Top 5 Thursday - Love Stories

Aaw love, sweet love. What would life be without that one emotion that pretty much spawns all the other emotions? Love begets passion, jealousy, romance, frustration, confusion, obsession, friendship. Sometimes we feel love immediately (like when you dig into a delicious piece of black forest cheesecake, or "love at first sight" if you believe in that sort of thing). Sometimes you don't know you're in love until someone tries to take it away from you (Yes, I'm looking at you waiter who tried to take away my cheesecake before I was done). All kidding aside, there have been thousands of movies based on the idea of love and relationships, probably more than any other subject out there, so attacking a subject like favorite love stories may seen daunting. I'm going to list a few of my all time favorites - the ones that I could watch over and over again and still get that lump in my throat when I'm done.

#5 - Moulin Rouge

With it's wonderfully opulent sets, costumes and strangely rearranged music, Baz Luhrmann would have had a beautifully looking movie, but it's the performances by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman that elevate this film to ethereal levels for me. Moulin Rouge isn’t just a love story, it is a LOVE ANTHEM. A cinematic sonnet de amour carried out on absinthe and opium all for your dining pleasure.

*spoiler end scene*

This film pretty much covers the entire dictionary on love. The thrill of it. The joy of it. The danger of it. The inconvenience of it. The pain of it. Every single wonderful tumultuous moment of love boiled into a 2 hour love fest that makes you drunk. Lovedrunk.

#4 - Beauty & the Beast

Not only is it one of the most well known tales of all time, but I think it is one of Disney's very best adaptations. Enchanting and sweepingly romantic, we get to see the gradual love develop between independent free spirit Belle and the once human prince turned emotionally unavailable Beast. Look past the surface and you will see people facing difficult choices and uncertain consequences. When Belle finally reveals her true feelings you don't even care that there's an *ahem* small bestiality component.

I love this movie so much I had a set of 4 lithographs framed and I saw the theatrical production which was fantastic. Timeless and classic. There's nothing quite like a fairytale ending!

#3 - When Harry Met Sally

Rob Reiner is the king of romantic comedies for me because of this film. When Harry Met Sally is a brilliant observation on modern life, romance, men, women, friendship, and sex. Kind of like the couple's Sex & the City, but with more heart. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are an absolute perfect pair. Every line is real. Every inch of attraction irrefutable. Nora Ephron crafts a screenplay flawlessly, aligning broad comedy and seasoned pondering so that they spring from the same catalysts. Rob Reiner keenly gift-wraps it for us, with the thematic progress and humor reassured, but it is never disingenuous. When that New Year's clock begin to chime, you know you want your happy ending, even if what follows it is sure to be dysfunctional.

Sometimes fan vids can be almost better than what studios crank out, so check out this "horrific" take on this funny lovable film. Too hilarious!

#2 - The Princess Bride

I read the book by William Goldman when I was in my teens, and though it is way better than the movie (which book isn't?), Rob Reiner did an incredible job translating what he could in the time limit afforded to Hollywood movies. Now this would be wonderful to adapt into a Bollywood film, don't ya think? Now I know it's much more than just a love story and some of the supporting characters have much more interesting subplots (Inigo Montoya anyone!) than the insipid Robin Wright Penn, but overcoming insurmountable odds we find Westley dodging everything from pirates to poison to electrocution to find and rescue the woman that he loves above all else.

#1 - Kal Ho Naa Ho

This movie, though not my first Bollywood, will always be near and dear to my heart because it was the movie where my own love story with Shah Rukh evolved from. What I now know as a typical Kjo movie, KHNH, at its base, has got a sweet and selfless love story involving the kind of man that surely doesn't truly exist, but it's nice to imagine they do. The love triangle between Aman, Naina and Rohit is chalk full of tender and funny moments, and is one of those films that you're not quite sure who you want to see the girl with. I say Rohit is all yours Naina, so I can have Aman all to myself.

