According to a survey in Radio Times Magazine, English men think they have the best chance of bedding a girl called 'Kelly'. The female readers that responded thought guys called Lee, Dave and Andy are the dodgiest geezers out there and top of their steer clear list. Apparently, guys here think they can get Kelly's into bed quicker than any other girl of any other name (the name currently tops the single parent list in the Daily Sport to back that one up!), although the ten out of ten that is Kelly Brook is obviously immune from such frivolous and unfounded journalism. The other good time girls on the list were Debs, Stephanie, Michelle, Tina, Lisa, Carly and Nicky! So, any dooyoo girls want to confirm such scurrilous tat.lol.
= = = STREET MATE = = =
Hosted: Davina McCall
Originally hosted by Davina McCall, the in your face youth TV presenter would walk around the streets of British cities and try and pair up young people. If the two total strangers agreed they would get a free date paid for by the production company made the Channel four show. As we know British people spend a hell of a lot of time eyeing each up furtively but little of that time actually interacting so this a good idea for a show, only excessive amounts of booze getting us together these days.
Most of the time Davina would be packed off to vibrant student towns and most of the participants were indeed be students wanting to get on TV and say 'brilliant and amazing' every sentence whilst talking about their backpacking experiences in South America, rather than actually getting it on. As they were a bright bunch they quickly twigged that this was a TV show not a quest for true love and if they weren't entertaining their segment wouldn't make the show, which all got a bit irritating but still enjoyable in that irreverent way. No one ever got on but it was a fun if contrived half-hour back in the 90s
= = = BLIND DATE = = =
Hosted: Cilla Black
As with the above none of these shows are really about meeting a partner but getting on telly, always a back-story for the tabloids to mulch through when a particularly entertaining couple are on the show. Blind Date was purely about exhibitionists and nobodies being given a stage to perform like apes and the goofy and toothy Cilla the ringmaster with the whip. A couple of couples who did meet on the show did get married although you always felt they did it to get more publicity.
It was that self publicising that killed the show as the researchers selected more and more outrageous singletons that would garner the attention of the tabloids and so the show imploded, people on their revealed as actors, ringers, experienced reality show chasers and posers, any essence of romance well and truly stamped on by the 1990s.
= = = BLUE PETER= = =
Channel: BBC 1
Ok, why is he including Blue Peter in the romantic TV stakes? The reason, of course, is the presenters on the show, surprisingly sexy too, over the years were jumping in and out of bed with each other, between the wild parties and cocaine binges (Richard Bacon). Even though most current male children's presenters look gay, in the old days they were real gigolos and very much on the straight and narrow. Richard Bacon was grinding the gorgeous Konnie Huq (the love of my life) behind the big cardboard Blue Peter badge studio logo between performances of some school kids nativity play, Peter Purvis, he of the bouffant hair and purple flares from the seventies, was boning Valerie Singleton, which was a huge surprise as we all thought she was a lesbian, just two of many famous flirtations. John Noakes, of course, was eyeing Shep the Dog (there were seven Sheps by the way; the kids never told when they got old and died)!! They were all going like rabbits off set and Peter Purvis's biography was where he revealed his fling with Valerie, exposing all manner of naughtiness on the show. I just can't imagine Simon Groom with a woman though.
= = = = LOVE TRAP = = =
Host: Davina McCall
Love Trap was a frivolous and light hearted affair that worked because it was a reality show that wasn't offering a big cash prize or instant fame for complete morons from the general public. The Love Trap had a heart, light hearted, and wasn't derivative and obvious. This was old fashioned telly at its most pleasurable, why it got just the one series, we presume.
The concept was in that reality style, here young men from all around the world applied to be on a dating show set in London, via various websites and media small ads. The prize was Carolina, a gorgeous blue eyed attractive and curvaceous Stockholm girl, who has been invited to London by the same production company to take part in a 'dating experiment'. She didn't seem the type who was particularly keen on a TV career and so immediately made the show interesting. After putting her up in a small London flat five men from five other countries were selected to pursue Carolina, each spending four days with her in the flat, the twist being they didn't know about each other, the experiment set over three weeks. The chosen men that set out to try and win Carolinas heart were a suave Ugandan, a slick Italian, a laddish Brit on home turf, a drunken German and a typical Aussie.
The idea was this was a voyeur experience for the viewer, the flat, wired up with secret microphones and cameras, plus the visible camera crew who film the five contestants and their efforts to get off with sexy Carolina on various dates and situations, each guy doing the same tests and tasks to see how they compare. We would then learn about the mating ritual of the cosmopolitan male.
It was a fun idea to see how guys flirting techniques vary around the world although. They weren't just four dates to see if they could get her pissed and in the sack though but some less than scientific tests to work out which nationality is the most gallant, romantic, generous and attentive etc... Carolina taking the option to carry on seeing any of the guys who most impressed her after the experiment ends and she and the cameras go home. Again, no cash prizes, no 'Nuts magazine' front cover, no whirl of media interviews: just honest dating.
