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Newsmax's List of the 10 Best Films for Valentine's Day

Newsmax's List of the 10 Best Films for Valentine's Day


By    |   Tuesday, 13 February 2024 02:16 PM EST

Valentine’s Day can be movie night with your significant other, a time to curl up on the sofa and watch a good romantic comedy — but with a few minor adjustments.

Instead of popcorn and beer, maybe something a bit more elegant. It could be a time for wine and cheese, or wine and shrimp cocktail — or maybe just wine and one another.

Here are Newsmax’s top 10 picks of romantic comedies for Valentine’s Day, listed in alphabetic order. How does our list compare with yours?

"Before Sunrise" (1995)

A young American man and French woman meet on a train heading west from Budapest. She’s traveling to Paris to continue her university studies after having visited her grandmother. He’s getting off in Vienna to catch a flight back to the United State.

After they eventually sense a strong connection with one another, he convinces her to leave the train with him in Vienna to share a few more hours together and see what develops. They lack the funds for a room, so they instead roam the streets of Vienna “Before Sunrise,” when his flight back home departs.

"Before Sunrise is so much like real life — like a documentary with an invisible camera -- that I found myself remembering real conversations I had experienced with more or less the same words," said legendary film reviewer Roger Ebert for the Chicago Sun-Times.

He said it’s “about two nice kids, literate, sensitive, tentative, intoxicated by the fact that their lives stretch out before them, filled with mystery and hope, and maybe love.”

"Bridget Jones’s Diary" (2001)

It’s New Year’s Eve and Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is 32, without a beau, and fantasizes about being with her boss.

After she overhears an acquaintance describe her as "a verbally incontinent spinster who smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish, and dresses like her mother," Bridget makes a New Year's resolution to turn her life around. She begins by keeping a diary of her progress, and before long the most interesting, funny, and scintillating book she owns is the one she’s penning herself.

Anna Smith described the movie in Film4 as "a cheerfully frothy romantic comedy that benefits from sharp writing, lively performances and touching characterisation."

"Dirty Dancing" (1987)

Baby (Jennifer Grey) is about to spend her last summer before entering the Peace Corps with what she believes will be a boring vacation at a sleepy Catskills resort with her parents.

But things look up when the resort's dance instructor, Johnny (Patrick Swayze), enlists Baby as his new dance partner, and the two fall in love.

Despite her father’s objections, Baby's resolved to help Johnny perform the resort’s last big dance routine of the summer.

"The dancing here brings out the sensual dreaminess of the songs," wrote Pauline Kael, reviewing for the New Yorker. "'Dirty Dancing' — what a great title! — is such a bubbleheaded, retro vision of growing up in the 1960s (or any other time) that you go out of the theatre giggling happily."

"Four Weddings and a Funeral" (1994)

Lovable Englishman Charles (Hugh Grant) believes he’s unlucky in love — until he meets a beautiful American named Carrie (Andie MacDowell) at a wedding. But after Carrie returns to the States following one magical night, it appears to be over.

However, Charles and Carrie's paths continue to cross at a number of wedding ceremonies and one funeral. Because of these continued chance encounters, he eventually believes they are destined to be together.

"It's rare to see in a British film: a dramatic point that doesn't hinge on dialogue," wrote Sheila Johnston, in her UK Independent review. "'Four Weddings and a Funeral’ is a lightweight affair, but this is one of several fine touches that make it, on the whole, a cause for celebration rather than for mourning."

"Love Jones" (1997)

Two young, black urbanites, aspiring writer Darius and aspiring photographer Nina, form an instant attraction after a chance meeting at a Chicago club. The two discover they share the same tastes in music, photography and poetry, and eventually begin a steamy romance.

However, Nina eventually decides to move back to New York and patch up her relationship with her ex-fiancé. Although it leaves Darius heartbroken, he’s nonetheless undeterred.

In her Philadelphia Inquirer review, Carrie Rickey said, "Witcher makes a remarkably confident filmmaking debut, eliciting excellent performances from his leads and underscoring their romance with a soundtrack that flavors, rather than overwhelms, the story."

