Do you like movies? Do you like love stories? My answer to both is “very much” and today I want to express my gratitude for them. While I understand fully from an intellectual point of view that movies are only simulations of life, while growing up I learned a lot from them (for better or worse). Some of what was on the big screen was spun together with my thoughts as I fabricated my own dreams, hopes and aspirations. In no area is that more true than with love and romance.
Movies taught me that love does not always work out to a life together (Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Roman Holiday, etc). Film showed me that romance can be discovered anywhere, at most any moment (Pretty Woman, Before Sunrise, Time Travelers Wife, etc). I learned that love can come to people who are very different from each other (African Queen, Titanic, City of Angels, etc). And most importantly I came to know that love can happen and endure (The Notebook, An Officer and a Gentleman, Made in Heaven, etc).
In honor of the Academy Awards this past weekend, today’s entry here is homage to movies focused on love stories. With light-hearted intent I have put together a short quiz to “test” levels of romance within others. It is in no way scientific and is offered just for fun. Look through this list of movies and keep track of how many you have seen, enjoyed and remember something specific from.
1. “Casablanca” (1942) Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman during WWII
2. “Gone with the Wind” (1939) Eight Oscars starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh
3. “The Notebook” (2004) Cassavetes’s classic with Ryan Gosling & Rachel McAdams
4. “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982) Gere and Winger ride off into the sunset
5. “An Affair To Remember” (1957) Cary Grant & Deborah Kerr meet on ship & find love
6. “Titanic” (1997) James Cameron’s masterpiece with DiCaprio and Winslet
7. “Pretty Woman” (1990) Cinderella fairytale with Richard Geer and Julia Roberts
8. “City of Angels” (1998) An angel falls to Earth for love. Nicholas Cage & Meg Ryan
9. “African Queen” (1951) Opposites attract. Bogart and Hepburn fall in love
10. “Before Sunrise” (1995) Chance meeting brings romance. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawk
11. “The Lake House” (2006) Love through time with Keanu Reeves & Sandra Bullock
12. “Made in Heaven” (1987) Kelly McGillis & Timothy Hutton meet and fall in love in heaven
13. “Wild Orchid” (1989) Carre Otis and Mickey Rourke fall in love during Carnival in Rio
14. “Roman Holiday” (1953) Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck find love one day in Rome
15. “Ghost” (1990) Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore prove love lasts beyond death
16. “When Harry Met Sally” (1989) Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan can’t help falling in love
17. “Dirty Dancing” (1987) “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey
18. “Time Travelers Wife” (2009) Eric Bana & Rachel McAdams love between time travels
19. “Somewhere In Time” (1980) Christopher Reeve & Jane Seymour find a timeless love
20. “First Knight” (1995) Lancelot, Guinevere & King Authur with Connery, Gere & Ormond
21. “Notting Hill” (1999) store owner (Hugh Grant) & a movie star (Julia Roberts) find love
22. “Hope Floats” (1998) Old friends find love. Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr.
23. “Love Story” (1970) Love between rich and middle class (Ryan O’Neal & Ali McGraw)
24. “Still Breathing” (1997) Love, a puppeteer & con artist (Brendan Frazer & Joanna Going)
25. “Nights in Rodanthe” Redepemption through love with Richard Gere and Diane Lane
How many of these movies have you seen?
Just sitting through the film does not count.
How many do you actually remember something specific from?
Count up the number and then go to the “scoring below”.
21 to 25 You are a hapless romantic. Your heart is soft and you feel deeply. Love can blind you. Down deep you wish that fairy tales came true.
16 to 25 You have a romantic soul and appreciate love’s beauty, yet probably have your feet firmly planted in reality at least most of the time.
11 to 15 You have a relatively balanced sense of romance, but may run a little hot and cold. You are comfortable loving and being loved for the most part.
6 to 10 You are able to express love only when you let yourself feel it. Sometimes open and at other times shutdown, distant and unavailable.
0 to 5 Check your pulse rate to see if your heart is still beating. You’re not comfortable with movies that make you face your emotions.
So how did you do???
This morning I am filled with gratitude for movies, especially love stories, for they are a match for the sentiments that live in my heart.
Love is the immortal flow of energy that nourishes, extends and preserves. Its eternal goal is life.
PS: I have not only seen all of these, I own a copy and have watched them all several times (OK, many times). Yes, the hapless romantic within is alive and well. I may live in partial delusion, but it is where I choose to be.