And now for something completely different …

By Ann

OK, with Swapmania close to being history, how about we take a little break from the ‘fumey stuff (and all that decanting, packing and mailing) and go in a new direction.

I was poking around on eBay, imdb dot com and Netflix the other day and happened upon some of my favorite old romantic movies that I hadn’t seen in a while. And since Valentine’s Day is next week, I thought, why not go with it?

My picks are fairly recent (from the ’80s on), but I know many of you will have older gems to recommend, so I’m looking forward to those.

My No. 1 is the Merchant-Ivory classic “A Room With a View.” Such a beautiful, lush film with so many great names in it, wonderful music, and it’s got a perfume named after it (CB I Hate Perfume ARWV), so a winner all the way around. And that poppy field smooch (see photo) has got to be one of the best movie kisses ever.

“The Scarlet Pimpernel” (1982) with Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews. Great foppish fun, swashbuckling adventure and gorgeous scenery and costumes — what’s not to like? There are many versions of this out there, including the great 1934 film with Leslie Howard, but  I saw this one first and it’s remained my favorite.

Another British-set film I’m fond of is “The Very Thought of You” (1998) with the broodingly handsome Joseph Fiennes paired with darling American Monica Potter.

And Steve Guttenberg, Jami Gertz and Shelly Long are adorably quirky (in my opinion) in the 1990 male-makeover comedy “The Boyfriend School” (previously titled “Don’t Tell Her It’s Me”).  Many have dubbed it hokey (and I guess in a way it is), but it’s a charmer all the same, and reminds me of the importance of looking beyond appearances.

Oops, almost forgot, I do have one “older” film: “Some Like It Hot.” Can’t go wrong with this one and its wonderful cast — screwball comedy at its best!

What flicks are your tried-and-true favorites, the ones you put on when you’re feeling blue, need a lift or just want to veg out and laugh?

Photo from film reference dot com





  1. How about the movie Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze???

    • Oh, yes!! Definitely right up there! And absolutely side-splittingly funny, too, at times, thanks to the comedic talents of Whoopi Goldberg. Thanks for the big smile …

  2. Well, I’m not sure if it counts as a romantic comedy, but I’ve watched “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” with Myrna Loy and Cary Grant more times than I can count.

    • Hi, Janice, thanks! I can’t believe I have never seen it, especially with two such wonderful stars in it. It’s going on my list ASAP …

    • Oh, OH, I LOVE this one!!! Helps keep my perspectives in-line when I’m in the middle of a home improvement project, or when a friend is having a new house built.

  3. For funny, Tootsie (I think 1982 or 3) is still one of my favorites, but I tend to gravitate to period pieces set in the English countryside: Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice (both the Keira Knightly and Colin Firth versions), The Importance of Being Earnest (Colin Firth version) and of course A Room With a View. Adding The Young Victoria and Bright Star as more recent additions. And I watched The Forsyte Saga from my public library last week and it’s fabulous. They only have Season 1, so if anyone knows how to stream Season 2 online, please let me know! Great topic!

    • Hi, Rosarita, I’m loving your picks, especially the Jane Austen ones. Think I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the Forsyte Sage though, but not Earnest. Keeping my fingers crossed you can get to see Season 2!

    • Rosarita, I could provide you with a list of free stream sites if you’re interested.

      My gmail is embling dot lauren.

  4. Before there was Ghost, there was John Carpenter’s Starman, a 1984 science-fiction film by John Carpenter that tells the story of an alien (Jeff Bridges) who arrives on Earth as a ball of energy, chances upon a lock of hair of the diseased husband of Jenny (Karen Allen), who sees “him” recreated before her eyes. It’s such a sweet story, and Jeff Bridges is an amazing actor.

    • Nozknoz, how could I have forgotten that one!! Jeff Bridges, was, indeed, wonderful. I cry every time I watche it. I will definitely have to see it again and soon.

    • Love Starman! That’s the film where the alien watches the woman drive and learns “green light means go, red light means stop, yellow light means go very fast.” Rueful truth that made the whole theater laugh. It was a very neat film :)

  5. If Janice can count Mr Blandings, then surely I can toss in “Bringing Up Baby”, with Mr Grant and Katherine Hepburn. (Adore Miss Kate in everything she did)

    Another favorite actress of mine is Maureen O’Hara.

    I’m a red-head, and as a child I thought she was so lovely, and was just thrilled to see a fellow ginger on the TV.

    My husband loves her as well, and two of his favorite movies are
    Quiet Man and McClintock, both starring John Wayne and Ms O’Hara. He says both remind him strongly of me. (And both are entirely politically incorrect these days, as he spanks her in both, I believe!!)

