Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and many movie blogs and websites will be posting their own lists of “love movies”, which will more than likely consist of mainstream love stories, my list will be somewhat alternative but still, at the core of each film that I picked, the film is rooted in love. Because more times than not, love can be a very strange and wicked game. I will not be reviewing “The Vow”.
“True Romance” 1993. Dir. Tony Scott
“True Romance” tends to be the against the grain film for most people who admire Tarantino, sighting this as their favorite Tarantino film. While he did write the screenplay, the author of this film is very much Tony Scott. The brazed love of Clarence and Alabama has been told prior in films like “Badlands” and “Bonnie and Clyde”, but the chemistry of Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette make this film the staple for tragic star crossed lovers.
“Brokeback Mountain” 2005. Dir. Ang Lee
“Brokeback Mountain” is such a beautifully painful film about two men who fall in love. I have never seen a film that has demonstrated a forbidden love as well as this film, that’s directed by Ang Lee. A lot of films strive to be perfect, but “Brokeback Mountain” most certainly is.
“When Harry Met Sally” 1989. Dir. Rob Reiner
“When Harry Met Sally” remains to be one of my favorite movies of all time. The impeccable comedic timing of Billy Crystal meshes perfectly with the bubbly Meg Ryan. This film is very sweet, charming, hilarious and poetic. I think most romantic comedies nowadays try and reproduce the formula that this film made great, but no film will ever achieve the heart that this film demonstrates.
“Blue Valentine” 2010. Dir. Derek Cianfrance
I was blown away by this film. I was struck by the realism of a decaying, and destructive love where there isn’t a good guy or a bad guy. Things happen, things change and sometimes we can’t do anything about it. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are truly awe-some in this movie.
“Beginners” 2011. Dir. Mike Mills
“Beginners” was one of my favorite films of last year. Not only did it give us the amazing turn by Christopher Plummer, but it was also a very sweet and funny movie that removed itself from the flock of romantic comedies by its brilliant screenplay and wonderful performances by the leads, including the Jack Russell Terrier, Arthur.
“Blue Velvet” 1986. Dir. David Lynch
“Blue Velvet” is many things: a masterpiece, a neo noir, a really fucked up trip of a movie, but above all that – this movie is a love story. A very sick and twisted love story of what Frank Booth (Hopper) will do to hold onto the love he has for Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini).
“Wings of Desire” 1987. Dir. Wim Wenders
Remade as the dreadful “City of Angels”, this film is the story of an angel named Daniel who chooses to fall from grace because of his love over a dancer. Skip the Nicolas Cage/Meg Ryan remake. It’s pretty awful.
“A Woman Under the Influence” 1974. Dir. John Cassavetes
Peter Falk plays a construction foreman who is married to Gena Rowlands whose sanity has slipped beyond repair. She’s insane, but the dedication of Peter Falk shows us what true love really is.
“The Crying Game” 1992. Dir. Neil Jordan
If this film isn’t about true love, I don’t know what is.
“Mona Lisa” 1986. Dir. Neil Jordan
She was a tart. He was an ex con. Sometimes love really is a strange and wicked game.