Let me tell you why I’m writing this: the other night I found myself watching Before Sunrise for the first time. I was under my blankets with the lights off and the air conditioner on. It suddenly occurred to me that I treat romantic movies in the same manner that I imagine racist Mormons treat watching porn. Gay porn. Gay, inter-racial porn. Gay, inter-racial, atheist, medium-core porn. The amount of Kleenex used in these two scenarios is most likely the same.
I’m just totally ashamed of enjoying any movie about love. I won’t even watch it in the daytime. It’s too much.
I don’t know why I try to keep my love of this genre a secret amongst my family and friends, but maybe it’s time to rectify that. I’ll start by listing my 5 favorite romantic scenes, in no particular order. Thank you for being my therapist, Internet.
1. The Bus Scene in Before Sunrise
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If you’re like me, you’re a major creep who has read up on the subconscious, psychological effects of body language and have applied your learnings when you find yourself people watching at the library or mall. If that sounds like something you do, you will probably flip a lid over the bus scene in Before Sunrise. You will flip all lids over this scene.
Keep watch for the moment Jesse begins to gingerly tuck Celine’s hair behind her ear, only to draw his hand back when she looks up and tucks it herself, never realizing that if she just let her hair alone then this American babe with blue eyes was going to tuck her hair behind her ear for her.
BONUS: If you’re a fan of this scene, watch the 2004 sequel, Before Sunset and be sure to pay attention to the last few moments of the movie when they’re in the limo together. If you can get past Ethan Hawkes age-onset meth-face, there’s a delightful surprise that’s sure to murder your heart.
2. If I’m a bird, you’re a bird from The Notebook
I could pretend to be too intelligent for a a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, but I’m not. I’m just the right amount of intelligent. Perhaps if I were a mere IQ point higher I would find the sappy, sweet and unrealistic dialogue too pedestrian for my taste, but the truth is I eat this movie up like so many chocolate chip cookies.
For weeks after I saw this movie I replaced “bird” with whatever was around. If you’re a Pop-Tart, I’m a Pop-Tart.
“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” And just like that, with 7 words, none of which are longer than a single syllable, Ryan Gosling sticks a piece of dynamite into your heart and every thought you’ve ever had about how love is hormones and relationships are neediness just explodes away and you are left with nothing but a red muscle that pulsates with blood and emotion and wanting.
Screw you, Gosling.
3. But I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie, from When Harry Met Sally…
Without exaggeration, I have seen this movie over 15 times and I only just discovered the flick 7 months ago. I would often fall asleep to this movie as if it were a bedtime story, and the result of that is I have it memorized like it’s a pop song from the Top 40. Plus, who knew Billy Crystal was at one time the most adorable man on Earth? This scene makes all of my internal organs turn into sugar-free Jell-O, wiggling and jiggling all up in my body cavity.
Pro-Tip: Recall the moment Harry tells Sally that she looks nice in skirts, and then take note of what she is wearing in the very next scene.
4. Runaway Lobsters from Annie Hall
You know how much I love Woody Allen. I like him so much that one of my first HelloGiggles entries was about how much I wanted to bang his estranged son as a way to finally meet and copulate with Mr. Allen himself. I lurve him. I loave him. I luff h — okay, wait, wrong Annie Hall scene.
This isn’t romantic in the traditional sense. No one is whispering endearing words into their lover’s ear and no one is promising a life of togetherness. They’re just rounding up a bunch of runaway lobsters, making memories. Aren’t those the junctures you remember most? The moments that felt so inane and useless tend to be the ones that you recall years later while you’re lying in bed.
5. We’ll always have Paris, Casablanca
“If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon — and for the rest of your life. “
They could have shut down the cinema scene after Casablanca was released and we, as a society, would not have missed out on anything. Everything about this movie is just fantastic. Anyone who claims black and white movies are boring has never actually watched a black and white film — yes, color can put the breath into movies today, but a good director back then knew how to create depth with their black and white film.
I’m always on the look out for new movies to pull at my heart strings, so feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. What’s your favorite romance flick? How angry are you that John Cusack is not represented on my list? Am I awful for liking The Notebook?
Here’s looking at you, kids.