Interesting, but all this has little to do with tomorrow's
celebration of love and the ones you love. We celebrate with cards
and flowers and candy and, perhaps, that romantic little dinner in
that favorite little restaurant. Another way to spend a romantic
evening is cuddled up watching an all-out, hopelessly and unabashedly
romantic movie. Since love is a favorite topic of Hollywood, it isn't
hard to recommend some titles to fit the bill.
The contemporary "Sleepless in Seattle," about love pulling two
people together in a transcontinental pairing, leaps to mind, if for
no other reason than that it makes constant comic reference to one of
the greatest tear-jerker love stories of all time, "An Affair to
Remember," with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant.
Another delightful contemporary romance, "Bridget Jones's Diary,"
hearkens back to another romance from another time, "Pride and
Prejudice," because the book on which the movie is based was intended
as a modern retelling of Jane Austen's classic. Along the same lines,
you can compare the lovely "Emma," starring Gwyneth Paltrow and
Jeremy Irons with the hilarious but oddly charming "Clueless," with
Alicia Silverstone as the modern matchmaker in need of love herself.
If you do like your romance set in faraway places and times, don't
forget "Romeo and Juliet," "Shakespeare in Love," "Cyrano de
Bergerac," and "Last of the Mohicans." "Last of the Mohicans?" Well,
if you haven't seen Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe in the scene
at the fort, you have been missing out on one of the greatest
romantic scenes of all time.
There are the classics of romance -- "Gone with the Wind,"
"Wuthering Heights," "Casablanca," "Now, Voyage," and "Camille."
There are the contemporary favorites -- "When Harry Met Sally,"
"You've Got Mail," "Pretty Woman," "Moonstruck" and "An Officer and a
Gentleman." There are the delightful romantic films of the '50s --
"Sabrina," "Roman Holiday," "Pillow Talk" and "Gigi." And there are
the lesser-known gems of romance -- "Crossing Delancey" (about not
seeing true love when it's right in front of you), "Truly, Madly,
Deeply" (called the thinking man's "Ghost") and "A Little Romance"
(about that first, really, true love.)
The lists could go on and on. But if you have personal favorite,
chances are you will find it at your local library branch. So open
the chocolates, freshen the water in the roses, get out the tissues,
pop in that DVD or video tape and have a good, old-fashioned,
romantic Valentine's Day.
* CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public
Library. This week's column is by Sara Barnicle. All titles may be
reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at
http://www.newportbeachlibrary .org. For more information on the
Central Library or any of the branch locations, please contact the
Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.