Are You There Blog? It's Me Caragh

Favorite Romantic Scenes in Movies

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

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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…

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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

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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

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“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.

  • Nefarious Newt

    The American President: When Sydney Wade shows up at The White House and while President Sheppard is preparing drinks, he comes back to find her standing in nothing but one of his dress shirts. Annette Benning is gorgeous and Michael Douglas plays the moment like a classic actor.

    • Livia Bittencourt

      I totally agree!!! Love this movie!!!!

    • Hannah Johnson

      I love that bit. “I’ve loved two women in my life, I lost one to cancer and the other because I was so busy trying to do my job that I stopped doing my job. (I can’t quote the rest other than) I am Andrew Sheppard and I AM THE PRESIDENT”. My Mum and me have seen it so many times we can quote it. Yes I am going to be commited for my unhealthy love of this film lol.

  • Katie Lynch

    I couldn’t find a good version of the final Come What May song, but this is good enough.

  • Angela Loewen

    The scene from French Kiss were Meg Ryan is mocking/imitating Kevin Kline when he’s old. She’s all hunched over and pretending to smoke with her face screwed up saying “you people make my ass twitch” . The look on Kevins face is just great! I’ve always thought I’d love to have a guy look at me that way..can’t figure me out but is totally amazed by me!

  • Tracee Tibbitts

    i am a mormon…i read hellogiggles…i am not a freak. thanks.

    • Caragh Poh

      I didn’t mean anything against regular ol’ Mormons — just the racist ones.

  • Hannah Johnson

    Or the end of Nights in Rodanthe – it’s so so so sad – I blub like a baby. The end of the Notebook makes me cry too on a bad day!

  • Isabella Lugosi

    Jeux d’enfants kills me!

  • Alexandra Elizabeth McLean

    The pecan pie scene in when Harry met Sally was actually improvised. If you watch you’ll see Sally turn her head giving a kind of “what the f” look to the director, in which he must have told her to just go with it. Freaking love that movie.

  • Jane McAdams

    I have to recommend my favorite romantic flick: Something New. It’s kind of under the radar, but Simon Baker is so romantic and irresistible.
    Another great one that you’ve hopefully seen is While You Were Sleeping. Classic!

  • Elodie Fiers

    Every fucking scene in Love Actually is the best romantic scene ever. Every moment, every word, god, I know them by heart.

    This moment when Colin Firth and the portugese maid say the same thing, but without understanding each over because of the language. GOD it’s beautiful !

    And Emma Thompson listening to Joni Mitchell after understanding her husband has an affair. It’s breathtaking.

    This is so amazing ! And I don’t talk about Wild at Heart…

    Pardon my bad english, I’m french :)

    • Amanda Silvey

      I completely agree and your english is perfect.

    • Estela Magana

      Love Actually is the ultimate romantic movie :)

    • Linda Moore

      I absolutely agree! I love EVERY scene in that film – including the opening scene in the airport when Hugh Grant is narrating.

      “When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge. They were all messages of love. If you look for it I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love, actually, IS all around.”

      That is just SO beautifully written and so true. Love it! :)

  • Jana Raymick Norvell

    Hi! So excited about this blog! So, people always knock The Notebook for being cheese, but the ocean scene is… just how you described it. Perfect.
    My romantic movie scene contribution would have to be in (Baz Luhrmann’s) Romeo + Juliet when Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes see each other for the first time through the fish tank. And that song, that song… I am a mess EVERY. TIME.

  • Samantha Delaney

    The scene that never fails turning me to mush is Jenny and Forrest’s reunion in the reflecting pool and the Lincoln Memorial. He finishes his speech and the crowd cheers his name, and then one tiny voice yells “Forrest!” I’m welling up just thinking about it!

  • Melissa Thacker

    Gay people are a race? Who knew? I think you’re trying to imply they’re homophobic or heterosexist, which may be true for some Mormons, but not all (just like it’s true for some Americans in general, but not all). Please don’t allow such intolerance to be promoted HelloGiggles.

    • Caragh Poh

      There’s no intolerance here — just jokes. I’m sorry if it offended you, but it was just a joke. I personally can’t believe you’re defending racists.

      (That was also a joke.)

  • Robyn Pennington

    I’m also not big into romantic movies (far too cheesy for my taste most of the time) but occasionally, I succumb to the notion that it’s entirely possible for this to be a reality one day. I like Moulin Rouge, though it’s a bit heavy on the musical emphasis for me, but I just love love love LOVE the Tango de Roxanne scene. Ok so it’s not really like traditionally romantic in the sense that other scenes in that movie may be, but the whole scene is so beautifully acted and so beautifully put together with the cross-cut editing jumping between the dancers to Ewan to Nicole ahhh I love the whole thing. Then at the end, the black servant dude punches the Duke in the face so he won’t rape Nicole’s character. Dunno why, but I think that’s pretty romantic

  • Jen Myers-Carlson

    OH MY GOD, the fact that one of my Top 10 Favorite Movies is #1 in this list just cemented your place in my HEART. Before Sunrise has long been on my top ten and Before Sunset is in my Top 5. These movies blow me away because of how incredible the team of Delpy, Hawke and Linklater are. They wrote these two movies nine years apart and ungh, love, love, love. Let’s not even get into my unhealthy love of Ethan Hawke (which I have made up is something that only Scorpios can understand). You = amazing. I = in love with you for this.

  • Chelsea Rose Miller

    The ending scene from “You’ve Got Mail”…I’m a sucker for Meg Ryan movies, and you have to admit Tom Hanks was ADORABLE back in the day. :)
    Also, the boat scene from “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, purely because you can see just how badly she wants to tell him she loves him. It makes me cry every time haha.

  • Estela Magana

    I love your entire list! I’m a total cheesetastic, chick flick lovin’ girl. My favorite When Harry Met Sally scene is the end: I can recite it word for word. And I absolutely love this scene: in Sleepless in Seattle! I love the Princess Bride and can’t resist it every time he said “as you wish.”
    Colin Firth is irresistible in everything, but I love Mark Darcy at this moment so much

  • Allison Andresini

    The grilled cheese scene at the end of Benny and Joon always gets me. Plus a young Johnny Depp makes everything better.

    • Caragh Poh

      I was definitely considering that one!

  • Melissa Connor

    I liked this post, but the Mormon comment did bother me. I’m a Mormon, I’m not racist and I don’t know many who are. I think statements like the one you made are a result of being ill-informed and a couple bad experiences. Those kind of statements, even if meant as a joke, perpetuate the stereotype of Mormons being prude, racist and homophobic. As a writer with hundreds of followers on this site as well as your own, I think it would be nice to encourage acceptance of everyone, even if their beliefs are not your own. Isn’t that what you’re accusing Mormons of? Not accepting others for who they are and what they believe? Just a thought.

    • Adia J. Olguin

      Thank you! I actually emailed them about this as a BLACK FEMALE MORMON I found this especially frustrating. Generally it doesn’t work to show how you are above, more enlightened, etc than another group by putting them down. I personally fight everyday against negative assumptions like this. Just remember, that there are good and bad in EVERY group, mormon or not. And to just single a small portion of a larger group and use that as the stereotype for the other millions of people in that group is unfair and unneccesary.

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