The tasks of how gallant they were included protecting Carolina from a fake mugger, sorting out an over-charging London cabby, and defending Carolina from an aggressive guy trying to steal her away in a pub (all the stooges played by actors).With fail-safes deployed so the five contestants didn't rumble there was more to the experiment than copping off with a sexy Swede the tests continued all week. They didn't seem to have twigged what was going on throughout which made it feel refreshingly uncontrived. I think some were suspicious of possible hidden cameras, although it is fair to say none of the guys were the inquisitive type.
The tests were the show and were great fun and quite revealing, although depended on how much alcohol the boys have drunk. What wasn't surprising was just how many of the guys accepted the phone number and come-on of a pretty girl (actress of course) in a club while Carolina was in the toilet.
The shows attractive quality (apart from Carolina) was that it genuinely felt like what it was advertised as-a show about a nice girl looking for a nice boy, the bonus for them being it was on TV.
= = =Mr. & Mrs = = =
Host: Derek Batey
In the old day's quiz shows were tame affairs and involved more blindfolds and elderly people than a rough swinger's party in Essex. In this one old dear's and their hubbies were tested on how much they really knew about their other half in marital bliss, answering questions on each others habits and traits etc, and could win two weeks in Benidorm or a Stenna Starlift if their bond was true. But controversy would strike, this the most of sedate early evening family shows, cheating being discovered! Two octogenarians from Bolton worked out that if they listed all their answers in alphabetical order on the magnetic boards on the blindfold and sealed booth challenges then the other half of the couple would get them all right if they too listed them in alphabetical order. It worked a treat and neither the host Derek Batey nor the production team twigged until some viewers wrote in two weeks later. The couple won all the prizes and the money and once the accusation was made no one was ever charged or prizes returned. Sadly the quiz was cancelled on TV now the cheat was out in the open. Hey recently did a celebrity version but the celebs were too coy to give away their marital secrets so it died on its ass.
= = = Arrange me a Marriage = = =
Host - Aneela Rahman
Asian families have always enjoyed the idea that men and women should have arranged marriages, on the surface a union of two similar people, but really about matching their daughter up with a wealthy suitor with prospects. The reason Asian families are so much larger than British families (4.4 children per family to 1.7 in white English units) is because the women are expected to produce sons. A boy can generate as much as £40,000 pounds dowry in some circles whilst a pale skinned Indian girl can also generate a tidy some come the wedding season. It's that cynical and cold in many cultures. A pale skin is seen as classy as it suggests the person is of white-collar pedigree and works in an important office and not in the fields in the sun so getting darker skin. We mustn't be naive about this type of arrangement as they are exactly that, couplings based on religious caste, culture and hard cash over love and genuine tenderness. In some families the shame levels for being unmarried adults in traditional Asian extended families are very high one would presume.
Here, hosted by Aneela Rahman, it was a show again styled in that always tacky reality way, why not make a program out of the process of an arranged marriage, the twist being that an India presenter applies the Asian arranged marriage method to white middle-class professionals dating scene. Not surprisingly, host Aneela was the most eligible and attractive thing on the show (not available because she has been married for 15 years through a successful arranged marriage), the contestants (and that's what they are) in comparison, as expected, the production team picking the usual odd balls and posers who want to be on Telly rather than couples looking for love, these the type of people you wouldn't want to marry, and indeed no one had.
As much as Neelas intentions were genuine to match-make, the producers seemed to have other ideas. Modern 'telly' is rarely about happy endings. That's not what the audience wants. There would be know need for Neela to 'buy erself an 'at', as Cilla famously put it.
In the show the actual first meeting point of the potential couple is a proper Indian do, lots of garlands and petals chucked about, all in sundry dress and traditional attire, Saris all around for the girls. I have always thought Saris were kind of sexy!
Here at the formal ceremony the potential couple's parents also meet, along with friends and family, to close the deal if you like. Aneela tried to look positive about things but it was never going to work, the couples having as much chemistry as Saddam Hussein's most recent and non existent WMD program, the body language gauche and painful to say the least. But the sad reality is that if this was an Asian family meet they may well have had to get married, regardless if they got on, another point the show didn't daren't address. It may be work and booze that brings Brits together but at least we can change our mind the morning after.
= = = Big Brother = = =
Hosted: Davina McCall
Ultimately BB is a dating show, or at least it started out that way, attractive young people locked up in a house with nothing to do but flirt. It was show that quickly deteriorated as far as natural behavior went as the years rolled on but in the early ones you did get to see close up how sexual politics works, the alpha males and picky females quickly establishing themselves in the house in order of a hierarchy of attractiveness. When you're young your looks and athleticism is what attracts the opposite sex and we saw how extroverted people used those assets here. Melanie was that alpha female and she worked the boys one by one, extended her stay in the house week by week as she snogged her way though to the final week, men discarded like empty fag packets. It was a clear demonstration of how women use their sexuality to get what they want and all the men were willing suckers for it. I don't know if there were any genuine romances on the show over the years as we approach Big Brother 10 next week but being a couple certainly kept you in their longer in the early ones, until the audience began to tire of it and enjoyed splitting them up just as quick. The show was eventually spoiled because the contestants learnt from previous shows and just acted everything out, the social experiment long gone.
