Ok, so as long as we're being girly and sentimental, I thought I'd give a list of what I think are well-written, well-done, happiness-inducing romance movies. In my opinion, these movies give good artistic lessons, as well as pure enjoyment.
-Sabrina (1995): This is one remake thats better then the original. Harrison Ford's Linus Larrabee seems suave, collected and calculating until we see how lonely and vulnerable he actually is. These secretly vulnerable characters are my favorite, which is one reason I adore this movie. Harrison Ford plays the balance of power and vulnerability perfectly, and may I add that he is incredibly appealing to look at, even as an aging business man. Julia Ormond is also fantastic, completely adorable, and her physical transformation in Paris always stuns me. She is beautiful and absolutely sweet. Greg Kinnear is also very charming and fun. All in all, a very well-done film.
-Moonstruck: I know, I know, it's Nicolas Cage, but don't let that dissuade you. I'd been reading about this movie in a screenwriting book, and then I found out Cher won the Oscar for best actress, and it was also nominated for best picture. Those factors outweighed the Nicolas Cage issue so I decided to watch it, and I was pleasantly blown away. Even Nicolas Cage gets it right in this movie. His "We're here to love the wrong people" monologue is so well-written, and Cage does a great job with it. Cher and Cage are wonderful together and the family is absolutely hilarious and heartwarming. This movie is very Italian and utterly delightful, which in this case may be the same thing. After you watch this movie, you won't be able to stop smiling. I'm smiling just thinking about it.
-Terms of Endearment: This movie comes with a warning--only watch it if you are prepared for heartbreaking, poignant, real life, exhilarating, stirring, Academy Award for Best Picture winning awesomeness. This is not a light movie. Hollywood doesn't come out with movies like this anymore, and it is an incredibly rewarding watch, but just be ready. The entire cast is phenomenal, Shirley MacLaine in particular. Her character is so incredibly real-life, and despite her crusty exterior, you can't help but love and feel for her. She has some wonderful scenes with Jack Nicholson, and the whole movie is incredibly well-written. Watch this movie. With a box of Kleenex.
-Much Ado About Nothing: This is a classic. Obviously a Shakespeare film is going to be well-written, but in this movie it almost feels like Kenneth Branagh shows you exactly how well-written it actually is. From the humorous to the poignant, he seems to show you exactly what Shakespeare was trying to say. His speech about what he is looking for in a woman is perfectly delivered, and shows how absolutely "guy" Benedick really is. His delivery shows the beauty and profundity in lines like "Serve God, love me, and mend." And then of course there is Emma Thompson, who is in no way outdone by Branagh. She is smart, beautiful, clever, and passionate. Like the movie itself.
-As Good As It Gets: This movie is utterly sweet. It is the story of two people with messed up lives who are finally able to accept solace in another person. Jack Nicholson's character is like many of us--someone who keeps messing things up for himself. He starts off on the right track, but then says something that ruins everything. But he keeps trying, and Helen Hunt keeps forgiving, and in the end they find out how much help, happiness, even love, they can get from each other. This movie has several classic lines, like "you make me want to be a better man." Enjoy the progress the characters go through, and let it progress you in your own screenwriting.
-Sense and Sensibility: Another classic. Emma Thompson shows her true brilliance in being able to not only act fabulously, but in also writing such a well-done adaptation of a Jane Austen classic. Every person in this movie does a fantastic job. What I love about Jane Austen movies, and this one in particular, is the characters who try so hard to be rational, logical and proper, and then have moments when they totally lose it. Emma Thompson has some great "losing it" moments. If you plan on or have seen this movie, don't miss this deleted scene.
Any other Jane Austen movie: Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion especially.
What Women Want
Somethings Gotta Give
The First Wives Club
What do you all think? What have you learned artistically from these movies or any others? What movies would you add to this list?
p.s. For those of you who, like me, don't have a large video library, here is my movie watching secret. Hope it helps.