writer and storyteller who loves all things Canberra, her family, sci fi and movies – but not in that order. She has worked in museum education since 2001 and has a passion for imparting knowledge to others. Writing is her happy place, particularly if there is a dog at her feet and a coffee in her hand. More about the Author

  • Roslyn

    I forgot to add – the moment in Dr Zhivago, right at the end of the movie, when Alec Guinness, close to tears, says to the girl about her balalaika playing ‘Ah then, it must be a gift’.

  • Working Girl: Harrison Ford giving Melanie Griffiths a lunch box for her first day in her job, as they make breakfast together in his tiny kitchen.

    Lake House: Sandra Bullock racing against time to warn Keanu Reeves to not try to find her on Valentine’s Day the year before (if you’ve seen it you know what I mean)

    In Her Shoes: Jerry Addler planting a big kiss on Shirley Maclaine in the Home for Active Seniors (hell I want to plant a big kiss on Shirley, I LOVE her!).

    And I know this one is TV…Rory Williams, aka the Last Centurion, striding in to the Cybemen’s ship and saying with ice in his voice “I have a message from the Doctor and a question from me. Where is my wife?!!!”

    And another TV one, Willow to Oz in Buffy Season 2 episode phases “I like you, you’re smart and funny and you don’t smoke and okay a werewolf but that’s not all the time and three days of every month I’m not much fun to be around either. So I would if you would…” To which he replies “I would, I very would!” And then there’s the unique way Oz “panics” at the end of Season 3, by gripping Willow in a passionate clinch and kissing away all her fears at the pending apocalypse. Sigh. Swoon.

  • Catherine

    Ain’t no kissing like young Harrison ford kissing – agree so agree

  • Samantha

    Interesting list – perhaps it’s a different generation because I have a completely different list!

    A WALK TO REMEMBER – the moment he falls in love with her when she sings to him in the play & he kisses her..plus the whole fulfilling mandy moores bucket list before she dies.

    NEVER BEEN KISSED – the conversation on the ferris wheel “You’re just saying that because you’re my teacher”…”actually I shouldn’t say that because I’m your teacher”.

    LIFE AS A HOUSE – reigniting of old flames..sweetest movie it will make you cry

    EVER AFTER – the best cinderella story around played by drew barrymore.

    CRAZY STUPID LOVE – Ryan gosling…and well umm do I need to say anymore?

    THE HOLIDAY – when kate winslet takes her new old man friend to his awards night. And the song at the end ‘you send me’ by arethra franklin

    HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS – everyone loves that whole love/hate relationship

    10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU – Heath ledger singing.

    PRETTY WOMAN – the piano scene…

    P.S. I LOVE YOU – is there anything more romantic than your true love helping you move on with your life after they died. Besides Gerard Butlers accent is so yummy.

    MY FAIR LADY – I’m sorry but there is a love relationship (for me) between Eliza & Henry Higgins..I could’ve daaaaanced all night!

    SOUND OF MUSIC – “you are sixteen going on seventeen”.

    DIRTY DANCING – “how do you call your lover boy…come herrrrreee loooverrrr boy”

    UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN – she falls in love with italy!

    BRIDGET JONES DIARY – colin firth…

    PRIDE & PREJUDICE (BBC) – colin firth…

    THE WEDDING DATE – the boat scene, and dermot malroney (disappointing name but his still sexy!)

    CRUEL INTENTIONS – he gave Reese Witherspoon his journal and when she finally forgave him he goes and dies for love….noooooo!

    SWEET HOME ALABAMA – Big city girl falling back in love with her high school sweetheart.

    SHE’S ALL THAT – back in the day when it was all about Freddy Prince Jr.

    HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU – ‘i’m the exception not the rule’

    THE LUCKY ONE – when I realised Zac efron was much sexier when he wasn’t singing and dancing in high school musical

    LIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT – Angelina jolie realising the meaning to life…is LOVE

    • Amanda Whitley

      Awesome list, Sam!

  • Samantha

    OH…sorry but I forgot one that I just couldn’t miss out…

    MY BEST FRIENDS WEDDING – cameron diaz singing terribly at karaoke and dermot (yes him again) is staring at her so in love you almost want to slap him.

  • Roslyn Hull

    Awesome list Sam, and agree with every single entry! Although I once wrote a review of ‘A Walk to Remember’ and ‘Life as a House’ … titled ‘Revenged of the Target Market’. Although I really enjoyed both it was my daughter who was devastated by the first and my husband who was devastated by the second – and finally they could feel what I felt when I watched those movies!