====This Morning ====
Host: Richard & Judy
I suppose TV's greatest love affair is that between Richard Madely and Judy Finnegan. Richard, the likeable and surprisingly open local Yorkshire TV journalist, was snared by cougar Judy, his boss in the 1980s at the same local TV station. But the age gap was big, Judy now an old bag with more chicken wings than Kentucky's, Richard, rather mysteriously, looking exactly the same age as he did in the 1980s, a unique Botox role reversal. Why they got together is a big a mystery as his sexuality but their bitching on the king of unemployment TV shows, 'This Morning', is legendary. Whether Richard fancied his mom and is living that fantasy vicariously through Judy is mere conjecture but there does seem to be a weird attraction going down on screen. I daren't think what domination goes on in their bedroom and what sort of websites Richard looks at but they are enduring and it is rather sweet that they are still together. He even pops her boob back in on live TV award shows because their love is that strong...
= = = The Simpson = = =
Channel 4 & Sky 1
If we are honest Homer and Marge are TVs most realistic romantic couple, Homer lucky to have a gal like Marge and Marge using that to keep Homer and the family on the straight and narrow, be it with a few marital escapades in-between. But Homer never ever cheated on Marge and although both have come close (Marge, rather bizarrely, with Ricky Gervais!) they have stuck it out through thick and thin and it's those little gestures of Homers (between beers) that holds it all together. Although women won't admit it they marry beneath them because they prefer a man that fewer women desire that will do what he is told than a man other women desire and he will stray. Rather ironically women find the same single man more desirable when he is married to another woman as they must have something desirable about them, the true test if he is a catch....I want what she's got type of attraction. Homer is a catch because he provides for his women and kids, not because he's cute, the man all women want deep down.
= = = The Office = = =
Who could not be entranced by the romance between Tim and Dawn, he the graduate dossing in a menial admin job, she the secretary to scared to follow her dreams, dragging along in life with her safe but ignorant blue-collar boyfriend.
Tim (Martin Freeman) and Dawn (Lucy Davis) are perfect for each other, Brent and Gareth's incompetence in their workplace a mere distraction to amuse and appall them in equal measure. They are on a higher plane and Wernam Hogg's sole purpose in their life is merely to bring people like them together who need each other to move on in life.
Most romances people have are through work or friends of and Gervais and Merchant really capture that stolen romance you have in the work place when you know the other half is with someone else. In a recent survey one-in-six women in Canada that has worked in an office confessed to having an affair with their boss in their working lifetimes. The office is a real hotbed for romance and Ricky and Stephen's brilliant writing and characterization of the dissection of the social class system and the rules of it in that workplace are absolutely nailed in this brilliant sitcom and the sweetest of romances. The Office is the greatest sitcom of the last ten years because its creators know people and how they interact. Dawn and Tim's romance is so real because we can all identify with a very British unrequited love story in the work place. You have all been Tim and Dawn at one point in your working career...
Romantic Movies for me has to be Ghost.
Patrick Swayse Demi Moore
Who could want for more. A brilliant film full of poinant momments and slight hammyness.
Look out for Whoopie Goldburg.
This movie is a classic and is about a young couple madly in love, who move into an old warehouse. Whilst getting their new home together Demi Moore known in the film as Molly is a scultpress and artist. Very good with potters wheel.
Patrick Swasye is known as Sam Wheat and is something of a whiz kid in the stock market. Which is I think where the rot lies.
To find out about that you would have to see the film. Anyone telling you more would spoil it for you.
To cut a long story short Sam and Molly decide to go for a meal and concert and on the way back decide to walk home. A big mistake as Sam gets killed and comes back as a ...... you guessed it a GHOST. Hence the name of the film.
This is where Whoopie comes in and she plays a bramma of a part. She is a so called Medium. Collecting stupid clients who will pay her for her dubious service. She has a line of felonies behind her and is trying this out to see where she can get with it.. The Sam as a gghost stumbles upon her and turns her into a real medium and the hilarity starts. Please see this film you'll love it.
Sam desperately tries to contact Molly through Oda Mae (Whoopie ) to protect her from the bad people.
There are a lot of twists and turns in this film and people you wouldn't have suspected turn up.
Not necessarily where you would have liked.
But Patrick Demi and Whoopie play this film to the very best of their ability and that makes it worth the watch if for no other reason. Brilliant tearjerking funny thrilling film.
If you haven't already get it watch it experience it.
