Recently Time Out Magazine in America held a poll among the top American movie actors, directors and critics what were the best romantic movies of all time. Their answers may surprise you but we highlight the top five films that were nominated.
Harold and Maude
Directed by Hal Ashby and released in 1971, Harold and Maude was not made to make a grand statement to confront society as many films of the period did. Instead this film has stood the test of time as it is just as charming as when it was first released. The reason for this is that the films main themes are as relevant today as they ever were, and the world that we live in is still based on a rigid hierarchy, full of petty rules and authority. So the very idea of a teenage boy forming a relationship with a rather crazy old woman still questions the norms of society and what is acceptable. But above all this is a moving and highly romantic story of two soul-mates.
Everybody remembers this Woody Allen film of 1977, it is crazy and sometimes absurd and definitely irrational, but it depicts love as the messy and complicated thing that it is. A rather neurotic comedian falls desperately in love with Annie who is a rather scatterbrained singer. The romance of the film has a rather sad message to deliver, that finding a soul-mate does not necessarily mean that happiness will follow. But having said all that, Annie Hall is hilarious for most of the time and packed with great gags.
In the Mood for Love
Perhaps for many this 2000 film is a surprise selection, but it is a true love story made by director Wong Kar-Wai. It all takes place in Hong Kong in the 1960’s when two people already attached move in next door to each other. Leung is being cheated on by his wife, which pushes him into a friendship with Cheung. At the crux of the plot is the question when love will start with the couple? And it is the timing of it all that is the real intensity of the movie.
Coming second place in our top romantic films of all time is the Michael Curtiz classic, Casablanca. This great film works on so many levels notwithstanding one of the best plots in film history. One of the most heart wrenching things that you will ever see on the screen is the dilemma that Rick is in turmoil about, the choice between love and behaving honorably. The film is absolutely littered with famous lines, and most audiences join in saying them whilst watching. And the cast is absolutely perfect for such an epic wartime movie.
The movie that eclipsed Casablanca into second place would indeed have to be something special, and this 1945 David Lean film is just that. Brief Encounter is one of the biggest tear-jerker’s that has ever been made. Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard perform their best roles ever, as this deep love story plays out.
Made when married people could not have affairs, Brief Encounter challenged society of the day. One of the most remarkable things of the movie is just how unremarkable the main characters are, and that is the point, they are everyday people who are performing a dance that is totally taboo. Brief Encounter is all so innocent, but it provokes the audience into thoughts what might have been if decisions in life had been different. Brief Encounter is justifiably the most romantic film ever made.