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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

July 22, 2009 at 12:13 PM

The magic of movie romance

I love the conversation going on over the last post, with a number of you chiming in with your favorite romantic movies (apropros of the Entertainment Weekly list, which I think we can all agree is highly suspect). And, since it’s more fun to think about romantic movies than about “Orphan,” let’s keep it going. (On “Orphan”: I saw it last night and, well, if orphan-advocacy groups are up in arms about this film, as they are, they really should be joined by groups representing therapists, nuns, architects, small children, hospital personnel and People Who Go Downstairs To The Dark Basement During Power Outages Without Thinking About the Scary Psycho Demon Child Lurking Someplace, all of whom come off in this movie as kind of dopey. But I digress.)
There’s nothing like a well-made romantic movie. The air feels different out on the street after you leave such a movie; the city feels smaller and happier and you hear faint music playing. (It’s been years since I’ve watched “In the Mood for Love,” but the mournful notes of its beautiful score are still with me.) I remember, long ago, going to see “Bull Durham” at the multiplex with friends. As we left, my friend Janet gazed lovingly at her husband. “Tim,” she cooed, “you look kind of like Kevin Costner.” Actually Tim, though a nice-looking guy, didn’t look at all like Kevin Costner, but the movie made Janet think he did. And that’s magic.
Of course, one person’s magic is another person’s schmaltz. (I’m still mildly irritated, two years later, that my husband didn’t much like “Once.” A major failing on his part, I know. We’re working through it.) But if we all fell in love with the same movies, that wouldn’t be much fun. “The Notebook,” for example, divides a lot of us: Some adore it; some, like me (a total romantic sap who cries EVERY time I watch “Sense and Sensibility,” so it’s not that I don’t have a heart), can’t stand it. What is your perfect romantic movie? And why?

Hi, Emma! Hi, Kate! Love your movie! Pass the Kleenex! (It’s “Sense and Sensibility,” photo copyright 1995 Columbia Pictures.)

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