As much as I like to be a grump on Valentine’s Day, there’s no doubt I’m a total sucker for romantic films. Romance is one of my most-watched genres, and one of the most-represented genres in my film collection. From the rom-coms of my youth to heartbreaking classic melodramas to screwballs starring Cary Grant, I’ve come to love a lot of films about love.
Back in October, I shared a list of my favorite horror purchases to celebrate Halloweeen, so for today’s Collector’s Corner, I’ll be doing the same with romance films! This will be a fair bit longer than my horror list, since according to Letterboxd, I own nearly 350 romantic films.
On to the movies!
- The Thin Man series
Nick and Nora Charles are probably my favorite on-screen couple of all time, making my Thin Man boxed set worthy of a mention. I also own a Myrna Loy/William Powell set with some of their other lovey collaborations, but no character combination comes close to Nick and Nora!
- The films of Rock Hudson and Doris Day
I bought a set of Lover Come Back, Pillow Talk, and Send Me No Flowers when I was in high school. I’d seen several Doris Day films, but none of her collaborations with Rock Hudson. I watched all three films soon after, and Doris and Rock instantly become one of my favorite screen couples. They’re such fun to watch together! I can revisit these films over and over.
- TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Romance
This set includes Love in the Afternoon, Mogambo, Now, Voyager, and Splendor in the Grass — iconic films that cover an array of romances, from the light-hearted to the heartbreaking. This set would be worth a mention for Now, Voyager alone, but I really enjoy all of the films included.
Six films I must watch at least once a year, which I’ve been watching and loving since my youth. With the exception of Grease (which was introduced to me by my mom), I saw all of these films in their original release and have adored them since.
- Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
- Grease (1978)
- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
- Serendipity (2001)
- Titanic (1997)
- The Wedding Planner (2001)
I managed to narrow this list down to 10, which was quite a feat! So many of my favorite classics are either pure romances, or have elements of romance, so it was very difficult to whittle the list. These ten are films that I would describe as predominantly romantic, though not all fit neatly into the genre box. They feature some of my favorite stars, and range from gut-wrenching tear jerkers to purely adorable fluff.
- Charade (1963)
- For Me and My Gal (1942)
- The Lady Eve (1941)
- Miracle in the Rain (1956)
- My Favorite Wife (1940)
- On the Town (1949)
- Roman Holiday (1953)
- South Pacific (1958)
- To Catch a Thief (1955)
- Waterloo Bridge (1940)
Most of these are just old favorites that I gravitate toward when I’m in the mood for a re-watch, but one deserves a special mention: South Pacific. I’ve only watched it a few times, but it’s significant because I wouldn’t exist without it! My grandparents saw it on their first date, which I believe I’ve mentioned on the blog before. A few years later, they married. A few years later, my dad was born. And 20-something years after that, I was born! The family tree would be missing several branches, if not for this film.
Whether you’re all loved up or forever alone, today’s a good excuse to pop in a sweet, charming, or weepy film and eat a bunch of chocolate. I hope this list gives you some inspiration. Happy Valentine’s Day!
How adorable! Thank you for sharing that story about South Pacific. Lovely.
Forever alone! And I was too busy working on my site, and didn’t have time to watch anything romantic on the 14th…but later tonight I’ll watch a Burt Lancaster-Yvonne De Carlo film (can you guess it?) that could be considered romantic. And yes, a very nice story about South Pacific…what a neat bit of family history.