I confess to all my fellow Dooyooers that I am a hopeless romantic! As such I love to sit snuggled up on the sofa with my main squeeze and watch a romantic movie. Preferably with the curtains drawn the answer phone on and a glass of wine on the table next to me. Before we get to that point though there is always a deliberation as to which video we are going to watch, but there are some I could watch any day of the week. So with my mind set on romance here is a list of my favourites. SOMEWHERE IN TIME. This is a 1980 film about love and time travel, I did write one of my early ops on this film but I will tell you a little about it here to whet your appetite. It is the story of a young play write (Christopher Reeve) that has a strange and very brief encounter with an old lady. Several years later he realises that she (Jane Seymour )was an actress in her younger days and he is very drawn to her, becoming obsessed with the idea of travelling back in time to meet her again. I don’t think I will be giving away too much if I tell you he is successful, they do meet and indeed romance blossoms. That of course is not the end of the matter and the course of true love does not run smoothly! I will say no more on the plot, just recommend you get the video or DVD one day. EMMA I love this brilliant 1996 version of Emma a film based on the novel by Jane Austen. It is the tale of a young lady of 21 who lives with her father, okay you’ve guessed her name haven’t you? Well Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a born matchmaker and delights in bringing two people together. After doing a rather good job with her governess she shifts her attention to a young orphan friend, Harriet (Toni Collette). Now Harriet has her eye on a farmer but that is not good enough for Emma she looks to another (Ewan McGregor) Of course Emma has her own love interests to take care of too, but that does not follow an ea
sy path either. As in so many classic tales of love the right man (Jeremy Northam ) for her has been overlooked, taken for granted, but all is well in the end. SLIPPER AND THE ROSE Another classic tale retold, this time Cinderella! This 1976 film is a musical version and some of the songs are most memorable, I find myself singing them around the house after the film ends. The plot really needs no telling it is Cinderella with a twist or two, but the basic story is true to the old traditional one. The prince (Richard Chamberlain) gets his girl (Gemma Craven) with the usual help from a fairy godmother (Annette Crosbie)! LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (La vita e bella) If you haven’t seen this Oscar winning 2000 film PLEASE do it is wonderful. I confess that I am not good with subtitled films but if there were only one exception it would be Life is Beautiful. It is a story of romance as we see Guido (Roberto Benigni ) win the heart of his soon to be wife(Nicholetta Braschi). It is so funny, romantic and very distressing as it takes place in Italy in 1939. Guido and his son are taken away by Nazis and his wife goes too as she doesn’t want to be apart form them. Of course they are parted and Guido must make the time in the camp bearable for his young son. It is a beautiful film and I cannot recommend it highly enough, it is available on video and DVD. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY If you have never seen this on you are in a minority! It is a lovely film made in 1989 about two people thrown together on a journey and the question is raised, Can a man and woman be friends without sex getting in the way? Sally (Meg Ryan ) says yes but Harry (Billy Crystal ) says no. The story follows them for many years, as they do become friends, best friends who even confide in each other about their separate love lives. They try to fix up dates for each other by going out as a foursome but the other tw
o are not attracted to Harry or Sally but they are to each other! So Harry and Sally’s relationship develops and of course we all see it coming they fall in love! It is a good film though and it still leaves the question of sex free relationships between men and woman wide open. MEET JOE BLACK Now if you were to ask my sister she would say I am obsessed with films about people dying and preferably coming back to life again! Well I don’t know if she is right or not but this film really does star death, in the title role infact. A young couple meet briefly then part when unbeknown to her the man is knocked over and ‘killed’, but ‘death’ takes over his body and Joe Black (Brad Pitt) is born. He visits a man (Bill) due to die soon, Bill (Anthony Hopkins) just happens to be father to Susan (Claire Forlani) the young lady. Joe Black stays with the family and the plot develops as he befriends Bill and gets involved with his business and falls in love with Susan. This is a great film made in 1998 and the story develops gently as you see the characters grow. This is definitely near the top of my favourite films and I never tire of it all 2 and a bit hours of it. It is hard to see how the ending of this film can please the likes of me as I am very keen on a happy ending but it manages in a very satisfactory way. HIGH SOCIETY The second musical offering on my list but this one very different to the first and is just bursting with stars. The film is a remake of The Philadelphia Story with music by Cole Porter added. It is the story of a couple (Tracey (Grace Kelly) and Dexter (Bing Crosby)) that married young and soon split up now Tracey is about to marry another man. Mike (Frank Sinatra) and Liz (Celeste Holm) are sent by Spy magazine to cover the wedding much to the disgust of the bride. Will there be a wedding though and if there is who will be getting married? Well wa
