Music Break: 10 Favorite Movie Love Themes


Happy belated Valentine’s Day, hope your V-day was a special one. I personally don’t see why we can’t celebrate love and romance any time of the year. Well, I was on my way home from the gym today and was listening to Classical MPR when host Lynne Warfel’s Love at the Movies came on which inspired me to do another Music Break post!

So in honor of Valentine’s Week, I’m picking 10 of my favorite love themes… now, some of them aren’t exactly love themes per se, but they sure are lush and romantic.

CINEMA PARADISO (1988) – Ennio Morricone

When you’re talking about love themes, one can’t leave out the quintessential romantic score and truly it’s the best love theme ever as far as I’m concerned. It’s the love theme to end all love themes…

OUT OF AFRICA (1985) – John Barry

Confession: I haven’t seen this movie in its entirety, but I’ve listened to this luscious score over and over. Honestly, John Barry may be famous for composing a bunch of James Bond scores, but he made the most romantic themes ever!

NOTTING HILL (1999) – Trevor Jones

Notting Hill soundtrack is full of beautiful songs, but I love this lovely score. I actually just rewatched some clips of this rom-com classics that reminds me how much I love this soundtrack.

CASINO ROYALE (2006) – City of Lovers – David Arnold

I’m a big fan of John Barry’s classic Bond scores, and apparently David Arnold was inspired by Barry’s melodic composition. This article about the soundtrack mentioned that ‘… [Barry’s] influence shines through loud and clear in the luscious strings and a haunting atmosphere.’ It’s deeply romantic but tinged with sadness given Vesper’s fate at the end of the movie.

SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980) – John Barry

Another John Barry score in my favorite list… well, this is a case where the music greatly elevates the film. Now, I’m not saying the movie isn’t good, but this hauntingly-beautiful score makes it instantly a classic. Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve have never looked so breathtaking in this film, it definitely ranks as one of the greatest tragic love stories and romantic time travel movies.

ROMEO & JULIET (1968) – Nino Rota

Speaking of tragic romance, you still can’t beat this Franco Zeffirelli classic starring young Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. I saw the movie years ago and it’s beautiful to look at, but it’s the score by Nino Rota that sticks with me the most.

P.S. I LOVE YOU (2007) – Kisses & Cake – John Powell

This movie has a fabulous soundtrack! I actually bought the CD back when it was released, back when I still bought physical media and my car had a CD changer, ahahaha. The songs are pretty great, but I remember always rewinding this one piece of score by John Powell. I wish there were more score pieces in the CD as it’s sooo gorgeous!!

SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (1993) – An Affair To Remember – Marc Shaiman

Ahhh… Nora Ephron, how I miss her! This movie is still one of the best rom-coms with one of the most memorable dialog… it’s a classic really. In fact I was saying to my hubby on the way home from Marry Me how this movie really transcends the genre. The music is one of the reasons it’s so timeless, and this one is my fave. Originally composed by Harry Warren for An Affair To Remember which is referenced heavily in the movie.

How To Train Your Dragon (2010) – Romantic Flight – John Powell

John Powell is such an underrated composer, there are SO many of his work that I adore. This flying scene where Hiccup takes Astrid’s on her first flight is one of the highlights of the movie thanks to this rousing, enchanting score that literally makes you want to fly!

SPELLBOUND (1945) – Miklós Rózsa

Well, last but certainly not least. Spellbound is one of my favorite Hitchcock that I think is quite underrated. I remember the first time I heard this score and it’s got that soul-piercing quality. Let’s just say I was spellbound by the beauty of this music (as well as young Gregory Peck, ehm), just as Peck was transfixed by Ingrid Bergman. Miklós Rózsa also wrote another great love theme for Ben-Hur.

Hope you enjoy today’s music break. What’s your favorite movie love themes?

9 thoughts on “Music Break: 10 Favorite Movie Love Themes

  1. The fact that you at least chose one piece by Ennio Morricone is a win for me. I love that theme from that film. He is the Maestro. He is my favorite film score composer.

  2. Great picks, as always, Ruth. If I was to add one it would the one instrumental that started me on my long trek of appreciating music and movie themes: Theme from A Summer Place.

    The song title itself signals its movie connection. A Summer Place (1959) was a soapy melodramatic movie released late the previous year. The interesting thing here about this much-played tune, written by Max Steiner (who wrote such famous film scores for the likes of Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, and The Searchers, among others), was the fact it’s not even the main title theme of the picture. It’s the “Molly and Johnny Theme” from the picture’s soundtrack, the characters portrayed in the film by Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue.

    1. Oh I LOVE A Summer Place theme! I think it’s on the CD of classic movie themes my late mother bought years ago. It’s this one right?

      Max Steiner was definitely one of the greatest composers. I also love GWTW, Casablanca scores, come to think of it, I should make this a top 20, ahah.

      1. Oh sorry, I was replying to your comment on my phone so I didn’t even see you had embedded the YT link on your comment. Oh what a gorgeous theme indeed!!

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