Friday, February 12, 2016

FRIDAY FIVE: Romantic Movies

I'm not a particularly romantic person, but I can appreciate romance in fiction, and in honor of the upcoming holiday, here are five of my favorite romantic films.

The Young Victoria
This is one of my favorite movies of all time, not just romances. Written by Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes, this historical drama focuses on the early life of Queen Victoria, most notably her romance with her husband, Albert. Though the relationship starts out rather rocky, it soon blossoms into something lovely.

The Decoy Bride
My sister and I used to watch a ton of rom-coms in the late '90s and early '00s. Revisiting those can be hit or miss, so when I found this gem on Netflix a couple years ago, I was utterly delighted. When writer James Arber and his actress fiancee Lara Tyler venture to the remote Scottish island of Hegg to get married away from the prying eyes of paparazzi, James winds up accidentally marrying Hegg native Katie, who longs for a more exciting life than the island can offer. It's on the quirky side of rom-coms, but definitely worth the watch.

She's the Man
Is there anything greater than modern adaptations of Shakespeare (or Jane Austen)? Probably not. This is a high-school update of Twelfth Night, in which Viola's high school cuts the girls' soccer program, so she decides to impersonate her brother at his new private school just long enough to kick her ex-boyfriend's butt in their rival soccer match. And because this is Shakespeare, complications ensue. Viola falls for her roommate, Duke, who is in love with Olivia, who is crushing on Viola-as-Sebastian. It's kooky at times, but ultimately charming.

Sweet Land
This movie is so underrated. It's the story of Olaf, a Norwegian immigrant farmer in post-WWII America whose parents send him a bride named Inge. The only problem is she's German and hardly speaks any English. When there are complications in getting a marriage certificate, tension arises in the community over Inge's background. Like its title, this is a sweet story about love overcoming barriers.

North and South
What list of romantic movies would be complete without a Victorian novel? When Margaret Hale's minister father faces a crisis of conscience, he moves the family north to the industrial town of Milton. There, Margaret meets John Thornton, a mill owner. The two clash over their different ways of life, but it's soon apparent that they bring out the best in each other. It has shades of the central conflict in Pride and Prejudice, but Elizabeth Gaskell takes time to focus on the secondary conflict between mill owners and workers, lending a larger scope to the story.

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