tch the film and find out, it is a real feel good film, so if you’re feeling low one rainy day this is the video to turn to. You will even be treated to an appearance by Louis Armstrong as himself. THE AFRICAN QUEEN This film is based on the C.S.Forester novel and hit the screen in 1951 (the year of my birth). It is set during the First World War and is an unusual romance between an older couple Charlie (Humphrey Bogart) and Rose (Katharine Hepburn) who really come from different worlds. Rose is a missionary Charlie is a riverboat owner who finds his fulfilment not in Christianity but in a bottle (or more) of gin! They set of on a mission to attack an enemy ship and they learn to appreciate one another, their differences bring them problems but they are smart enough to see what lies beneath the surface. This film is funny but it also tugs at the heartstrings with adventure thrown in for good measure. FALLING IN LOVE This is 1984 film is a beautiful love story involving a couple, Frank (Robert De Nero) and Molly (Meryl Streep) who are both married when they meet. She has had a miscarriage which she has not got over emotionally, he seems happy enough with his wife and two sons. They meet by accident on more than one occasion and then they begin to meet by design. There is a side to me that wants them to resist each other and stay with the partners they already have and indeed they do try. Then of course there is the even bigger part of me that says it’s only a film so lets hope they get it together, do they don’t they? Well you will have to watch it and see. REGARDING HENRY I think I would be incapable of having a top ten any kind of films that did not include at least one staring Harrison Ford so this 1991 film is the one. This unlike my previous choice features a romance between a married couple, Henry (Harrison Ford) and Sarah(Annette Bening). They have gro
wn apart and indeed both strayed, when he is shot and has to learn anew to do everything, walking talking etc. After a long period of rehabilitation he comes homes and Sarah soon discovers that she prefers the new Henry and so the romance flourishes. As with all good films things do not just go smoothly there are hiccups, like when he discovers that she had an affair with his good friend, but they cope. Add to this the dimension that as a lawyer he finds himself looking back on cases with a very different perspective and is determined to put right some mistakes. I freely admit to loving Harrison Ford, but that is not the only good thing about this film it is a good story well told. So my choices are at an end there are always others that I could have put in but I think I will keep them under my hat! These films are all available on video and most on DVD too, the exception being Regarding Henry. I hope you will catch some of these and enjoy them as much as I have and will do again!
Im not a big softy and hunt down romantic films but here is some that may have had the girlfriend reaching for the tissues, or is that me and the porno’s with the tissues…… 1) GHOST……….Not the best two contemporary actors of our generation but they certainly had some chemistry in this one. The days when Demi Moore was on the way to being the biggest star and Patrick Swayze was heading the other way, what ever happened to him!. Anyway this is a film that really works as a young couple are split up when a scheming legal partner knocks off one of them. But its not the last they see of each other as unbeknown medium Whoopi Goldberg plays go between as she and Swayze from the in-between world crack the crime before the sleaze ball can take the girl he loved so much. I don’t know what it is with this film but It just works so well and leaves most with a tear in their eye. Even the impossibly cheesy ending. 2) CINEMA PARADISIO……Ok this foreign classic movie isn’t really a romance but a love between a little movie loving guy and the cinema of his youth and the people who bought him that pleasure. One such person was the local projectionist in a small post war Italian village where the catholic priest cuts all the naughty bits out of the films. Even kisses are no no as the villagers have to find their thrills elsewhere. The young adorable kid you get in most Italian cinema classics slowly falls for a local girl as the cinema and the old man also compete for his affections. If you haven’t seen this film yet you really are missing out on one of the best foreign films ever with a real tear jerking ending and soundtrack. 3) LOVERS OF THE ARTIC CIRCLE………This is an out and out classic foreign love story from Spain as we again are introduced to two gorgeous loveable young vivacious kids who meet at school. Their parents are both divorced which res
ults in them hooking up to. The young Anna thinks Otto is carrying the spirit of her father who dies at the start of the movie due to their portentous meeting. But his kindness and protective nature is more about his crush for here rather than any spirit of her daddy. Later in the movie she realize this and the two have their first kiss at 14 in a kind of forbidden step brother step sister love. They are destined to be together yet the constraints of their family situation drive them apart. Very romantic and beautifully made with the title explaining the ending and the directors love of palindromes and looping storylines…. Very intelligent romantic foreign classic. 4) IL POSTINO………..Again the bloody foreigners seem to do romance just right with a mix of enigmatic behavior and beautiful settings. This one is an Italian classic where the posty delivers mail to a deserted house that hides a notorious dissident and writer. The man cherishes the postman’s visits to break the solitude and teaches him how to woo the beautiful local girl through poetry. It’s very well written and perhaps a touch unrealistic that an ugly posty can eventually cop off with a stunning bird through a few fancy words. But only this can happen through foreign cinema and for pure romantic escapism you cant afford to miss it. 5) REMAINS OF THE DAY…….Im not big fan of these Merchant Ivory costume jobs but this one just seems to grab you straight away. Prim and proper Butler (Anthony Hopkins) is torn between his house keeper Mrs Kenton (Emma Thompson) and his loyalty to his master. The fastidious sexual tension between them is immense as the two hold back their feelings for each other in the correct and proper world of an English stately home. All very English and painfully romantic. 6) MOONSTRUCK………..I just love all those old Italian American crooner soundtracks and romance i