    • Very cool pics, Tammy. You redheads gotta stick together, right? I think the last film I saw Maureen O’Hara in was “Only the Lonely” with John Candy. She’s great!

    • My favorite quote from The Quiet Man: “Here’s a stick to beat the lovely lady,” in an Irish brogue… makes me laugh every time.

  6. “Two for the Road” with Audrey Hepburn is my all time fave. Came out in the 50s and I played hell getting a copy. Newer ones are “Love Actually” and of course, HELLOO “An Affair to Remember!”

    • I meant to add An Affair to Remember in mine, too. The scenes at the Italian grandmother’s villa, the dinner dresses onboard the ship….lovely escapism. Wouldn’t it be great to travel by ocean liner? NOT a Norwegian Cruise.

  7. Actually it was the 60s. Very 60s, her clothese alone are worth it.

    • I love fashion in the movies, too, Jen. Two of your picks I’ve seen and enjoy, but I must admit to not having seen “Two for the Road.” Gotta remedy that …

  8. For vintage, I love “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” with Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison from 1947 (the TV show with Hope Lange and Edward Mulhare was also good). A more current favorite is “Truly, Madly, Deeply” with Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson from 1990. Guess I like my film romances on the melancholy side!

    • Hi, Sharon. I like those unconventional, otherworldly romances as well.

    • Oh, I had forgotten all about that TV show, I loved it as a child.

      I didn’t realize there was a film, I must check it out, thank you!

  9. Made in Heaven, Amadeus, Repo Man, Being John Malkovich, The Triplets of Belleville and Ken Russell’s The Boyfriend with Twiggy and Tommy Tune.

    • Oh, wow — Twiggy! Now there’s a glorious blast from the past. Must check those out; thanks!

        • Repor Man is just plain weird-not a romance per se-but always makes me laugh-so I’d call it a ‘feel good’ movie. Reminds me of many happy times I had back in the 80s.

  10. a few favorites…

    Wuthering Heights (1939 Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier)
    Dark Victory (1939 Bette Davis, George Brent,Humphrey Bogart)
    The Quiet Man, (1952 John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara)
    An Affair to Remember (1957 Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr)
    Love Story (1970 Ryan O’Neal, Ali McGraw)
    Wings of Desire, (1988 Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin)
    Like Water For Chocolate (1992 Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos)
    Trick, (1999 Christian Campbell, J. P. Pitoc)
    The Trip, (2002 Steve Braun, Larry Sullivan)
    Cold Mountain, (2003 Nicole Kidman, Jude Law)

    • Joanna, I’m nodding along to several of yours, especially “Chocolate” and “Wings.” The latter was so unusual at the time that when it came out I had to see it twice.

      • Ann, ohhhh I adore both and I’ve had really vivid dreams about both in the past. I know Like Water for Chocolate is more a political allegory than a love story but the imagery is so breathtaking. The book, of course, is better but…I feel like staying up and watching it again now!

    • I forgot to add Say Anything to my list. I’ll probably always be a little in love with John Cusack.

  11. Fun reading everyone’s lists! How can I have missed Two for the Road, and only seen parts of An Affair to Remember??? Must fix this.

    My comfort film is Shakespeare in Love, with Joseph Finnes and Gweneth Paltrow; truly an amazing cast. Romance, swordplay, poetry, and a bit with a dog. Another long term favorite is Vision Quest, with an earnest young Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino–ostensibly a film about a wrestler, but a real coming of age film. There’s a horribly embarassing scent scene in Vision Quest, involving laundry! In classic films…I love Roman Holiday and the original Sabrina. Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Bogart in various combination. May your film watching be fun.

  12. Most of my default movies are horror movies, especially campy ’80’s zombie horror-commedies. Return of the Living Dead (I and II), Night of the Creeps, Aliens, the Fly ( young Jeff Goldbloom, oh my yes…).

    When I’m down, I typically crave heavier fare. I’m mentioned liking ‘The Trojan Women’ for moments like that. Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Rome also serve.

    • Wow — campy ’80s fun, indeed! I do remember “The Fly.” I saw Mr. G not too long ago on one of the “Law & Order” franchises.

    • I had the biggest crush on Jeff Goldbloom after watching The Fly!

    • If you like horror, did you see Jeff Goldblum in Mr. Frost? Chilling! He was disturbing in it, beautiful and evil all at once.

      • Yes Jeff Goldbloom as Satan was really good! I like creepy psychological thriller type movies but not so much for the gory stuff.

  13. “Love Actually” always makes me happy followed closely by the final rendition of “Killing Me Softly” in “About a Boy”.

