Ellie Wells ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Valentine’s Day: a holiday beloved by some, detested by others, and nonexistent to the rest. Romantic love is complicated and diverse. It hurts when people have it and when they don’t, but it can also be wonderful. This has, of course, been reflected in all sorts of art, but especially in film. Romance is easy to do poorly, to put the characters in scenarios non-reflective of how things actually are. All too often, actors who don’t even share much of any chemistry are cast in central roles. But which love stories are the best? Which resonated with audiences long after the end of the film, and have the most to say about the truth of life and love?
10. Eponine and Marius – Les Miserables (2012)
While Marius cared for Eponine, he did not return her affections, and never would. Still, the sacrifices she makes for him—even after watching him fall in love with someone else—painfully resonates of true love. Add her sweet nature and eventual fate, her journey proves that unrequited affections are just as intense, just as real, and just as heartbreaking, especially when you consider that you don’t choose who you love.
9. George Valentin and Peppy Miller – The Artist (2011)
Set during the transition between silent film and sound, George is a fading actor of silent films and Peppy is a rising star of the talkies. While audiences never see them share a kiss, the love they have for each other radiates throughout the events of the film, even if they don’t quite realize it for themselves.
8. Peter Pan and Wendy – Peter Pan (1953)
As people begin to transition from childhood to adolescence, they start to look at the opposite gender differently. When Peter Pan arrives at the Darling household, not only is Wendy smitten, but something inside of Peter changes as well. Their journey in Neverland together is sweet and innocent. Through it she realizes that, yes, she does want to grow up; but even at the end we know she’ll never forget her time with Peter.
7. Romeo and Juliet – Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Were Romeo and Juliet truly in love? Probably not. However, whereas most people are allowed the opportunity to realize certain loves are not meant to be, and based off of superficial qualities rather than real love, Romeo and Juliet are not. Shakespeare’s most famous play is brought perfectly to life by director Franco Zeffirelli. Much of its success lies on the incredible chemistry between Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. Together, they evoke a real passion that makes the end truly tragic.
6. Maria and Captain VonTrapp – The Sound of Music (1965)
Often, love is found in unexpected times and places. Such is true for Maria, a young nun, who is sent to be a governess for the seven children of Captain VonTrapp. While they don’t get along at first, their feelings for each other soon become evident, and because of it their eventual union is intense and emotionally satisfying.
5. Adele and Emma – Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
Blue is the Warmest Color, to its advantage, shows everyone the entire rise and fall of a relationship over several years. When audiences meet Adele, she’s a high school aged girl who hasn’t fully accepted her sexuality, and what follows is a love that is real, and relatable to anyone.
4. Tiffany and Pat – Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
All too often, people think they’ve found their soul mate, only to realize that they’re still out there. Pat doesn’t understand that his wife, Nikki (from whom he is separated) is ready to move on. So, when he meets Tiffany, he ignores what everyone else sees, and their union at the movie’s end shows there’s really someone out there for everyone.
3. Jack and Rose – Titanic (1997)
The historical knowledge going into the film only makes the emotional investment of the adorable romance between Jack and Rose all the more heightened. From their first meeting to the tragic ending, their brief time together is truly unforgettable.
2. Belle and the Beast – Beauty and the Beast (1991)
“True beauty comes from within” only scratches the surface of what makes Belle and the Beast a great pairing. From watching them fall in love to nearly sacrificing everything for each other at the movie’s end, their happy ending is sweet, deserved, and satisfying.
1. Harry and Sally – When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Can men and women just be friends? It depends on who you ask. But every so often, your best friend of the opposite gender may turn out to be your soul mate. When Harry and Sally meet, they don’t fall in love. Rather, they get on each other’s nerves. A series of events over the next few years lead to a growing friendship, which in turn leads to something more. And while everyone realizes how perfect they are for each other long before they do, it’s the journey that makes their happy ending all the sweeter.