The Princess Bride
Rob Reiner’s genre-blending cult hit may not be the first film that comes to mind when you think of great movie love stories, but The Princess Bride cracked the American Film’s “100 Years, 100 Passions” list for a reason. The romance between Westley and Buttercup is only a single cog in this great wheel, but fighting for the noble cause of true love is ultimately what fuels this swashbuckling adventure to its riveting conclusion.
William Goldman’s screenplay is what makes The Princess Bride a treat for anyone to watch – not just couples. The movie has a witty comedic edge and several laugh-out-loud sequences, including “Chatty Duelists” and “Miracle Max.” Working as pure escapist entertainment, the film’s sense of fantasy and fun gives it a cross-generational appeal that many love stories wish it could have.
It’s a testament to The Princess Bride’s strength as a film (and not just a “love story”) that its most famous scene doesn’t even involve Westley or Buttercup. Inigo Montoya’s quest for revenge satisfies the cravings of action junkies by giving the movie another substantial plot line to follow. We may all want the two lovers to get together, but it’s also fun to root for the good-natured Inigo to accomplish his mission.
Set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, 50/50 director Jonathan Levine offers viewers an unusual spin on Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet by using young lovers R and Julie as the catalysts for bringing two worlds together. Using deadpan humor and amusing performances, Levine draws the audience in from the film’s funny opening minutes and allows them to remain invested throughout this heartwarming tale.
In zombie films, the undead are usually the villains, but Warm Bodies is told from R’s perspective and paints him as a victim of his situation; someone who aspires for more, but is a little directionless. By saying things like he’s “conflicted” about feasting on human brains, it’s safe to root for R. Giving audiences a new riff on a classic trope, Nicholas Hoult’s well-meaning, kind-hearted character helps change our perception of the monsters and we want to see him “live” happily ever after.
Also adding to the film’s appeal is the extensive world building and mythos established. The inclusion of the Boneys not only adds an interesting component to an already fascinating film, it also gives the audience more reason to hope R succeeds since they exist as a warning for what our hero could become if he gives up all hope.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Edgar Wright’s comic book adaptation may not be a couple’s first pick for movie night, but the Ant-Man director crafted a film that’s certainly worth your time. With stunning visuals, self-referential humor, and great comedic performances, this story of one man’s battle against seven evil exes is sure to win over the hearts of all.
Usually, the only source of drama in a romantic movie is whether or not the would-be lovers will end up together. Scott Pilgrim ups the stakes in a major way by making our hero battle to the death against his beloved Ramona’s former partners. Not only does this make the film work as a terrific action movie, it also is an extreme way of illustrating how far someone will go for true love.
Wright’s directorial flair also makes this a worthwhile option since it is one of the more unique films ever made. The film’s world is designed like a video game (complete with graphics and experience points) and Wright uses this element to infuse some style in with the substance, making this tale of self-respect and romance a blast to watch.