So there you have it. It's hard to list a top 5 for a topic like this, there are so many good romantic love stories out there. Other movies that I went gaga over that didn't make the cut include Titanic (which I saw 8 times in the theatre and then made a scrapbook with pics and dialogue nearly line for line afterwards. Yes, I am that kind of fangirl!), Dirty Dancing (again, I think I've seen this movie about 30 times since I first saw it. Who else practiced that last dance over and over until they got it down pat? Not me.), and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge just because it is the ultimate romantic Hindi movie (however, I've really only seen it once, so, as adorable as Shah and Kajol are in it, it will remain off for now).

What are your favorite love stories?

13 Response to "Top 5 Thursday - Love Stories"

  1. Christy says:
    August 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    I also had Moulin Rouge, When Harry Met Sally, Kal Ho Na Ho and The Princess Bride as contenders but ultimately went with 5 others. All great films! That fan video for When Harry Met Sally was hysterical!!
    My favorite Disney movie will forever be The Little Mermaid but as a redhead I admit that I am biased. :-)
    Very nice post!!

  2. rhilex says:
    August 5, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    The Princess Bride!! Beauty and the Beast!! <3333 What awesome pics, Shell! =D

    I also love Dirty Dancing and Titanic! <3 And DDLJ, of course. ;)

  3. triShie says:
    August 5, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    ok, this was pretty tough and tricky... i'm a love junkie so most love stories already have 5stars in my heart. but, sitting down to think i'd say the ones that stick out the most are:
    Titanic, Devdas, U Me Aur Hum, Kal Ho Naa Ho and Fanaa!!

    ..eekkk!! now i feel like running home from work to pop in all of them for a Friday Love Marathon. :)

  4. Anishok says:
    August 6, 2010 at 3:36 AM

    Love your choices! Glad KHNH made it , because it's just so heartbreaking and lovely. And that WHMS fanvid is AWESOME!

  5. Shell says:
    August 6, 2010 at 6:59 AM

    @Christy - I adore The Little Mermaid also. It ranks up there in my top 10 fav Disney films for sure.

    @rhilex - I'll make sure to head over and see your pics too! So many good ones to choose from.

    @triShie - You have good taste! Also you are a heartbreak junkie me thinks!

    @anishok - I laughed so hard at the WHMS fanvid! I never would have thought in a million years you could make that film look sinister. They did a great job.
    I think KHNH would top many of my top 5 lists to be honest.

  6. triShie says:
    August 6, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    "heartbreak junkie".. aahh, true dat! lol!...but i think all relationships go through some form of heartbreak. it's the realism of..well, reality. i think.

    and oh, if i may, i think My Name Is Khan makes it onto my list too. :)

  7. Shell says:
    August 6, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    My Name is Khan has the potential to land on my list eventually. If I had to pick favorite romantic charachters Rizwan would probably top the list.

    I think heartbreak is good sometimes. It certainly is better than being in a relationship where there's no emotion.

  8. bollywooddeewana says:
    August 10, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    For me the more melodramatic the love story the better one of my faves is 1981's Ek duuje ke liye and 1982's Yeh vaada raha

  9. Shell says:
    August 10, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Would it surprise you to find out I haven't seen either of those?! Probably not! Tons of melodrama certainly has the opportunities to tug at the heartstrings in several directions at once. I will definitely have to look them up.

  10. yves says:
    October 5, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Hi Shell, long time no come, but when I do, I'm rewarded by this list of great love stories, which was just candy to read. I'm a sucker for them too.
    One all-time fav, which is nowadays very little known, is John Ford's "The quiet man", with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Do you know it?

  11. Shell says:
    October 6, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Hey yves! Thanks for the compliment. I love doing these top 5 lists. I must get back to posting them regularly.

    I've never heard of The Quiet Man. I'm assuming, with John Wayne in the lead, it is a western? Sholay is the closest I've ever come to watching a western. They generally are not my cup of tea, but romance definitely is, so I may just have to look it up.

    Nice to hear from you! Hope you are well.

  12. yves says:
    October 7, 2010 at 3:58 AM

    No, "The quiet Man" is a rather original Ireland-based romance, with no Western element in it. I believe it was a little strange for Wayne to come to Ireland to shoot it, and get involved in a role which obliged him to bend below his accustomed swashbuckling personas. Still, he does it very well!
    Here's the IMDb link:

  13. Shell says:
    October 19, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    Thanks yves!!! I adore films based in Ireland, so I will definitely have to check this one out!!!