Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks - Movies with Memorable Declaration/Confessions of Love


Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join in by picking three movies that fit the theme of the week and telling us a bit about them!

As Valentine's month rolls on, here we are at Thursday Movie Picks, picking movies with memorable declarations or confessions of love. You know, the grand gestures, the heartfelt speeches... the ones we all try to duplicate or better in real life but never quite manage to pull off.

In other words, prepare yourself for some giant clichés!

"I love you. And not in a friendly way, although we're great friends. And not in a misplaced affection, puppy dog way, which I'm sure is what you'll call it."
 
Chasing Amy (Kevin Smith, 1997) I mean, I'd fuck Ben Affleck after that speech, wouldn't you? But she leaves! Allow me to explain: Holden is a comic book artist, so is Alyssa. They meet at a comic convention and become fast friends, and of course, Holden becomes attracted to her. There's just one tiny little problem: Alyssa is a lesbian. BUT (and here is where the film really steps in it) she decides to start up a relationship with Holden anyway. It doesn't go well, but not necessarily because both of them are attracted to women. But the problematic nature of what follows doesn't diminish the power of this speech one bit.

"You complete me." "You had me at hello."
 
Jerry Maguire (Cameron Crowe, 1996) This one has become the biggest cliché, but deservedly so. It gets to the heart of how we love AND how we fall in love. It's kind of amazing it took until 1996 for anyone to write it like this. Jerry is a sports agent with commitment issues. Dorothy is a single mom whose sister hosts a weekly meeting of divorced women who are - to put it mildly - man-haters. They get married impulsively, have some issues, and take a break. But then Jerry comes back during the weekly meeting, mans up, and drops this bomb. And just when he's getting going, Dorothy cuts him off. She doesn't need him to say anything. Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger are on top form in this. So winning. Bonus: Dorothy's declaration of love - to her sister, although Jerry overhears - is also pretty great.

"I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her."
 
Notting Hill (Roger Michell, 1999) This scene shouldn't work. It shouldn't. As written, it is incredibly condescending, almost irredeemable pap. But Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant pull it off, through some strange kind of likable-movie-star alchemy. Anna is a movie star who's had a string of bad relationships. William is a sad-sack book-store owner who hasn't had any luck after his divorce. They meet-cute a few times and then start seeing each other, until her fame (and his ego) gets in their way. But in an attempt to win him back, she brings by a painting and this killer little speech. He says no - to protect his heart - but realizes not long after she leaves that he was being a daft prick. That painting? Oh, just an ORIGINAL CHAGALL.

BONUS PICK
Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003) Go ahead, pick your favorite. "To me, you are perfect." "Bonita Aurelia." The kid running through the airport. Richard Curtis's Frankstein's monster of spare romantic comedy parts is lousy with memorable declarations of love. Some work better than others, but most of them work far better than they have any right to thanks to a sterling cast, a light touch, and - let's be honest - all those British accents.

20 comments:

  1. All those British accents, indeed!!!

    LOL, great picks, buddy. Cliches abound, but it's all in the delivery, which is why these films work so well :-D

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    1. It's all in the delivery. EXACTLY.

      Thanks!

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  2. Jerry Maguire lololol that one is so corny. I love that you went with all the cliched ones. They actually work here.

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    1. That they do! I know the Jerry Maguire thing is so so corny, but in context it is GLORIOUS.

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  3. Oh man. I'm so gutted because I haven't seen any of these BUT they've been on my watch list for years! I'm gonna have to blast through them whilst we're still in Valentine's month :)
    - Allie

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    1. WAIT. You haven't even seen Love Actually?!? Watch ALL of these now!!

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  4. Yeah Notting Hill scene shouldn't work but it definitely does! Richard Curtis used to make the best romantic comedies

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    1. So, so true. I still haven't seen About Time, his latest, but I heard surprisingly good things.

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  5. Great picks! Cliched but perfectly working here.

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  6. Love Actually is its own little declaration machine all by itself. I'd have a tough time narrowing down to one which I like best, it has so many cute parts aside. Love Hugh Grant dancing through 10 Downing Street!

    Chasing Amy is a nice underknown pick. It been years since I watched it, I should give it another go.

    I've never been crazy about Notting Hill but that sequence is so apt. The same with Jerry Maguire, especially since it features two of my least favorite performers (at least Notting Hill has Hugh Grant) but that scene hasn't been parodied to death for nothing. Super picks.

    I didn't do clips with mine just quotes from the memorable scenes. There's so many to choose from and I'm already kicking myself that I forgot about Four Weddings and a Funeral and the "In the words of David Cassidy when he was with the Partridge Family" scene. Damn. Anyway my three are:

    Pride & Prejudice (2005)-Lovely adaptation of the Austen classic with Keira Knightley & Matthew MacFayden well matched as the headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and the reserved Mr. Darcy who secretly loves her. They are surrounded by a perfect supporting cast.

