Happy Valentine’s Day! For those of you watching “The Notebook” today, and the others watching “A Good Day to Die Hard,” here’s a list of films that fall somewhere in the middle. These are some of my favorite romantic films with relationships that just don’t end up working out.
“Annie Hall” (1977)
He’s too New York; she’s too L.A. ”A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark,” says Alvy Singer (Woody Allen). Who’d have thought being in a relationship with Woody Allen would be a bad idea?
“Young Adult” (2011)
This film gets better with each viewing. What is more romantic than catching up with your old high school sweetheart? Sparks will fly, you hope, and all will be like it used to. So hopes Mavis Gary after receiving an email from her old flame, Buddy Slade, announcing the arrival of his new baby. Mavis feeds her delusion that Buddy is crying out for help to her and returns to her hometown to “save” him. Surprisingly, Buddy does not feel the same way.
“Remains of the Day” (1993)
Nobody does “understated” like the British. A house servant (Emma Thompson) falls in love with the head butler (Anthony Hopkins) of a house during WWII. The butler, however, is too wrapped up in his duties and loyalty to his master, Lord Darlington, to notice. When he finally finds the time to return the feelings, it is too late.
Most Romantic Film: “The Piano” (1993)
It’s got something for everyone: beautiful music, a steamy love story, obnoxious children, dismemberment, breathtaking New Zealand scenery.
Most Anti-Romance Film: “Audition” (1999)
An important reminder to do a very solid background check on your new girlfriend, especially if you’re picking her out of contestants for a fake reality show.
Best Movie Couple: Marge and Norm Gunderson in “Fargo”
Maybe it’s the Midwestern accents, but there’s something about Norm and Marge Gunderson (John Carroll Lynch and Francis McDormand) that is so darn adorable. They have a baby on the way, she buys him fishing bait, he buys her Arby’s for lunch, he jump starts her car. It’s nothing out of the ordinary; it’s just real. They are a perfect picture of a great marriage. She just happens to get wrapped up catching a kidnapper with a pension for wood-chippers.