Romeo + Juliet
Although this may not exactly be the most cheerful or optimistic of love stories, no romantic movie list would be complete without Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’. The kitsch imagery and dizzying cinematography make this adaptation stand out from the many other screen versions of the play, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes make the two most frustratingly beautiful star-crossed lovers, even if the film itself is almost as long as their relationship. Shakespeare’s epic romantic tragedy is filled with unparalleled romance and the flowery language to go with it – after all, what is romance without a bit of iambic pentameter?
Every romantic movie is only as strong as the central romantically involved characters. Diablo Cody’s inimitable writing style imbues Ellen Page with masterfully witty dialogue while Michael Cera’s comparative timidity seems to be her perfect match as the two enter into charmingly quirky repartee. While the movie beams with colour and gentle acoustic accompaniment, Juno and Paulie’s relationship is far from smooth sailing after Juno falls pregnant and decides to put the baby up for adoption, but the stand-out screenplay and richness of the characters make ‘Juno’ one of the cutest movies you could possibly watch on Valentine’s Day.
You can’t have a Valentine’s Day list without Hugh Grant. It just wouldn’t be ethical. Notting Hill makes this list because of Richard Curtis’ excellent orchestration of the soppy moments, the humour, and the shockingly believable chemistry between Grant and co-star Julia Roberts despite their famous off-screen animosity towards each other. With every great rom-com comes a scene of great corniness, and as Roberts delivers the famous line: ‘I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her,’ your heart would have to be made of stone not to break just a little bit.
Wall-E is one of Pixar’s finest accomplishments. Looking past the disturbing depiction of the future of humanity and the stunning galactic graphics, at the heart of this film is the oh-so-pure relationship between robots Wall-E and EVE. They can barely communicate with words, but the question of whether robots can emote doesn’t even need to be asked when one watches the sweet development of two robots as they fall in love in a vast, vast universe. If you’re looking for proof of enduring, selfless love, this is it.