The Guardian chooses its Top 25 Romantic Films.
October 19, 2010 Leave a comment
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|
|3||Before Sunrise||Richard Linklater||1995|
|3||Before Sunset||Richard Linklater||2004|
|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|
|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!