In February, I published a series of blog posts about my favorite romantic movies. I tried to pick some which I could really “get behind” in terms of script and characters whose decisions don’t all make me facepalm. Of course, I enjoy other romantic movies than the ones listed, but some are really for pure entertainment when I want a no brainer. The eight movies I wrote about in this series are some that I can rewatch, and some on a (semi) regular basis.
I realized that certain patterns emerge when I put these (unlikely) titles together. I like when the romance isn’t the sole narrative element of the movie, i.e. when it deals with family, career, blends different movie genres. I love good banter between the main couple of course, and solid chemistry, but I don’t see the need for graphic sex scenes. I enjoy when the chemistry is obvious and making the tension huge and sometimes almost unbearable while showing nothing graphic is a more solid accomplishment in my view from a direction standpoint.
I also find it important that the characters evolve but not just because of each other. It is important that they want a change and can take matters in their own hands and not just look for a crutch into the other person. Mutual respect and building the relationship over several months/years if possible is something I find important.
It seems that I’m showing that I’m entering my thirties at the end of the year, because I don’t really care anymore for teenage couple stories. I prefer watching movies about grown ups, even if “young” grown up. I don’t mind characters making mistakes: I think it is important they do, but I prefer characters who are able to learn from them, realize they made some, and not just be stupid hot heads the whole movie, or whining beings.
So, I hope that you enjoyed the blog series, and in February 2015, I already have another romance oriented blog series in mind, but not for actual romantic movies! Until then, here is the recap of all the lists from the 2014 romance series:
Kissing Jessica Stein was released in 2001, directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld and co-written by its two main actresses Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt. It tells the story of two women who find themselves in a rather dry romantic land at this given time in their lives. On one hand, Jessica Stein is a Jewish copy editor and Helen Cooper is a art gallerist who is into more eastern spirituality and philosophy.
Curious to try a lesbian relationship out, for she has been pretty bored with male company, Helen places a personal advertisement including a quote from poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The quote catches Jessica’s eye, for she admires Rilke. The two women eventually meet. Jessica freaks out but eventually hangs out with Helen the evening they meet nevertheless. After Helen kisses her, she realizes that she might be open to explore things with her.
This movie is quirky, touching and beautifully observed about life experiences. Jessica and Helen gain a lot from their relationship, not just in their sexual preferences, but also in what they want and who they can be. I love that they are able to remain friends once they aren’t romantic partners anymore, that they still are dear to each other. There is a lot of things about learning and evolving in one’s life in Kissing Jessica Stein, which is why I highly recommend it.