Welcome to the November (seriously?! how is that even possible?) edition of Ask the Sweethearts! Before we get to the post, congratulations to Sandra Owens, winner of our October giveaway, Jay Asher’s WHAT LIGHT!
This month’s question: What is your favorite romantic (or rom com) movie and why?
Darcy Woods: With so many favorites, it’s hard to choose just one! But there is a movie that stands out for a multitude of reasons, including its obscurity. Ever heard of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty? I’m secretly hoping you haven’t, because I love nothing more than sharing cinematic, off-the-grid treasures! In this 1996 film, Liv Tyler stars (in one of her first roles) as a budding young poet who travels to the lush Tuscan countryside following her mother’s suicide to reconnect with family friends. But she also has two ulterior motives for her journey: to uncover the true identity of her biological father (hinted at in her mother’s letters), and to lose her virginity. This film is rife with heartache (shout out to Jeremy Iron’s exquisite performance as a dying playwright), eccentric characters, sensuality, gorgeous Tuscan landscapes with villas you’ll ache to visit, plus a kickass musical score (Liz Phair, Portishead, Nina Simone, etc.). While this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I gulped it down and returned for seconds.
Karole Cozzo: My current favorite romantic movie is the live action version of Cinderella. I was not ever a fan of Disney’s animated version, and I think that’s in part why I was blown away by how much I enjoyed the live action film. Every aspect of the movie — the cinematography, the sets, the wardrobe — was utterly romantic. I also greatly appreciated the direction they took the film in, and some of the deeper thematic elements about love they chose to explore in this version. I love how Ella and Kit’s relationship wasn’t one-sided — she “saved” him in equal measure to him “saving” her. I loved how both were drawn to the idea of putting down their defenses when together, and how they were willing to take the risk of revealing their true selves, with the faith that they would be loved regardless. So many great quotes from this one! “Was who she was, who she really was, really enough? Perhaps this is the greatest risk any of us will ever take — to be seen as we truly are.”
Erin Fletcher: For my favorite romantic movie, I pick Dear John (the 2010 Nicholas Sparks film). I love the movie because of the super sweet romance, the inclusion of a character with Autism, and (let’s be honest) the fact that you get Channing Tatum on a screen for about 100 minutes. The movie is also at the top of my list because I was lucky enough to attend the Charleston, S.C., premiere! Not only did I get to see the movie early in a beautiful downtown Charleston theater, but I got to attend the after party, which was held at an aquarium and featured red carpets, amazing food, and mingling with the cast and crew. Yes, I met Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. Yes, they were both even more gorgeous in real life than on the screen. Watching the movie now brings back a ton of fun memories, which is why it will always be a favorite!
Robin Constantine: Hands down my favorite rom com is You’ve Got Mail. Any time I come across it on TV, I have to watch it, no matter if there’s two hours or ten minutes left. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s chemistry is insane. I love their back and forth both via anonymous email and in person. It’s pretty much the perfect movie. And that ending!!! Don’t cry, Shopgirl. Don’t cry. I wanted it to be you … I wanted it to be you so badly. (A very close second is The Holiday! When Jude Law sees Cameron Diaz in the pub … sigh.)
Linda Budzinski: I’m going to go with 500 Days of Summer, about a guy who believes in true love and a girl (named Summer), who does not. It’s quirky and funny and bittersweet, and it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, who each is adorable in his/her own right but who are honestly I-cannot-even together. Not sure if it qualifies as a true romance because the ending is not quite a “happily ever after,” but it is the perfect ending nonetheless for this movie. If you haven’t checked it out, I hope you will!
Stephanie Scott: One bummer about romantic comedies is you have to go back 10 -15 years to find any (come on, Hollywood, why no more rom coms?!). One of my favorites is a lesser known movie from the mid-2000s, Catch and Release with Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith, and Joel from the Parenthood TV show (who didn’t love Joel?). In “Catch and Release,” Jennifer Garner’s fiance is killed right before their wedding. She ends up moving in with his three best friends, and subsequently realizes her fiance had a secret life she didn’t know about. I’m sure you can guess, she falls for one of her ex’s friends, who happens to be the one who kept her ex’s terrible secret. I love the Boulder, Colorado, setting; lots of outdoor shots and the whole town looks comfortably livable. Timothy Olyphant is so great in a romantic role! Proof he’s a great actor, if you’ve seen him in Deadwood or Justified where he’s totally different. If romantic comedies hadn’t died their slow death, I would expect Jennifer Garner would have been in a ton more of them too.