October 10, 2008

Top Ten Romantic Songs and mOvie list

Top 10 Romantic Movies

Never has a subject been more emotive than when I ran a small survey to find out which were our favorite top 10 romantic movies of all time. First of all there is the problem of defining what constitutes 'romantic'. Then there is the era and age of the movie. Then there is the notion of what counts as a movie. In other words can a made-for-TV program count. Finally, after pulling my hair out with the stress of it all, I whittled the answers down to a final ten. You may not agree, you may send me your own lists and you may threaten me with violence but the point is, there is no definitive list. We all have our own top 10 romantic movies based on what we have viewed over the years. And that is it. Here are our the results of our top 10 romantic moves survey in no particular order.

Love Story (1970)

The music helps I have to say has an amazing impact once again on recent viewing but that's not the whole story by far. One of the best and most popular and enduring love stories on celluloid you can find. Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal star in a film that will have you reaching for the tissue box without doubt. Its funny how often romance is linked with sadness but I am not getting into that here. We have everything that a tearjerker can throw at you- rich boy, poor girl, opposing father, success, disaster, fatal illness etc. Superbly filmed and an emotional rollercoaster. Fabulous and a must-see, just watch it on your own though of you are prone to tears.

Titanic (1997)

Would you like someone to die for you, or want to die for someone? In tragedy we often find the barest soul of romance and so it is with this movie. The romance is not so much in the characters but in the fact that it is so intense and so brief and so unfairly taken away within a setting of huge drama. Self sacrifice may be the romantic ideal being portrayed here but there are few us of who watched this without a tear. At 3 hours, we are overtaken by every emotion and for days afterwards the movie leaves a haunting impact. But it is the drama of the two lovers that affected the worlds audiences the most. Superb.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

I cannot believe this is only ten years ago. To me it feels like a film from folklore, certainly in terms of perfect romantic movies. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks may be too sweet a pairing for some but in terms of romantic fantasy land this is about as close to heaven as one can get. Beautifully scripted and filmed and pulling on our heart strings with required, it is the perfect vehicle for the starts of the show to illustrate why they are both romantic stars. Meeting on top of the Empire State building - well who wouldn't! There are some reviews on the web that try and analyze this movie as if it was Ben Hur, lets not bother. Instead grab your pop corn and settle in with your sweetheart.

Pretty Woman (1990)

When asked, it came back in almost every top 10 I was given. Maybe it was the dream pairing of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, maybe it was the story of a girl finally made good. Maybe it was simply about boy choosing girl just when you think he might not. Whatever aspect you wish to focus on, this is top class romantic entertainment that over the years has not aged one bit. Critics should take note of the people's view as there were some unkind reports on this movie. Clearly these guys have no heart. Rent and watch and remind yourself how on screen romance should look. Yes it may be a re make of Pygmalion but quite frankly, who cares.

City of Angels (1998)

My personal favorite and one that is hugely successful in terms of presenting the answer to the complex romantic equation of romance, love and mortality. Meg Ryan again and based partly on the classic earlier film Wim Wenders' movie, Wings of Desire, City of Angels is beautifully filmed and acted, Meg being particularly on form. Nicholas Cage as the angel Seth finds himself at odds with the world by falling in love with Meg who looks almost as angelic as Nick throughout. Ultimately Seth's fall from grace to be with the woman he loves tugs at the heart but nothing on earth can prepare you for romantic dram of the final moments. From the opening heart breaking scene, to the angels portrayed as beings of light , aloof in high places, this movie appeals on every level Glorious and gorgeous in every way with a music score to match.

Casablanca (1942)

This classic and adored timeless classic is really a romantic melodrama. Often quoted ("here's lookin' at you, kid" and the always misquoted "play it again Sam"), it has lost none of its romantic value in the last 61 years. Against a wartime backdrop we are presented as viewers with a classic love triangle where two men vie of the affections of the same woman. Humphrey Bogart in splendid form as the exiled loner and the film its self attends to the theme of lost love. The ending is a romantic classic. If it is Sunday evening and raining outside this is the one for you (both).

An Affair to Remember (1957)

One of my favorites, the essential romantic storyline is that Cary Grant, an eligible bachelor is set to marry an heiress. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your viewpoint he meets Deborah Kerr whilst traveling alone on a luxury yacht and realizes he's engaged to the wrong woman. Just to complicate matters, she is engaged to the wrong man. In the end they agree to spend six months apart and if they still love each other they will reunite six months later at the top of the Empire State Building. Of course the threat of tragedy strikes. Even today elements of this storyline find their way into modern romantic productions. I have to mention one of the top cinematic romantic moments when Cary Grant walks into Deborah Kerr's room and sees the painting she had bought but which he had painted. A great romantic treat.

