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Monday, November 5, 2012

A list about decent romance films (This Millennium)-part i

I did a list pretty similar to this one about three years ago( Time flies, yeah? Good films have been out since then and I figured why not update. Probably put in some descriptions of why it's good too. I'm going to lean more toward the romance than romance-comedy but I'll probably draw from a few genres. I don't think only happy endings deserve mention (I like reality reflected in film), so don't expect romance to equate with successful coupley-ness. I'm going to stick with movies that have one main couple or one clear transition (Vicky Christina Barcelona is out but Midnight in Paris is in, to stick with the Woody Allen motif), but even that might be not set in stone.

18. In Search of a Midnight Kiss - 2007

Why: Possibly another dull and miserable New Year's ahead? We've all been there. Wilson gets talked into posting a personal ad on Craigslist and then it takes off from there. A story that's strange and funny, very realistic and without a perfect ending. Easy to relate to and hard not to feel for the characters.

17.Garden State - 2004

Why: I didn't like this at all when I first saw it, which is probably why no one takes criticisms on film from sixteen year olds very seriously. I watched it over in 2008 and loved it. The themes of making a start and breaking away from living half a life resonate, as well as the idea of closure and being able to progress via meeting new people. As much as it has been said, the soundtrack for the film is as much as what makes it good as the acting or script. (Give us another just like it Zach Braff)

16. Gegen die Wand (Head on) - 2004

Why: I like immigrant stories (despite how cliche that is with my displacement-ness) and I like immigrant love stories since they're so much more hopeful than other stories. Isn't immigration on the whole an act of faith with hope of redemption or deliverance? Perhaps. Sometimes it isn't always what is expected. Sometimes marriage isn't what's expected. All of that is explored in this film, set in the Turkish-German community.

15. Certified Copy -2010

Why: Not really a film about art, though art plays a major role in it. It covers a day where the main characters set out as strangers and then the depth of their relationship blurs. The cinematography is brilliant, especially with the use of mirrors. The couple, with their topical variances from serious to comic, have no semblance of artificiality  at all. Might be as much down to the screenwriter as to the actors.

14. Two Lovers - 2008

Why: I spent most of this film thinking the guy is an idiot for going for the wrong one. But I guess everyone has been at a point when they think what they want is what's right even when it seems obvious it isn't going to end well. A sad movie in the majority but with occasional crescendos of happiness found through character interaction. A little bit predictable perhaps but I'm ok with the ending being happy (which is unusual for me).

13. Moulin Rouge -2001

Why:  Gorgeous film. Rich colour saturation, tremendous costumes and, of course, a totally over the top soundtrack with regular musical numbers. Tragic love story set in Paris with musical re-imagining of pop songs. Perfect.

12. Un long dimanche de fiancailles  (A Very Long Engagement) - 2004

Why: I have a thing for Audrey Tautou. But it's also a good film. The historical backdrop of World War I and enough battle scenes makes it categorize-able as either a war or romance, telling the story of a woman's refusal to believe her fiance is dead and trying to discover exactly what happened. It's a very visually compelling film, in perfect synch with the compelling storyline.

11. Sita Sings the Blues - 2008

Why: It's been a very controversial film since it's done by a Western filmmaker/artist but really I find it well done and in no way disrespectful. I especially love how the contemporary parallel is done. I didn't like the computer graphics and flash animation at first but it grew on me.

10. Punch Drunk Love - 2002

Why: Adam Sandler in a role he was born to play. It is a strange film (Paul Thomas Anderson directed, so it was expected). There's a likability about the character Barry Egan that I find makes him easy to support and hard to be surprised by, despite his many eccentricities. Emily Watson is great as well but it's as much about Sandler's character making himself capable of love than anything else.

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