February five

The best romance movies of all time


(Ariana Magafas / The University News)

Smack dab in the middle of February is Valentine’s Day, so it is unsurprising that February is consistently associated with everything romance related. Though for some, the thought of grocery store arrangements of flowers, chocolates and advertisements for engagement rings might send them into fits of nausea, others realize the positives that can come from such displays. That good is found in the fact that one’s desire to watch endless romance movies goes completely unquestioned. The desire to watch as many romance movies as possible has become such an integral part of my February that I cannot imagine this month going by without “Harry, Sally or Baby.” Therefore I figured that the best allocation of my time would be to order my plethora of romantic movie knowledge into what I consider the five best of all time. 

Please understand before you throw away this article in disgust and boycott the UNews, there are plenty of romance movies that I am sure would make this list had I seen them. Based on the films I have watched, here are what I consider to be my all-time favorites. 

“Ten Things I Hate About You”: this 1999 romantic comedy directed by Gil Junger takes the number one spot in my February Five with ease. When it comes to romantic movies, the ones that you can laugh at and relate to are the best. Though an older audience might not appreciate some of the crass humor this movie has to offer, I find the in-depth and inventive characters add a charm to the film that other romance movies don’t utilize. Not only is “Ten Things I Hate About You” a masterpiece due to its comedic elements but this movie also doubles as a two-for-one deal. Two romance storylines occur within the film between four high school students with a wide range of personalities. The first relationship is between Cameron Jones, a stereotypical nerd who pines over the famous princess of Pagua High School, Bianca Stratford. The other consists of the older sister of Bianca, Kat and Heath Ledger’s Australian stereotypical bad-boy character Patrick. While Kat repels the student body population with her intelligent, if not abrasively stated, beliefs on feminism, her soon-to-be boyfriend repels the student body population with his menacing demeanor and antisocial behavior. Gunger makes it impossible not to get wrapped up in each character as you root for them during their various romantic endeavors. 

Favorite Quote: “I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all,” said Julia Stiles as Kat Stratford.

“The Princess Bride” obviously had to clinch a top-two spot. It was a close battle for first, due to Rob Reiner’s incredible direction. Many would disagree with my placing it as second, but to me, this movie barely gets placed second. “The Princess Bride” is a love story between a poor farm boy and a beautiful farmer girl turned princess that all begins with their long separation. The characters undergo various harrowing adventures to be reunited with one another as told by the narrators, the Grandfather and the young grandson, Billy. It is a riveting tale from start to finish, and the actors, the film quality and the simplicity of the romance transport you back into a magical time full of the good and the bad, mythical monsters and giants galore. “The Princess Bride’s” vast array of loveable characters and quotable lines ensure it will always be in the top two for my February Five. If you haven’t seen this movie, indeed you must. Both young audiences and older audiences can be entertained by this classic romance. 

Favorite Quote: “Do I love you? My God, If your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches,” said Westley played by Cary Elwes.

“Call me By Your Name” is genuinely a work of art. The soundtrack, angles, choice of camera, colors, and mix of languages and religions make it one of the most touching blends of romance I have ever witnessed. It truly is a work of art. The storyline follows Elio Perlman, his father and Mr. Perlman’s study abroad student Oliver, into a summer of Italian romance and a winter of ensuing heartbreak. The beauty of the English, French and Italian are depicted magnificently throughout the film. “Call Me By Your Name”, alongside the 2018 film “Love, Simon”, was one of the first mainstream popular films showing homosexual love to be widely adored by the American public. This film was also important because it broke barriers in how gay romance was portrayed. Though the age gap between the two characters was controversial, this film will forever hold a space in my heart as one of the most excellent portrayals of love of all time. This film proves that a romance doesn’t have to continue to make it a great love story. 

Favorite Quote: “But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste,” said Michael Stuhlbarg as the character Mr. Perlman.

“Titanic” is a cult classic that must be included when any romance movie is mentioned. The first time I watched “Titanic” was in eighth grade, and it took my young, hormonal self a full hour afterward to calm down and stop crying. The classic story of love divided by socio-economic differences and despised by the high society in which it takes place is beautifully portrayed under the direction of James Cameron. Though the ship and history surrounding the Titanic, and the actor Leonardo Decaprio were both well known, this movie launched them into worldwide fame and publicity that neither the ship nor the young actor had previously known. The tragic death of Jack Dawson and the painful recalling of the story by an aged Rose Bukater will leave even the toughest of audiences in tears. I am not the only one to sing the praises of this masterpiece, given that “Titanic” won 11 of its 13 Academy Award Nominations. The romance of the early 1900s and the devastating fall-out of love between two people that could never have existed due to the classist society of early 20th-century America will forever earn a spot in my February Five. 

Favorite Quote: “Now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson, and that he saved me in every way a person can be saved,” said Kate Winslett as the character Rose Bukater.

“Breakfast At Tiffany’s” might not be the first movie that comes to one’s mind when thinking about romance, but it truly is a romantic masterpiece that deserves to be admired as such. Since “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was Audrey Hepburn’s breakout role under the direction of Blake Edwards as the illusive and stunning Holly Golightly, her strength of character often overshadows the fact that this movie is truly a story about the love between her and the author Paul Varjak. In all my life, I have never seen a romance movie quite like it. Varjak begins the movie as a struggling writer and, essentially, a sugar baby. Golightly starts off the movie as a woman obsessed with acquiring money to every extent. Golightly for most of the movie pushes Varjak’s affection away and sees him as a friend because he is destitute and unable to write a successful story. Paul is left to his own devices to struggle as he pines after her, only to watch her continuously choose romantic partners simply because of their wealth. In the end, true love wins with an argument between the two, followed by a famous kiss in the rain. What makes this movie so alluring to me is not only its hilarity but the authenticity of its characters as real people is entirely unmatched and surprising to me given that it was produced in the 1960s. The characters are real, and problematic and face their very human struggles in such a way that makes it impossible not to root for them. For as long as I live, I will be a diehard supporter of this movie due to its realistic portrayal of love between two struggling young adults.

Favorite Quote: “I don’t want to put you in a cage, I want to love you,” said George Peppard who played Paul Varjak.