Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Romantic Movies for the Chick Flick Hater

Guest Post for the Valentines Day Blog Carnival by Vanessa of Chicken Soup for the Dorky Soul

I have never seen The Notebook. I know some of you are flailing around in confusion at that statement, but it's true. In fact, I never want to see it. There are few things that make me feel more like vomiting than a gooshy, squishy, girly movie. I can't stand when the guy loses the girl and then in a series of crazy antics and emotional ups and downs, he gets her back and they live happily ever after. Or when the guy and the girls are neighbors and one loves the other but the other loves some douche/douchette and the entire movie revolves around how they find out they were meant for each other all along. I really, really hate when a movie shows love as something that happens between some modern-day princess and a white knight who acts all flowery for the sake of making her happy. Chick flicks represent, to me, everything that I've never wanted romance to be. Sure, I like when my boyfriend brings me flowers and writes me love notes, but the moments in which I really know I love him are the ones spent making fun of each other in public and shouting obscenities at each other as we play a violent video games in our pajamas. And sure, I like some romance in my movies, but the totally over-the-top stuff? Not for me.

If you're like me and you don't like the typical chick flick or romantic comedy, you might find yourself a little lost for ideas on what movie to snuggle up with this Valentine's Day—or on any date night, for that matter. Well, fortunately for you, I have a few ideas of movies that incorporate romance just enough to make you go "awww!" and cuddle closer, but not in a way that makes you get sick in the toilet.

Science of Sleep

This is my absolute favorite movie ever. It's the story of a strange dude—aka Gael Garcia Bernal, who is a serious cutie— that comes to live in France and falls in love with his neighbor. He's an inventor and a dreamer—literally. Bernal's character, Stephane, seems to have an odd condition that blurs the line between reality and dream, which leads to tons of interesting, charming interludes in the film. Science of Sleep is wonderfully clever, and is definitely one of those movies you tend to see more than once if you want to savor everything properly (if you're into analyzing movies, this one will keep be a joy to watch). It's perfectly romantic without ever being saccharine.

House of Flying Daggers

This is another one of my favorite films of all time. House of Flying Daggers is a martial arts movie starring the incomparable Ziyi Zhang as Mei, a blind exotic dancer—or so everyone thinks at first. The government believes she has connections to the infamous House of Flying Daggers, so they send two officers after her in order to infiltrate the rebel group. Of course, a sort of love triangle forms, but that's all I'm sharing about the plot. The martial arts amazing, the music is beautiful, and the cinematography is breathtaking. Even if you're not into love stories, this movie is totally worth watching based on its aesthetic value alone.

V for Vendetta

There's nothing like the love between a crazy dude bent on blowing up Parliament and a bald Natalie Portman. I mean, spoiler alert. I mean, she doesn't shave her head and still look drop dead gorgeous. More or less, the plot follows V trying to overthrow a fascist government and his relationship with Evey Hammond, a woman he pulls from the clutches of said fascist government. It's all very tense with lots of explosions and plot twists, and the best part is you're really rooting for this vigilante bent on destruction for the sake of the people. It's hard, of course, not to be distracted by the at-times-subtle romance between V and Evey.

The Princess Bride

I don't think this movie honestly needs much explanation. While the plot essentially revolves around a love story, the film is full of laughs and crazy characters—and not to mention parody. The Princess Bride is, if anything, a satirization of adventures and romances, and you'll be sure to be entertained just thinking about how ridiculous and formulaic the genuine articles are.

Star Wars Movies

And by "Star Wars Movies," I particularly mean the prequels, since we're talking about romance. Yes, yes, I know the prequels get a lot of flack, but I refuse to deny that I found myself cooing girlishly during some of the love scenes between Anakin and Padme. Star Wars is great as a romance because it's definitely not too romantic at all. The sub-plot is there, but mostly there are crazy-looking aliens, badass droids (*cough*Grievous*cough*), and epic lightsaber battles to focus on. I'm sure a lot of you will be skeptical of this choice because of how nerdy it is, but if you give it a watch, you may be pleasantly surprised.

What movies would you add to this list?

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