The Guardian chooses its Top 25 Romantic Films.

As part of its ‘Film Season’  The Guardian has been printing a “The Greatest Films of All Time” suppliment to accompany its  newspapers. Every day readers are treated to a top 25 list in each genre, decided upon by its film critics. So far there has been Romance, Crime and Comedy; with another four to be unveiled as the week progresses.

However, there already seems to be a few strange choices and almost foolhardy absences cropping up, so i will be picking them apart, genre by genre in a typical ‘angry blogger’ type of way. And i’m gonna start with Romance.

Here is the List for the 25 Greatest Romantic Films Of All Time:

1 Brief Encounter David Lean 1945
2 Casablanca Michael Curtiz 1942
3 Before Sunrise Richard Linklater 1995
3 Before Sunset Richard Linklater 2004
4 Breathless Jean-Luc Godard 1960
5 In the Mood for Love Kar Wai Wong 2000
6 The Apartment Billy Wilder 1960
7 Hannah & Her Sisters Woody Allen 1986
8 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Michel Gondry 2004
9 Room With a View James Ivory 1985
10 Jules et Jim François Truffaut 1962
11 All That Heaven Allows Douglas Sirk 1955
12 Gone with the Wind Victor Fleming 1939
13 An Affair to Remember Leo McCarey 1957
14 Umbrellas of Cherbourg Jaques Demy 1964
15 Lost in Translation Sofia Coppola 2003
15 Roman Holiday William Wyler 1953
15 Wall-E Andrew Stanton 2008
18 My Night With Maud Eric Rohmer 1969
19 Voyage to Italy Roberto Rossellini 1954
20 Dr Zhivago David Lean 1965
21 Harold & Maude Hal Ashby 1971
22 When Harry Met Sally Rob Reiner 1989
23 Say Anything…. Cameron crowe 1989
24 Fabulous Baker Boys Steve Kloves 1989
25 A Matter of Life & Death Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell 1946

There is an inherent difficulty when discussing and dissecting genre films; many features no longer obey the conventions that established the precident, but can still be considered ‘romantic.’ As a genre becomes more recognisable the easier it is to play with, and that manipulation of the audiences expectation has led to some masterpieces.

But what makes a Romantic film? Do the lead characters really need to fall in love (Lost in Translation), or do existing lovers have to overcome some disruption to their equalibrium and get back on track (Eternal Sunshine of the Spottless Mind)?

I have no real passions about the romance genre, other than its given birth to some of the worst films of all time. But it has also given us many of the classics, and in terms of this list some of them don’t fair as well as they should.

My main gripe is with Wall-E, which is not a altogether a credable romantic film and shouldn’t be on the list – I suspect that someone is trying to be rather too clever with this choice. Only because if you were to replace the robots with humans the plot would seem a little ridiculous and romance a tad saccharine and action-movie-esque.

A Matter of Life And Death, Harold & Maude and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are all very respectable choices and could feasably have been placed much higher – particularly A Matter of Life and Death.  Also, Take out Say Anything…, replace it with Edward Scissorhands and find somewhere to put Brokeback Mountain.

Like I said, I’m no romance afficionado; they have the basics right so i’m not too peturbed. That said, the next genre I will shine a light on is ‘Crime,’ and that list is six kinds of fucked up!


About craig shaw

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