    *Memorable Declaration-During a sweeping rainstorm in an isolated pavilion the drenched Darcy declares that he loves Lizzie most ardently!

    Last of the Mohicans (1992)-Exciting, intense beautifully filmed reading of James Fenimore Cooper’s novel. Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe bring an electric chemistry to their characters which enhances all their scenes but particularly their romantic ones. Pitch perfect music score adds an extra dimension to the effectiveness of the film.

    *Memorable Declaration-Under a waterfall fleeing from attacking Indians Nathaniel tells Cora when he must leave her “You be strong, you survive... You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you.”

    Somewhere in Time (1980)-At the premier of his first play writer Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) is approached by a mysterious old woman who presses a locket into his hand with the words “Come back to me!” Years later Collier now a successful but blocked playwright impulsively takes a trip to an old resort where he spies a picture of once famous actress Elise McKenna (a breathtakingly beautiful Jane Seymour) from 70 years hence and becomes obsessed with her. Believing she is his destiny he searches for a way to travel back to her time. Preposterous but uber romantic time travel fantasy with the well matched leads and the gorgeous Mackinac Island selling the plot’s various implausibility’s for those able to suspend belief. Very involving if you like romantic movies.

    *Memorable Declaration-In the guise of the character she is portraying on stage Elise goes off script and staring straight at Richard says: “The man of my dreams has almost faded now. The one I have created in my mind. The sort of man each woman dreams of, in the deepest and most secret reaches of her heart. I can almost see him now before me. What would I say to him if he were really here? "Forgive me. I have never known this feeling. I have lived without it all my life. Is it any wonder, then, I failed to recognize you? You, who brought it to me for the first time. Is there any way I can tell you how my life has changed? Any way at all to let you know what sweetness you have given me? There is so much to say... I cannot find the words. Except for these: I love you."

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    1. I haven't seen Chasing Amy in a long time, either, and I feel like I should, if only to find out if it really is as tone-deaf about sexuality as I half-remember, or not.

      Hugh Grant dancing to I'm So Excited is just the BEST.

      Everything you say about Somwhere in Time is so true. It is completely preposterous and completely falls apart if you think about it for even a second, but Seymour (never more beautiful) and Reeves sell it really well, and the thing as a whole is gorgeous. I love Last of the Mohicans and Pride and Prejudice, too, although these declarations of love aren't the first things I think of when I think about them. They are wonderful, though.

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    2. You know the waterfall scene isn't the first I think of with Mohicans either, it's the scene in the apothecary where Cora asks Nathaniel "What are you looking at, sir?" and he answers "I'm looking at you, miss." And then they share that frank, intense stare. It's SO sensual but it's not really a declaration more of an acknowledgement of attraction.

      The other thing that really completes the package with Somewhere in Time is the heavily Rachmaninoff influenced score. It fits the mood of the picture so perfectly.

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    3. UGH i LOVE that scene in Mohicans. Daniel Day-Lewis just OOZES sex there.

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  7. I've only seen Jerry Maguire. That scene was sooooo corny. Then again, so was most of the movie, yet somehow it all worked. Great pick!

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    1. Totally true. That scene in Jerry Maguire is so of a piece with the film as a whole that it works.

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  8. I have not seen Chasing Amy yet and will one day. I was never much for Jerry MaGuire but I should give it a second chance but it was that scene where she says "You had me at hello" that made wretch just a little. Notting Hill is a nice little comedy and I liked his weird roommate but that scene where she says she is just a girl wanting to love a boy...meh...They are not little kids any more. I know I sound so unromantic. I picked Love actually because it is perfect for this week. I loved the Colin Firth part but I also loved the 2 innocents who meet on a film set(nyuck, nyuck). I love Bill Nighy and one of my favourite lines is the saucy minx one:)

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    1. Oh I totally agree that the "I'm just a girl..." speech is pandering and insulting, but somehow Julia makes it work in the moment. When I watch that clip out of context, it doesn't work at all, but in the film it plays like gangbusters.

      I also love the two stand-ins who fall in love in Love Actually.

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  9. Let me go ahead and talk about Jerry Maguire first. I almost added it as a bonus pick. My heart aches for Cameron Crowe. I so want him to be good again, and I finally figured it out the other day. The Elizabethtown and Aloha misses happened because they didn't do what Jerry Maguire did, which is provide us with the entire downfall. That movie is about a man hitting rock bottom hard. The other two just glaze over that as a minor detail. I LOVE Jerry Maguire. No shame in that pick whatsoever.

    As for Chasing Amy, well, it was a must here. I love the writing in that scene. I have wanted to say those exact words before.

    Love Actually is full of these declarations and is a movie I watch every year. My wife and I put in on while decorating our living room for Christmas. We both adore it.

    Notting Hill is one that I just don't remember that well, but I remember being fully charmed by it. Great picks!

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    1. SO true about Cameron Crowe. I really liked We Bought A Zoo (although it's a total featherweight), but I can't bring myself to even watch Aloha. But Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous are perfect.

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