n the city. Cher is the widowed Oscar winning catholic girl who really should have a husband. But she settles for the wrong brother as Nicholas Cage steels here passion away from respectable dependable Danny Aileo. Theres just something wonderfully romantic about these New York stories and I love it everytime. 7) OUT OF SIGHT……..Stephen Soddenburg seems to have a directing style like no other. And he certainly picks to stars for this enjoyable stylish romance with the most amazing chemistry between them. Jennifer Lopez is a federal Marshall who is chasing down prison escapee George Clooney. The two set eyes on each other for the first time during an opportunist jail break as the extremely sexy Jay Lo is bundled into the boot. Its love at first sight on and probably off screen as we are taken on a road trip across America in this delightfully cool and twisting movie. Its one of those videos that got a low under rated release and is really rather good. . 8) LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL……….Ok I love romantic foreign films and theres none with a sadder end than this one. That crazy Italian actor who won the Oscar for this jumping around the Los Angeles auditorium is superb as the wacky local guy who woos the rich socialite from the big house. The two share an unconventional love with their religion breaking them apart into the feared concentration camps. The father uses his vivid imagination to protect his adorable son from the reality of the camps and keeps him alive as they day nears to cull the males of all ages. As the camp empties and with his wife also incarcerated even though she’s not Jewish a terrible fate is awaiting them as their love for each other and the child keep them together even though she hasn’t seen her husband since the Nazis separated them. The ending is so cruel and brutal that you fail to shed a tear in this amazing film which is more abou
t a mans love for his son to be truthful. Quite stunning Euro cinema and puts this years rubbish like Captain Correlis Mandolin to shame. 9) GREGORYS GIRL….……If you have ever had a crush on the cute girl at school then you know just how sweaty palmed he gets near the toothy all action girl Dorothy. We have all been the gooey ball of nerves near out childhood sweetheart and this captures it admirably. And true to form he never early catches her eye and learns his lesson in life from the more promiscuous friend. Sadly that friend didn’t learn her lesson and life and released another record after the gimmicky Happy Birthday. Wonderful school yard romance that is true to life as you get when the gangly nerd chases the school babe. 10) SHADOWLANDS……Again Hopkins superb as writer C H Lewis who falls for an American girl in Deborah Winger which really wasn’t the done thing near the dreaming spire’s. It’s a social class romance of adequate proportion with the erudite Hopkins falling for the pugnacious gal from over the pond. Can love prosper and no boundaries in turn of the century old England.The ending is so sad as it’s her health that determines this quandary in the big C.Wonderful period stuff.
“Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love…” Shakespeare continues to be the most profound philosopher to ever capture human nature with mere words and phrases. He certainly didn’t fall short when it comes to the topic of Love either! Many writers have come along over the years who have dazzled and delighted, yet Shakespeare still strikes me as one of the most enduring illuminators of Truth. Whether looking at the joys, hurts, laughter, jealousy, or misunderstandings that this highly volatile emotion can engender, Love and Romance can be found at the drop of a hat in most any form of entertainment. I look outside my window and see a world locked in a season of death, hidden beneath a stark blanket of snow. I wonder why the holiday devoted to one of the most passionate emotions we are capable of should be nestled into such a frigid time of the year. Yet in ways unnoticed, Winter is slipping away and will soon be overthrown by the whims of Spring. Perhaps it is this very unpredictable, dramatic change of the seasons that makes it perfectly suited to thoughts of Love. With that in mind, I thought I would share my list of Top Ten Romances with you. How fortunate and timely that Dooyoo chose to add this category before St. Valentine’s Day! Well, compiling this list wasn’t nearly as easy as it had sounded! Much as it cut me to do so, I began by excluding “Bed of Roses”, “Much Ado About Nothing”, and “An Ideal Husband” as they already have a place in my Top Ten movies ever, it only seemed fair. Likewise, I also cut Sabrina and Moonstruck as I have already done reviews on them separately. Imagine my chagrin when I realized that this meant doing a Top Ten list without Five of my all time favorite romantic movies! That was half my list! So, in the face of this adversity and in no particular order…