    • Shari, both great Brit-based films. I just saw “Love, Actually” this past holiday season, but need to watch “About a Boy” again. Thanks!

    • Oh, yes, Lisa! And since that floats your boat, you might also like a Masterpiece Theatre series from 1998 called “Heat of the Sun,” set in Africa and starring Trevor Eve. Just watched it last month myself and really enjoyed it again.

        • Girl, you sent me Mariage Freres – of COURSE I’ve tried the teas! Love the Thé à L’Opéra, and the Orchid Vanilla. I’m saving the Coconut Chai for tomorrow morning….

          Thanks too for the movie recommendation – I’ll put it in my queue. If you haven’t seen it yet, “Enchanted April” is quite lovely.

          • Oh, good! And thanks for “Enchanted April.” I only saw it once, years ago, but it was such a delight that I now have to get it posthaste. So glad it’s back on my radar, thanks to you!

          • Very late to the post, but Enchanted April was going to be my recommendation anyway!

            • ggperfume and Musette:

              Yes, I love that movie! It’s one of those stories that one really wants to have personally lived in.

        • Moonstruck is a wonderful movie. Nicolas Cage before, well before being in a bunch of crappy movies and becoming a caricature I guess. And Cher is so beautiful in the opera scene. Love it!

          • omg, yes! what a lovely, charming, funny movie. I have it on DVD and watch it whenever I am feeling :-<

            the scene at the opera, when she runs into her father? =))

            xo >-)

  14. Love Room With a View!!!

    Some of my favs:
    Philadelphia Story – Cary, Jimmy, Katherine
    Holiday – Cary & Katherine
    Sabrina – Audrey, William, and Humphrey
    Moonlighting – Cher and Nicolas
    Something’s Gotta Give – Diane and Jack

    • Uhhhh…not Moonlighting! That was the TV show w/ Cybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis!!! Also fun. :-) I meant Moonstruck, of course!

      • Hi, Karin! That’s OK — although I like “Moonstruck” best, “Moonlighting” was enjoyable, too. Glad to see another “Room With a View” fan. Hope you’re doing well …

  15. *Room with a View* – Oh Yes!! In a class by itself!
    *Moonstruck* – There is some great dialogue in that movie
    *The Boyfriend School*
    *The Philadelphia Story*
    *The Last of the Mohicans* – some action, but also a hot love story! D-Day Lewis was breathtaking!

    • Right there with you, Marsha, on “Last of the Mohicans.” I cannot believe I forgot about it, but not for long now …

  16. Philadelphia Story and Room with a View – I don’t own them, but every time they’re on TV, I beg to watch them. It usually happens unless there’s football on…

    Other favorites:
    Princess Bride
    Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    Hunt for Red October
    The Italian Job
    Pride & Prejudice (the movie version with Keira & Matthew – I’m SUCH a sucker for his beautiful voice)

    Ann, have you smelled the CBIHP Room with a View? I have bad luck with that house, they all seem to just… sit there on my skin, lumpen, not saying anything when they should be singing to me. Sigh. I know several people found that one lovely, with the violets and hay.

    • Hunt for Red October – yet another DVD, VHS, Hulu…..I love that movie …El O is soooo sick of it.

      xo >-)

    • Hi Mals, I got a sample of it as soon as I heard about it. It’s quite nice, but not something I’d reach for regularly. Perhaps I’ll just wear it to watch its namesake movie, eh?
      And I’m a “P&P” fan as well.

  17. My husband’s favorite Romantic movie is Titanic. While I can see why he likes it, it just kills me that she throws that gorgeous necklace overboard at the end.

    I think the Princess Bride is one of the most romantic movies ever! I also love High Society with Frank, Grace and Bing.

    I also really like When Harry Met Sally.

    • Tara, my husband loves this movie as well! I am at a loss as to why, it’s not his type of thing at all.

      I’m sure the lovely Ms. Winslet factors in there somewhere, but it’s not just her. He just really, really enjoyed the film.

      • Actually for my husband I don’t think it has anything to do with the gorgeous Ms Winslet. I think it’s more the artist man in love with his muse who then sets her free (or something like that??). Actually, it’s funny how my husband can see soo much more romance sometimes than I can.

  18. When Harry Met Sally for sure will bring a smile to my face.
    Most of my choices have been mentioned already:
    A Room With a View
    Philadelphia Story

    A recently discovered guilty pleasure:
    Mamma Mia! (Never want to see the B’way show but love Meryl & Company)

    And my most recent discovery:
    Midnight in Paris

    All-time Favorite Comedy (though I wouldn’t classify as romance)
    A Night at the Opera (of course!)

