A trip to your local multiplex or arthouse cinema is one of the most popular outings for couples. When it comes to recommending the most romantic moves for a first date, it would be pointless suggesting a current film, as these are superseded on a week-to-week basis. But what can certainly be highlighted are the all-time classics.
Say you plan on getting together with someone you met on a flirting site. You’ve invited your new partner round to chill out with a huge tub of popcorn while poring over the Netflix menu, or surfing the channels for a re-run. Which movies are guaranteed to create a romantic glow, bringing you closer together? Here are six of the most highly recommended.
When Harry Met Sally
A lot of romcoms seem to be slanted towards the ‘rom’ side of the equation, but this 1989 film is an undisputed comedy classic. This makes the perfect first date feature: two sparkling leads at the peak of their game, with Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan), sparring verbally over the age-old question, can best friends ever be lovers? It also contains one of the most outrageous romcom scenes ever, and if you can’t guess the one being referred to, you need to get out more! What, you really haven’t seen it? The one where Sally fakes it in a diner!
In this heartbreaker from 1990, Sam (Patrick Swayze) is slain during a mugging. But his spirit reaches out to his distraught wife, Molly (Demi Moore), via the irascible clairvoyant Oda Mae (Whoopie Goldberg.) There’s just enough humor to counter the central premise, that the love Sam and Molly have for each other is forced to transcend death.
Sleepless In Seattle
Widower Sam (Tom Hanks) is so cut-up about losing his wife, his son, Jonah, calls a talk radio station and tells the world about it. Annie (Meg Ryan) overhears this candid confession. In time-honored tradition, both protagonists are seeing someone else, but when Jonah engineers a blind date at the top of the Empire State Building, the state is set for a glorious ‘will they, won’t they?’ finale.
Based on a tear-jerking novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook will tug at your heart-strings. The story unfolds in two timeframes. We flash-back to tranquil South Carolina in the 1940s, when Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams) are young lovers from different social circles. Allie’s mother intervenes to thwart their dreams. We then flash-forward to the present, with Allie reduced to a shell of herself by advanced Alzheimer’s, being visited in her nursing home by Noah. A paean to the enduring power of love, a king-size box of tissues is required.
Romance should never be taken for granted, but the trouble with a lot of romcoms is they can be formulaic. Amelie is anything but, a quirky, off-beat French feature telling the story of a Parisian waitress, delightfully played by Audrey Tatou. Her aim is to make everyone surrounding her fall in love, despite the fact she is often left in isolation. A warm atmosphere pervades the whole film, and the fact the backdrop is the beautiful city itself, especially Montmartre, adds to the wistful scenes.
Against a background of unrestrained dancing, Baby (Jennifer Gray) finds love with her dance tutor, the older and more sensual Johnny (Patrick Swayze), despite her parents’ objections. Against the sexy dancing, the gritty storyline has you rooting for the star-crossed lovers. By the time of the climactic final dance, ‘Time of My Life,’ you’ll feel like falling into each other’s arms.