MANSFIELD PARK: CAST: Francis O’Connor, Jonny Lee Miller, Alessandro Nivola, & Embeth Davidtz STORY: Fanny Price’s mother married for love and it brought her life of poverty and hardship. Fanny is sent to live with her wealthier family members in the hopes that she will attain a better life, instead she finds that the milk of kindness runs thin in her family. Her only solaces are the letters that she sends home to her sister over the years, and her abiding love for her cousin Edmund. When she refuses to wed the suitor her uncle has chosen for her, she is sent home to consider her priorities. Which will hold the greater power, fear of poverty or true love? MY THOUGHTS: This is a wonderful adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, and has actually replaced Sense and Sensibility as my favorite movie made from Austen’s works. Mansfield Park is simply beautiful! Intelligent, visually appealing, thought-provoking, witty, and even infuriating or tragic at times, it is on the long list of films to own. FAVORITE LINE: “Run mad as often as you please, but do not faint!” VICTOR/VICTORIA: CAST: Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren & Alex Karras STORY: Victoria is a starving, unemployed opera singer in Paris when she meets Toddy, a gay performer and idea man. He is the one who talks her into passing herself off as a female impersonator, but neither one of them dreamed the act would be so successful! Victoria catches the fancy of a Chicago mob boss during a performance, and he is mortified when Victoria ‘reveals’ herself as Victor at the end of the act. He becomes determined to vindicate himself, vows to uncover the truth about ‘Victor”. MY THOUGHTS: This ‘woman pretending to be a man, pretending to be a woman’ role has got to be Julie Andrews’ most hilarious ever! Aside from the somewhat risqué subject
matter that runs through the film, this one really reminds me of the classic mad-cap comedies of the black and white era. Fast paced, thought-provoking, and loaded with humor, you also get the added bonus of Julie Andrews voice! The issues raised between King and Victoria are certainly unique, after all how many heterosexual men are dating women who are passing themselves off as a female impersonator?! However, it is also interesting to see how they explore masculinity, feminity, and society’s views on it all. FAVORITE LINE: When asked how they could possibly be planning to play golf since it is still snowing, King replies, “We’ll use Red golf balls!” PRACTICAL MAGIC: CAST: Aidan Quinn, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Goran Visnjic, Diane Wiest, & Stockard Channing STORY: The Owens sisters, Gilly and Sally, have inherited many things from their family. Most notable of all is their natural aptitude for magic, but only slightly less well known is the local legend about the curse once placed upon the women of their family. One of the earlier Owens witches was cruelly betrayed by the man she loved, thus she decreed that all men who dared to capture the heart of an Owens woman would die! Sally has never wanted anything more than “to be normal” (whatever that is!) and accepted by the neighborhood. Gilly hides her hopes and fears behind her wild-child behavior. Jimmy Angelov is Gilly’s obsessive, abusive boyfriend…at least until he becomes one of the undead! Gary Hallet is an investigator searching for Jimmy and determined to uncover the truth. He may also be the answer to an impossible spell that Sally cast as young girl! MY THOUGHTS: This is such an odd little film. It manages to blend black humor And hopeless romance! How could I not love this? It was fun and silly, didn’t take itself too seriously but made a lovely little tale anyway. This is for the hopeless romanti
cs who manage to remain optimists and continue to believe in magic, miracles, and love! FAVORITE LINE: “There is a little witch in all of us…” AS GOOD AS IT GETS: CAST: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt & Greg Kinear STORY: Melvin Udal is a novelist and suffers from Obsessive/Compulsive disorder. Rude, pushy, out-spoken, offensive, set in his ways and utterly alone, he comes off as, well, “an absolute horror of a human being!” When his artist neighbor is robbed and brutally beaten, Melvin comes to the rescue hoping to somehow impress the girl of his dreams, Carol, and we begin to see the real person beneath all his behavior. MY THOUGHTS: This is a simply marvelous film! A wonderful interweaving of personal lives, an honest look at O/C disorder, and one of the most unlikely of romantic stories. Thought provoking, touching, funny and endlessly entertaining, this is a must see movie! FAVORITE LINE: “You make me want to be a better man.” GHOST CAST: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, & Whoopi Goldberg STORY: Sam and Molly are building their lives together despite the fact that Sam can’t even say the words, “I love you.” He unwittingly gets in the way of an embezzler, but is unable to leave his love and life behind when he is murdered. Sam enlists the aid of a local con-artist who has been scamming folks with her ‘psychic’ powers to bring justice to his killers and protect Molly. MY THOUGHTS: A classic romance! Funny, tragic, romantic, suspenseful with just a touch of the supernatural, this film has it all! FAVORITE LINE: “The love inside…you take it with you!” SAY ANYTHING CAST: John Cusak, Ione Skye, Lilli Taylor STORY: After graduating high school nice guy, Lloyd Dobler, has only one goal in his life…To spend as much time as he can with the object of his desire
, Diane Court, before she leaves for Europe. The fact that she doesn’t yet know who he is hardly slows him down at all! Diane’s father doesn’t really approve of Lloyd, feeling that his perfect daughter can do much better, but Mr. Court is kept busy juggling his troubles with the IRS. MY THOUGHTS: A teen film with depth? I love some of the endearing gestures of love and words on the importance of honesty that abound in this film. Long before Titanic, Lloyd was shivering with emotion in the back seat of a car, and the scene where he consults the losers who hang out at the convenience store shouldn’t be missed! “If you guys know so much about women, then how come you’re hanging outside a Gas n’ Sip at like ten o’clock on a Saturday night with like, no women anywhere?” Good question! This film obviously had a lasting effect on Mr. Cusak…this is where he learned about kick boxing and it’s been one of his