  19. After Swapmania, another great post, making sure I post again, and not just lurk. :)
    My favorite romanitc movie from the 90s: Only You, with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.
    Also, I looove The English Patient, I know it got bad reputation as a snoozefest (from Seinfeld, probably).

  20. Good poll!
    For romantic, I love An Officer and Gentleman and Legends of the Fall. I am much more a thriller and horror fan, though it’s tricky to find good horror!

    General faves:
    The Long Kiss Goodnight (pure escapism)
    Hot Fuzz (hilarious)
    Say Anything
    Grosse Pointe Blank ( ”I once killed the president of Paraguay with a fork’ – great great film)
    The Crow
    Once ( different, wonderful movie with amazing soundtrack)
    LA Confidential
    The Usual Suspects
    And of course Dirty Dancing!!

    And a million others that escape me at the moment!

  21. I am glad you mention Some like it hot. My favourite comedy of all. I love Jack Lemmon in that role. The tango scene esp. is very fondly remembered by me.
    When I want to veg out I will often watch either costume drama, P&P ( 1995 BBC version), Sense&Sensibility, Persuasion, Wives&Daughters etc.
    I also enjoy Agatha Christie, very fond of Joan Hickson’s interpretation of Miss Marple. Inspector Morse, Foyle’s War.
    And last but not least: QI.

    • I enjoy all of those you mentioned as well. Haven’t seen many of Joan Hickson’s Agathas, but the few I have watched are first-rate.

  22. Sense & Sensibility never fails me! Also love a more modern romantic “dramedy”- Crossing Delancey (1988) with Peter Riegert and Amy Irving. There is something so weet about it, especially the end, and I have had a huge crush on Peter Riegert ever since I first saw it.

    Any Fred & Ginger confection also hooks me in every time.

    I can also watch any or all of the Lord of The Rings movies any number of times. I never get tired of them – all that manly eye candy! ;-)

    • Love “Sense and Sensibility”. All my big guy friends got totally sucked into that one and ended up loving it.

      An unconventional Katharine Hepburn picture – “Pat and Mike” with Spencer Tracy. She’s a fantastic athlete, he’s the manager who gets her to live up to her potential. I love it.

      And a very conventional Cary Grant pic – “His Girl Friday”, with the amazing Rosalind Russell. I can watch this any number of times.

      For a real romance-fest of a movie? I’m a huge fan of “Gone with the Wind”. There, I said it. I just loved that movie as a kid and I still do, even though parts of it now make me wince.

  23. you all have such great lists!!!

    My go-to forever-faves:

    Under Siege (oh, c’mon. Tommy Lee Jones as a psychopath? yowza!)
    Pride&Prejudice 1940 (little relation to the book but a gorgeous piece of fluff with the gorgeous Laurence Olivier and the absolutely sublime Edna May Oliver and Melville Cooper.
    Pride and Prejudice BBC1985 with the fabulous David Rintoul
    The Thomas Crown Affair (Brosnan version)
    Apollo 13 – yeah, I knew how it turned out. Still doesn’t stop me from getting a clenched in the teeth, every time I watch it.

    more, but most of you have already named them.

    xo >-)

  24. Terribly romantic (and with action/adventure for men like my husband who wouldn’t watch otherwise): Last of the Mohicans. Daniel Day-Lewis in his prime – be still my beating heart. Or in the words of one review: “at one point, Madeleine asks Daniel what he is looking at, and he says, I’m looking at you, Miss, and let me tell you, the usher had to conk me with his flashlight to make me stop whimpering….” Yeah, me too.

    Older Movies, Romantic Divison: Dr. Zhivago. So beautiful, so sad.
    Older Movies, Comedy Division: Young Frankenstein. Guaranteed to make me laugh.

    • Yes, yes, yes — sign me up for some of that, too! Very funny, lady, but a great scene. Now I have to go find it and watch it again …

        • He has been off the radar, hasn’t he? Think he married playwright Arthur Miller’s daughter a few years back and they have several kids, so maybe that explains some of it.

  25. Probably most people wouldn’t call me a romantic, but it’s amazing how many of my favourite movies fall into that category :)

    The English Patient
    Truly, Madly, Deeply. (sort of the same story-line as, but 100 times better than *Ghost*)
    Love, Actually.
    Cold Mountain
    Dangerous Liasons
    Moulin Rouge
    BBC’s Pride and Predjudice
    Out of Africa
    Remains of the Day
    Never Let Me Go

    • The Remains of the Day is a wonderful movie. Another brilliant Hopkins role!

  26. Such wonderful lists, everyone! Thanks so much for sharing — my “to watch” list now has a gazillion titles on it …

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