Valentine’s day is coming, like in a few days. Absolutely wild. And because my only Valentine this year is film (please don’t feel bad for me, this is great news), I figured I write a few love letters, or one love column to some of my favorite romances. So without further ado, please enjoy this list of my favorite V-day films:
- “Call Me By Your Name”- This film is my favorite film of all time actually, but is the perfect film to watch for this holiday. What is better than two people falling in love in Northern Italy? Nothing. This film takes places in the summer of the 1980’s and centers Elio, a young adult who lives in Italy with his parents in the summer, and Oliver, the American student who comes to study archaeology with them. The film chronicles their relationship as it blossoms and develops amidst the beauty of the Mediterranean country-side. The filmmaking is absolutely stunning in this film and gives the audience a lot of room to take everything in. The main characters are surrounding by rolling expanses of nature and several different lakes to swim in. And in addition, they make frequent day trips by bicycle to nearby cities. Their summer is lazy in the way that all summers are dreamt of being: full of sun, fresh air, and romance. The beauty of the surroundings adds to the tender nature of the storytelling throughout, and the same type of care is taken when portraying both leads, Elio and Oliver. What is so impressive about this film and its creation is that every piece of it reflect the complex gorgeous nature of falling in love. In addition to the beautiful relationship between Elio and Oliver, the audience is privileged to see the love in Elio’s relationships with his parents. In a film full of poignant moments, one of the most is a conversation that occurs between Elio and his father during the film, which will stay with you for long after you finish this film. It is so hard for me to write about this film, because it’s just so incredible. There are very few words that I think can express the gravity of this film’s beauty, tenderness, and power. You just have to see it for yourself.
- “When Harry Met Sally”- This classic film is my favorite romantic comedy. Some of the most fun relationships come from people who aren’t expecting to have feelings for one another, and this movie is all about that. Harry and Sally meet on a drive from their college to New York and the audience follows them on a journey from their mutual dislike of one another to their eventual love of each other. This film combines incredible acting, wonderful dialogue and scenes, and amazing humor. Throughout their relationship, the audience gets to see them set up friends, sing karaoke loudly in public, and even humiliate one another. (The famous line: “I’ll have what she’s having” comes from this movie and is in one of my favorite scenes ever filmed) But ultimately what makes this movie so good is how real it feels. Harry and Sally’s relationship transforms from dislike to friendship to love and feels genuine during every step of the journey. The pair’s banter and behavior can easily remind the audience of some of their own relationships. Additionally, this film brings in elements of real life by showing the audience some interviews with various couples, which were all based on real couples’ relationships and stories. The film just breathes like a piece of reality with all of its weirdness, unexpectedness, and humor. If you are a romcom person, this is most definitely the film for you to add to your watchlist.
- “The Graduate”- If you’re looking for an even more untraditional romantic comedy, the film “The Graduate” is worth watching. (Also as a senior, this film really really gets to me, because I’m about to be a graduate) Ben, who recently graduated college, struggles with some boredom and an inability to advance in his life. In his free time, Ben begins a relationship with his neighbor, Mrs. Robinson, who is an older woman. And later in the film Ben goes on a date with her daughter, Elaine, who he begins to fall in love with. He then goes to tremendous lengths to pursue her and win her heart. With an incredible film score and some amazing cinematography that both work to draw out Ben’s his turmoil and indecision towards his future, the film encapsulates the audience almost immediately. And the audience can easily empathize with a main character who is grasping at the only future he can see, love. This complex narrative that takes several turns while also presenting a nuanced portrait of how life can be both exciting and boring is sure to make you think about your future and your love life