main hobbies ever since! Remember that fight scene in Gross Pointe Blank? That’s really John! FAVORITE LINE: “She made me believe in myself, man! I was walking around feeling Satisfied! Can you imagine that?” or …“I gave her my heart…she gave me a pen!” SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE CAST: Joesph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Simon Callow, Judi Dench and Ben Affleck. Honestly, a fabulous cast! STORY: Simply said, this is a predominantly fictional tale that asks the question, “Who was Shakespeare’s Muse?” Filled with colorful characters, wit, prose, beautiful sets and costuming, this is a love story of what might have been. Will juggles theatre owners, scripts, his own melancholy, actors, writer’s block, and lady loves masterfully until he looses his heart to a bold young noblewoman, Viola. MY THOUGHTS: Lovely, lush, with words of such romantic value it left me feeling
giddy! There was actually a point in this film where a roomful of ten people from ages 8 to 32 held their breath waiting for the next line! I was delighted with Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth, and love the scene where she pauses before her carriage, surrounded by noblemen. She glances down at this enormous puddle and then looks around at all the men who just stare blankly back at her before scrambling to be gallant. “Too late!” Humorous, touching, romantic, where words are offered like a bouquet of exquisite flowers and in the end, even true love isn’t enough to bring a happy ending. FAVORITE LINE: ‘I see it as I predicted. He has indeed lost his wife to the theatre.” DON JUAN DEMARCO CAST: Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, & Faye Dunaway STORY: A retiring psychiatrist gains a new lease on life when he attempts to help one last patient. A young man who believes that he is the legendary lover, Don Juan DeMarco, feels that he has betrayed and lost his one true love and therefore has nothing left to live for. MY THOUGHTS: A complete fantasy world of such beauty and improbability unfolds that it makes you Want to believe this young man really is Don Juan. Funny and thought provoking, this lovely little film has some great things to say on the topic love. Depp becomes the very Spirit of Love in this enticing and racy film. FAVORITE LINE: “It is only in My world that you can breathe again!” ‘TIL THERE WAS YOU CAST: Dylan MacDermot, Jeanne Triplehorn, & Sarah Jessica Parker STORY: We follow the lives of two people from their childhood to present day. Gwen is a dreamer who has grown up on the romantic tales of how her parents met and has been waiting impatiently for her chance at happiness ever since. Nicholas grew up watching his father’s dreams eat away all the best in his family’s life. She knows love will find her some day, even if she
has gotten a lot less sure and more cynical as the years pass. He is afraid that love might still find him even though he has managed to out run it for all this time. Their paths finally meet when the architectural firm Nicholas works for is hired to raze the lovely historical apartment complex that Gwen lives in. MY THOUGHTS: Oh, so funny, uplifting, thought provoking, tender, and a most unusual romantic comedy. The main characters don’t even meet until nearly the end of the film even though we, the viewers, are able to see how their paths cross from time to time. FAVORITE LINE: I can’t give you my favorite line as that would give away too much, but how about…”One cat is fine, but a woman..living alone… with Three cats is just…”~shudder~ SLIDING DOORS CAST: John Hannah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeanne Triplehorn, and John Lynch STORY: Have you ever said, “If only I had…” or “If only I hadn’t…”? Surely we have all thought this at some point, but maybe what seems like a very bad thing at the time may be what makes the difference for the better in the rest of your life. Helen is living with commitment-phobe, Gerry, when a seemingly insignificant, yet crucial moment, arrives in her life on day to end all Bad Days. She misses the subway. From that point on we follow two separate stories, what would have happened if she had caught the bus and what happened when she didn’t. MY THOUGHTS: Neither storyline is especially loaded with happy options, yet the film leaves you pondering which would be the better fate. Very thought provoking and somewhat difficult to follow film, although they did do a superb job weaving both threads into this tapestry of Fate. Wonderful dialogue and a great cast, this has become one of my all time favorite romantic movies. I laughed, I cried, I thought. What more could you want? FAVORITE LINE: &qu
ot;Everyone is born knowing every single Beatles lyric. It's ingested into the fetus along with all that amniotic stuff. In fact, they should have been called The Fetals!” There you have it. Go giddy, wear your heart on your sleeve, dive into public fountains, and dance with strangers on the street! My advice? "Run mad as often as you please, but Do Not Faint!" If all else fails, I would suggest any of these fine films to inspire you this St. Valentine’s Day. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes pertaining to Love, “I were but little happy ‘an I could Say how much!” HONORABLE MENTIONS: Joe vs. the Volcano, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Circle of Friends, Wedding Singer, Bringing Up Baby, One Fine Day, Peggy Sue Got Married, Sense and Sensibility, Bachelor and the Bobby-soxer, What Women Want, Outside Providence, Message in a Bottle (tear jerker alert!), Addicted to Love, Working Girl, America’s Sweethearts, Someone Like You, Marty, This Property is Condemned, Hope Floats, Runaway Bride, Roman Holiday, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, Electric Dreams, While You Were Sleeping, Cutting Edge, Wedding Singer, French Kiss, Dirty Dancing, Some Kind of Wonderful, Only You, Prelude to a Kiss.