Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, so here are seven romantic movie moments in honor of the holiday!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
One of the most romantic movie moments I’ve ever come across in any film ever has to be the ending scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and I don’t care if it sounds cliche. This may well be the scene that started them all (move over, The Notebook). Everything from passionate monologues to kissing in the rain is involved. In a cab on a rainy day in New York City, Holly (Audrey Hepburn) argues with Paul (George Peppard) that falling in love and belonging to someone is a nightmare, it would only trap her wild personality in a cage. “People don’t belong to people… I’m like Cat here, a no-name slob,” she says, and lets her pet cat out of the cab into the rain. Paul finally has enough with hiding his true feelings and makes them clear to Holly: “I don’t want to put you in a cage, I want to love you! …Baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself.” Earlier in the film, Paul had gotten Holly’s old ring (of the Cracker Jack variety) engraved at Tiffany’s to symbolize his feelings for her, but in the cab after he finishes telling her what’s on his mind, he tosses the ring into her lap saying he doesn’t want it anymore.
Holly is left alone and depressed in the cab as Paul gets out in the pouring rain to look for her lost cat. She has two choices: either continue to the airport and run away from the one person she’s ever trusted, or cancel her plane ticket and let a true friend into her life. She hesitates, but finally slides the ring on to her finger and joins Paul in looking for her cat. You can guess what happens next, they find the cat, forgive each other, and kiss in the rain as it fades to black and the words “The End” flash on the screen. This may be the cheesiest scene ever to some people, but the events leading up to it are what make this moment an utter romantic classic. Love isn’t about roses or chocolates or expensive jewelry, it’s about finding someone you can trust and confide in. Having read the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s (which doesn’t end like this at all), I was happy that the film versions of Paul and Holly could have this moment together. [Marie]
Paris je t’aime
Paris je t’aime is a 2006 anthology film directed by various acclaimed directors and starring a cast of various backgrounds and nationalities. All 18 vignettes are set in Paris — and one of the sweetest ones comes from director Gurinder Chadha. Filmed in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, the vignette stars Leïla Bekhti as a young Muslim woman and Cyril Descours as a young man hanging out with two friends who catcall women as they walk by. The woman has been sitting nearby, and when she gets up to leave, she accidentally trips on a rock. The young man goes to help and they strike up a friendship. She even gives him some sound advice about women. He later follows her to the mosque, where he meets her father, and it’s implied they’ll be spending more time together in the future. [Hera]
Carl and Ellie’s backstory in Up is one of the loveliest and most touching movie moments of all-time. They meet as kids and we quickly learn that Ellie is this very spunky, adventurous girl, so it’s easy to see why Carl falls in love with her. We then get a montage of Carl and Ellie’s life together as they grow older, including their highest highs and their lowest lows. It’s a beautiful moment that will definitely bring tears to your eyes by the end, and the soundtrack is one that will stay with you for years to come. [Hera]
Yes, it might not be considered true romantic fare, but Guillermo del Toro’s robots-versus-monsters epic contains one of the most strangely beautiful and romantic endings on the silver screen – and one that ends without a kiss or declaration of love. Robot pilots Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) and Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) have just closed the breach, and Mako has swum to rescue Raleigh from his escape pod. Reunited, they share an achingly sweet moment of just smiling at one another, their foreheads pressed together. Watch it and try to find yourself not swept away by a giddy wave of emotions. [Chris]
In Your Eyes
Not one of Joss Whedon’s finest ever scripts, but In Your Eyes is still a strange, unusual, sweet story about two strangers who find themselves connecting through a mysterious psychic link. While there’s no one specific moment in the film that screams ‘romance’, the finale where Michael Stahl-David’s “criminal with a heart of gold” Dylan comes to rescue waifish heroine Rebecca from the mental institution her doctor husband has placed her in, is a great example of overwhelming emotion and a sweet heart beating beneath the action. The final moments, with their first face-to-face meeting, and Tony Morales’ gorgeous score sweeping over, are pure, cheesy, cinematic gold. [Chris]
Before Midnight, Sunset and Boyhood, there was Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, a sweet, tender, insightful one day romance set in Vienna between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. There isn’t one particular scene in Before Sunrise that stands out, as the entire day is their moment.
For me, there’s oftentimes nothing more romantic, energizing, or fulfilling as a gripping, soulful conversation, and Before Sunset is a 105 minute long back and forth between two people sharing their hopes, dreams and opinions, finding solace in each other’s company for one night in what can otherwise be a lonely existence. What’s great is that we don’t see them have sex (and aren’t entirely sure if they did), and that the pair part ways the next morning, perhaps forever. The chemistry is crackling, and despite its fairy tale plot (“But then the morning comes, and we turn back into pumpkins, right?”) it feels so startlingly authentic.
I love to travel and when I was younger, I backpacked through Europe for three months, hoping to learn about the world, myself and most importantly, fall in love. It didn’t quite work out that way, and perhaps that’s why Before Sunrise hit me so hard. It was one of my most potent fantasies, written and acted to perfection in the form of Jesse and Celine. [Andy]
Little Big League
The 1990s were a wonderful time to be a kid who loved baseball, with Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Angels in the Outfield, Mr. Baseball and Major League. But for whatever reason, Little Big League struck the deepest chord, likely because my hometown team, the Seattle Mariners, were posited as a villainous dynasty dream-wrecker, and because even as a kid I recognized I would much rather get paid to watch things, than actually do them.
12-year-old kid Billy Heyward inherits the Minnesota Twins and coaches them to a one game playoff against the aforementioned M’s. In the final inning, the Twins trail, with Randy Johnson on the mound, facing the fictional Twins slugger Lou Collins (Timothy Busfield, in the role of a lifetime), their last hope. Lou’s been dating Billy’s Mom, and before he steps up to the plate, he asks Billy permission to marry her. Billy responds: “Only if you hit a homer,” or something to that effect. Lou hits one over the fence… but is robbed by Ken Griffey Jr. Billy says he can marry her anyway (what a nice guy). There’s so many things wrong with this moment (Billy’s kind of a jerk for putting Lou on the spot, what about his Mom’s opinion, etc.), but baseball/nostalgia/grand romantic gestures/Ken Griffey Jr. created something magical that will always stay with me, even if it is disturbing and explains way too much about me. [Andy]