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Friday, November 16, 2012

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

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.

Extra: Cause I saw Take This Waltz between publishing part one and two of this list

* Take This Waltz -2010

Why: I love my home city, Toronto and so I was already likely to love this film (especially with the Leonard Cohen song-reference as a title). It plays out brilliantly with everything I like in a romance film: chance meetings, realism, tension, questioning of what's the right thing to do.\The slow, confusing, tension-filled build-up of the entire film (even though it may possibly run on just a bit too long) interspersed with the intimate portrayals of marriage only help to make the characters more relatable.

9. Slumdog Millionare -2008

Why: I've always thought this film was a Bollywood film in English, with the same themes of unlikely events and tragic, separated lovers that are everpresent in Indian cinema (or used to be anyway. I haven't seen a Bollywood film since 3 idiots and that's not really conventional filmi). I'm not a big fan of Bollywood but the themes are solid and with a good script, director and support staff it can be a great experience (the actors in India are more than good enough). To come back to the point; poverty, unlikely triumph against the odds and enduring love. What's not to like?

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 2004

Why: Haven't we all wanted that selective memory removal device after a break-up? I know I've wanted to wipe some people out of my brain (still working on it). I thought this film managed to show reality of a tumultuous relationship but in a completely original way. This film could be characterized as sci-fi, romance, maybe even psychological thriller (cause it's happening in the head, right?). Plus everyone who wants to wipe their selective memories also has a part wanting to keep them too, just like in the film. Also Jim Carrey in an excellent serious role.

7.Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain (Amelie)  - 2001

Why: More Audrey. This film, you can be forgiven for forgetting is a romance, because Amelie dominates the screen. She is an unforgettable; mischievous and quirky character but who ultimately needs help ending her loneliness in the same way she helps others in their lives. The film is sweet enough to rot teeth but never cliche (or maybe in a good way). And it's set in Montmarte mostly, my favorite arrondissement part of Paris (cept for maybe the Latin Quarter).

6. Midnight in Paris- 2011

Why: If you can't appreciate this movie, it says a lot about if you've ever felt the need to read.Ever. Great film about Paris during my favorite era (or at least how I imagine it was). I relate to Owen Wilson's character quite a lot. And I also think the love story in this is as much about love for an era or a city as much as for a person.

5. Once- 2007

Why : I love the camerawork most of all, surprisingly. The shaky, single camera, homemade feel of it gives more appeal to this musical. Of course, the actors (really musicians) give a natural feel to the movie and have immense chemistry, which helps the movie to never lag. The music scenes are poignantly romantic too; the studio and the music shop scenes especially. Also this is the film that gave us the song 'Falling Slowly'.

4. Wall-E -2008

Why: It's a future post-apocalyptic robot love story. Doesn't sound like too much fun but it's Disney-Pixar so it's not too dark and scary, obviously. As visually perfect a film as could be created (it is animated after all). And it gives one the important lesson that perhaps one needs to give a girl a plant to be taken seriously. I've been advised I need more plants.

3. In The Mood for Love -2000

Why: Gorgeously shot film, set in Hong Kong during the 60's with the costumes and cinematography to set up the magic. A story about getting closer but never close enough; dealing with shared secrets and the borderline between requited and unrequited love. The magic that could have been yet only managed to fade away. It's impossible not to feel strongly for these characters.

2. (500) Days of Summer - 2009

Why: When I first watched this I despised the character of Summer. I still don't like her much (reminds me of too much girls I know) but it's taken a lot of repeated viewings to realize that Tom is far from a flawless character. Or even a good one, for that matter. I still think this film is one of the most accurate representations of (some, a specific type really) relationships or at least the relationship most guys have to become un-Tom-like.

1. Before Sunset - 2004

Why: I have been watching this film over and over since I discovered it (actually saw this before Before Sunrise). This didn't need to be made after the perfect ending of the first film but I'm so glad it was made. There is such a natural flow between Julie Delphy and Ethan Hawke, the conversation never lags nor do the discussions seems cliche or overdone. It is, without a doubt, possibly the most realistic and unforgettable romance film of the decade.

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