Last night, Bachelor Nation mourned the end of another season by remaining glued to the couch for three hours to watch Ben Higgins make his final lady-friend choice, and then awkwardly talk to his newly-minted ex (the runner-up) on the “After the Final Rose” special. I confess, I’m a total Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad (R.I.P.)/Bachelor in Paradise addict. Sure, there are better ways I could spend my Monday nights, but most of us need at least one trash-pile reality show to turn our brains off to at some point during the week.
As regular readers will know from my semi-frequent discussion of Nicholas Sparks films, I’m not one to feel very guilty about my guilty pleasures. So, rather than keep my Bachelor addiction under wraps, I’m going to offer a little of classic film-themed support to everyone who’s a little bit sad that we have to wait until May for more Chris Harrison-hosted shenanigans. Here are a few classic films you should watch to pass the time until The Bachelorette premieres!
IF YOU’RE MISSING THE COMPETITION:
Seven Chances (1925)
Buster Keaton accidentally finds himself in a Bachelor-esque scenario in this delightful silent film, which he also directed. He stars as James Shannon, a young man who needs to marry within a day in order to secure a $7 million inheritance. When his steady gal rejects his proposal, thinking he’s only after the money, he goes on a mad hunt to find a bride, at one point winding up in a church filled with hundreds of potential spouses! If you think the Bachelor‘s choice between 20-something women is difficult… that struggle has nothing on James’ predicament!
IF YOU’RE MISSING THE INTERNATIONAL DATES:
Roman Holiday (1953)
While many Bachelor fans are attracted to the show for the simple fact that it’s all about romance, another major draw is the abundance of exotic filming locations. Throughout the many seasons, destinations have included New Zealand, South Africa, Jamaica, and St. Croix. Roman Holiday, like The Bachelor, blends romance with tourism. One of Hollywood’s all-time greatest romantic comedies, this film features Audrey Hepburn as a princess falling for Gregory Peck’s reporter character as the two explore the city of Rome.
IF YOU’RE MISSING THE LOVE TRIANGLE:
Ben’s Bachelor “journey” built up to a pretty intense love triangle with his final two ladies, Lauren B. and Jojo. If you loved that drama or enjoy the snide in-fighting that often occurs between the show’s contestants, the tense competition between Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly for Clark Gable’s heart in Mogambo will not disappoint! The confrontations between Gardner and Kelly certainly mirror many of the outspoken rivalries we’ve seen over the years throughout the Bachelor franchise. This film is also set in Kenya and was filmed on location in several African countries, making it a good (but much less cutesy) alternative to Roman Holiday for the “international dates” theme.
IF YOU’RE MISSING CHRIS HARRISON:
The More the Merrier (1943)
Walk, Don’t Run (1966)
Chris Harrison is a crucial player in the Bachelor franchise. When the drama goes down, he stands by with dollar signs in his eyes, waiting for those ratings to roll in. At every rose ceremony, he’s there to remind us that the final rose is, in fact, the final rose. In an official sense, he’s the host of the show, but in an unofficial sense, he’s kind of a meddler, having heart-to-hearts with the Bachelor/Bachelorette and serving as moderator for those awkward “Tell All” and “Final Rose” discussions. The More the Merrier and its remake, Walk, Don’t Run, both feature likable, scheming matchmakers (played by Charles Coburn and Cary Grant, respectively) who could easily fill Chris Harrison’s shoes in a classic version of The Bachelor.
IF YOU’RE MISSING THE ROSES:
The African Queen (1951),
City Lights (1931),
or The Sound of Music (1965)
Off of the top of my head I can’t think of any classic film that matches The Bachelor(/ette) in a literal sense, with a man or woman handing out roses as tokens of affection, but there are still several options available to quench your floral thirst. The African Queen features a character named Rose, portrayed by Katharine Hepburn. If you need more than just a name, Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights features a flower-selling leading lady, and one of the best film endings of all time… in which a single, lovely flower plays a crucial role, not unlike those rose ceremonies. Finally, we have The Sound of Music, which includes a very sweet musical scene taking place in a garden (“Something Good”). The Sound of Music‘s scene doesn’t really involve flowers directly, but if you love The Bachelor and don’t get a little weepy at a song with the message of “What did I do to deserve you?,” I question your existence — especially when that song is sung by Julie Andrews!
Finally, if it’s Ben himself you’re missing, there are no classic film remedies for you to turn to, but you CAN continue to catch him on television…
Tune in to see him star as Peter Brady on MeTV, weekdays at 7 a.m. and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m.! (Badum-tsk!)