The Way we Were (1973)

I have always been a great fan of Robert Redford and it is easy today for the younger generation to forget not only his but Barbara Streisand 's formidable talents. Here we have two young lovers with differing political ideologies who come together, one the conservative , the other a radical. Its an odd thing but there are aspects to the American cinema of the early 1970's that have never been emulated (see The Last Picture Show for example) anywhere else and this embodies many sensitive romantic ideals that are rarely portrayed today. Miss Streisand won a deserved Oscar for her portrayal of the woman in love and the music will make your spine tingle. Lovely.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

The year I was born was 1965 but Omar Sharif still looks better today than I ever have. The music is mesmerizing, the, film work unbelievable and epic and the love story, simply stunning. Recently re-released in special edition DVD format, this is one for a weekend in and perfect for lovers of romantic movies everywhere. Julie Christie still look as gorgeous as ever and the perfect romantic heroine for this film. Set against the backdrop of the Russian revolution, Sharif and Christie portray two lovers who are separated and brought together again by war and fate. Once again it is a movie that combines romance and tragedy as the two appear to be intertwined but for a treat of cinematic vistas and passion this is a must see.

Brief Encounter (1946)

Celia and Johnson and Trevor Howard star in this romantic classic. A housewife by chance meets a married Doctor at a railway station. What transpires is a cinematic masterpiece of inspired passion and unrequited love between an English middle-class man and woman. Even the title has moved into general romantic speak. If you haven't seen it then put it at the top of the pile because you cannot be classed as educated in the art of romance until you have. My own note is that I was told it was filmed at Carnforth railway station at the edge of the English Lake District.

Oh and we now want to add the fantastic John Cusack movie, High Fidelity - just because !

PS: "Notebook"-i for get to tell about this one.well you can see this one as well.
Happy romantic viewing!

Click here to know all the great romantic movies of the century

The Most Romantic Songs

My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion

Gosh you may hate this but it is a masterpiece of romantic melodies with the rousing crescendo towards the end. Who wouldn't want to stand at the front of a ship with arms outstretched. Whilst now the subject of parody in some areas, it still brings a lump to our throat. Ask yourself would you die for your girl ? She'd like to think you would...

Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton

An ode to your loved one and sung with heartfelt honesty by Mr. Clapton. The beauty of this song is in its romantic simplicity. A song about being proud to be with someone, a song of compliments and a song of love, you can't do better than this for classic romantic sentiment.

Don't Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith

Indeed I don't and neither do you which is why this song is such a romantic masterpiece. The gladiator of romantic modern classics in fact. Steven Tyler in full throttle, rousing lyrics and chorus and superb video to boot. The sentiment is there, the voice the attitude and even the opening few words are class "I could stay awake just to hear you breathing...". Get playing it now.

Wicked Game - Chris Isaac

It took me about 30 listens and views of the video before I grasped the true meaning of this song. Probably due to my own stupidity. Once grasped however it climbed up my all time top 10. Essentially a song constructed from different tenses about the affect a woman has on the male singer from was to is now. What a wicked thing this woman does to Chris who sings like a bird. It helped enormously that Helena Christensen was Mr. Isaacs partner in both life and video at the time of release and only helps heighten its meaning. Gorgeous.

No Ordinary Love - Sade

Sade always did have that kind of seductive voice that made you want to get naked. It was for no small reason that her voice was the sound of the entire wine bar sophistication of the mid 1980's. Often sadly now associated with a movie about selling your body for $1 million, the song should be better remembered not for the Robert Redford & Demi Moore film it accompanied, or the dreadful Sade video of a lonely mermaid, but for the soft undertones of the melody, the lilting tones of the song, the sadness, and the sheer romance of its lyrics. A beautiful song superbly scripted and one to make your heart melt, yearn and stretch. Moving.

We've Only Just Begun - The Carpenters

Cheesy and corny? Absolutely not, a romantic masterpiece without equal. If you haven't played this in some time just listen to Karen's voice. It is like listening to perfection, like chocolate, like silk, with inflection and emotion. My silly words here cannot do this song justice, it just needs to be placed. A romantic all time classic, even more so when related to Karen's own tragic demise one month short of her 33rd birthday.

Wishing on a Star - Rose Royce

This song appears in many a top ten list from its initial ear-piercing opening to the drop in tone as we move into melodic verse to refrain. The sentiment of the song is beautiful and captures in an instant the essence of what romance should be. A modern work of art and there was no way I was leaving this out.

Sexual Healing - Marvin Gaye

Original, sexy and very very soave, this is music to make love by. What makes this song so romantic and so sexy is the way Mr. Gaye trapped every word and made us swallow it like oysters with champagne. Its late in the evening, the meal was excellent, she is sitting in front of the fire looking exquisite, what are you waiting for men? There could have been a mini baby boom down to this song.

The Day Before You Came - ABBA

I have always had a real soft spot for ABBA and this has remained unchanged over the last 25 years. A super group of true stature and without parallel in terms of music craftsmanship - song after song. It comes as a surprise therefore to some that I select this particular melody for this list. The fact is, the song deals with some extraordinarily powerful emotions and romantic ideas over its 6 minutes of so in length. Essentially Agnetha is telling us a story in retrospect about a relationship from beginning to end by telling with huge irony what her day was like before you walked through the door. Spine tingling and beautiful and the video is great too.

Me and Mrs. Jones - Al Green

Smooch music, kissing music, velvety notes, deep luscious tones, laid back lyrics. Who knows. The point is that this is Soul from the soul - maybe food for the soul if I want to use clich├ęs. It's smooth, it's sexy it's an afternoon away from work with your sexy lover. Its romantic, it's slightly naughty and it makes us feel good. So good it made it into this top 10.

Your task now is to go and make your own list and rediscover some romance in your CD collection. If you want to send me your list and the reasons why I may well publish it here.

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