"The Princess Bride" (1987)

Based on the William Goldman novel of the same name, "The Princess Bride" is an adventurous fairy tale about the love affair between Buttercup, a beautiful young woman, and Westley, a swashbuckling farmhand.

After Westley is presumed dead, Buttercup becomes betrothed to Humperdinck, the prince of Florin. Westley returns, however, and rescues Buttercup from what would be a disastrous relationship. But in order to successfully make it back, they must battle the mythical evils of the kingdom of Florin.

Said Guardian reviewer Derek Malcolm, "The Princess Bride easily transcends expectations, as a fantasy that has a few pertinent things to say about the genre, including the odd fact that the heroes of such things are often prettier than the heroines."

"Sleepless in Seattle" (1993)

After widower Sam (Tom Hanks) moves to Seattle, his son, Jonah calls a talk-radio show hoping to find a new wife for his dad.

Sam is coaxed to get on the line to discuss his feelings, and Annie (Meg Ryan), a Baltimore reporter, falls for Sam after hearing him speak. Although Annie is engaged, she writes Sam a letter, asking him to meet her at the Empire State Building — on Valentine's Day.

"'Sleepless in Seattle' (citywide), a real charmer, is a romantic comedy about an ultimate long-distance relationship," wrote Michael Wilmington in his review for the Los Angeles Times. "Emphasize 'romantic.' Emphasize 'comedy.' It delivers both."

"When Harry Met Sally. . . " (1989)

College graduates Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) share a testy car ride from Chicago to New York, during which their main bone of contention is whether a men and a women can ever truly be strictly platonic friends.

Ten years later, Harry and Sally meet again at a bookstore, and in the company of their respective best friends, Jess (Bruno Kirby) and Marie (Carrie Fisher), they attempt to settle the argument once and for all: Can they remain friends without romance creeping in?

The Hollywood Reporter wrote in its staff review, "When Harry Met Sally is a beautiful, brainy, touching and lilting romantic comedy that should touch the heartstrings of lovers and those yearning to be in love everywhere."

"While You Were Sleeping" (1995)

Lucy (Sandra Bullock) is a lonely transit worker who develops a secret crush on Peter (Peter Gallagher). After she sees Peter collapse off the platform and onto the tracks, she saves him from an oncoming train.

Peter’s rushed to the hospital, where ER physicians report that he's in a coma.

A misinterpreted comment from Lucy causes Peter's family to assume that she’s his fiancée. Lucy doesn't correct them, and they make her a part of the family. But things really run off the rails when she finds herself falling for Peter's brother, Jack (Bill Pullman).

"[Sandra] Bullock gives Lucy just the right amount of edge," said Duane Byrge for The Hollyeood Reporter. "[Bill] Pullman's performance as Peter's down-to-earth younger brother is also a deft mix of moxie and frustration."

"You've Got Mail" (1998)

Five years after the success of "Sleepless in Seattle," Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were paired again in another romantic comedy.

Ryan portrays struggling boutique bookstore owner Kathleen Kelly, who despises Joe Fox (Hanks), the owner of the huge Foxbooks chain that just added a new store across the street.

The feeling is mutual.

They form an anonymous but intense online romance, however, oblivious of each other's actual identity. Joe ultimately discovers that the endearing woman he's involved with online is actually his business rival.

Can he reconcile his real-life dislike for her with the cyber-love he's come to feel?

"The most worthwhile tension in 'You've Got Mail' lies in the simple but pure ecstasy of receiving an email from a person you are excited about," wrote Hanif Abdurraqib in his 4Columns review. "Long live the parts of the film that refurbish the excitement of our sometimes-misguided yearnings."

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Here are Newsmax’s top 10 picks of romantic comedies for Valentine’s Day, listed in alphabetic order. How does our list compare with yours?
princess, sleepless, seattle
Tuesday, 13 February 2024 02:16 PM
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