My Movie Year: The Year 2000

Thanks to Andy for inviting me to My Movie Year blog-a-thon. This is the second time I’ve participated in Fandango Groovers’ blog event since the massively popular Desert Island DVDs. Below is the simple rule for the post:

All you have to do is pick your favourite year for movies and back I up with five classics from that year, no more no less. You can do as much or as little as you want with your selections; a simple list, images and posters, reviews, trailers. Or anything else you can think of.

It’s quite a daunting task as most of the movies I love come from different decades. I actually didn’t see all that many movies back in college, but I pick the year 2000 as this is the year where I moved in to my first ever house after living in one apartment after another in college and shortly after graduation. I didn’t watch a lot of movies on the big screen then either, but it turns out a lot of movies released in 2000 have become one of my all time favorites. So here they are:

Gladiator

I can’t possibly NOT include this movie. I mean, I’ve always LOVED swords and sandals movie ever since Ben-Hur, and this one has such a fantastic story and wonderful performances all around. I even picked this as the subject for the blog-a-thon ‘Movies that makes going to the movies suck‘ because it’s been copied so many times and studios are launching similar type of movies to capitalize on its popularity.

But this often-quoted Ridley Scott masterpiece remains on top in this genre and to this day I’m still enamored with it as the first time I saw it. It’s one of those movies that has the whole package, everything from the story, dialog, set pieces, performances, and even the soundtrack makes up for an epic entertainment.

Russell Crowe gave an iconic performance, even his name Maximus Decimus Meridius is a classic. Equally memorable are Joaquin Phoenix as the despicable incestuous Commodus, and the more I watch this movie the more I appreciate all the character actors that make this movie great, most especially Derek Jacobi with his theatrical line delivery. It’s not as popular as the others, but I pick this line as one of my favorite movie quotes of all time.

Unbreakable

I LOVE this imaginative take of a superhero movie. People tend to mock M. Night Shyamalan’s these days but I’m still willing to give him a pass because he’s made some creative work in the past, especially this one.

An intriguing concept that’s brilliantly executed, Unbreakable is a quiet but suspenseful thriller that’s rich in character development. The astute cinematography adds so much to the eerie and mysterious tone of the film, in many occasion, it even help tells the story in such a breathtaking way. That scene where Elijah falls on the stairs of the train station is such a heart-wrenching scene… it’s as if I could feel his pain as he breaks nearly every bones in his body. It’s also one of those movies where it’s not a simple good vs. evil kind of story, and we can’t help but feel sympathy for the bad guy.

Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world, to not know why you’re here. – Elijah Price

It shows that Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson certainly can act if they choose to. Both seem to gravitate more for the action-packed stuff and sure they’re good at it, but I’d love to see them do something more understated like this again.

Oh, and I actually do like the ending, it’s unexpected and definitely made you go ‘whoa’ the first time around. But unlike Sixth Sense, it doesn’t lose its impact even after repeated viewings.

Chicken Run

When I first saw this, I had never seen Wallace & Gromit before but I absolutely adore this Peter Lord and Nick Park’s creation. It’s odd since I’m usually not into claymation, but I think this movie is just so fun and joyful to watch. Inspired by The Great Escape, the chickens led by Ginger rebels against against the evil Mrs. Tweedy’s farm with the help of Rocky the rooster.

Right from the start, I was so enthralled and empathized with the poor ‘imprisoned’ chickens, as they’re depicted as having humanly activities like knitting, dance, bicker with one another, and seemingly having more lively existence than the humans at the farm.  The dialog is sharp and funny, with hilarious yet poignant lines like “I don’t want to be a pie.” or “We’ll either die free chickens or we die trying.” The voice cast are a hoot, especially Julia Sawalha and Mel Gibson as Ginger and Rocky.

It’s definitely one of my favorite animated features of all time. I even feel a bit guilty eating chickens for a while after watching this, especially chicken pot pie! 😀

Return to Me

I think I’ve talked about this movie quite often. It’s always on my list of favorite rom-coms, and I even dedicated a whole post for it. This movie doesn’t follow the typical formula of a rom-com, in fact it starts out with a tragedy. But yet it’s a joyful movie despite its poignant subject matter, filled with a wonderful depiction of family live, sincere friendship and a love story between two people who’ve gone through a lot by the time they find each other.

Both David Duchovny and Minnie Driver are wonderful here, they’re not your go-to actors for this genre which is a shame as they’re so natural here. Same with director Bonnie Hunt as she is quite adept with creating wonderful characters and engagingly funny dialog. It’s too bad that this is her only feature film in her resume. Oh, and the soundtrack is wonderful, too!

Check out the trailer below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

X-Men

I readily admit that I have a penchant for superhero movies, and the mythology and the allegory with the reality of our world of the X-Men universe is particularly fascinating to me. I absolutely loved it when it first came out and both my hubby and I were hugely anticipating it. Fortunately, it didn’t disappoint and it’s still good after repeated viewing. Bryan Singer made superhero movies not only cool but has something meaningful to say. It’s intelligent AND fun.

The casting is key here, from hiring two British thespians as the two leaders of polar opposites — Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart — to taking a chance with a then-unknown Aussie actor Hugh Jackman as the tormented Wolverine. He may be indestructible but he’s still vulnerable and Jackman’s gruff but soulful portrayal won him many fans and launched his career. He’s got an undeniable chemistry with Famke Janssen as Dr. Jean Grey, which makes their unrequited romance quite irresistible.

It’d be nice if Singer stays on throughout the trilogy, then we’d have three solid movies in this franchise. But the consolation is that he came back, albeit as a producer, in the excellent X-Men: First Class, which has a lot of the great things I love about the original and then some!

Other great movies I like from 2000:

  • Billy Elliot
  • Chocolat
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Memento


My runner-up year: 1995

I almost picked this year because I absolutely adore Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility, plus it’s also got two other dramas I love: Circle of Friends and A Walk in the Clouds. I also like Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Usual Suspects and Se7en a lot, but in the end I feel like I have more affinity for the five movies I picked for 2000.



Thoughts about the movies listed here? Now, what year would YOU pick?

7×7 Award

You like me, you really like me!

Ehm, pardon my heartfelt enthusiasm but I really am grateful for this award and pardon my tardiness in getting this post up. I share this award with my wonderful contributors, especially Ted S. and Jack Deth.

Firstly, let me say thank you so very much Michael, Diana, Ruth, Julian, Niels, Richard, Pete, Andina and Dan for tagging me. Now I gladly oblige to the rules that come with this award 🙂

The rules to the 7 x 7 Link Award are simple:

1: Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows.

2: Link to a post I think fits the following categories: The Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride-worthy Piece.

3: Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers.

As for a fact that nobody knows… Well, I think with the exception of a few close friends, most people don’t know that Gerry Butler inspired me to write a novel. An unusual inspiration I know, but when I had a massive crush on him after seeing Phantom of the Opera back in 2004, I actually started writing a novel a year later in which the protagonist is inspired by him. I even named the character Eric, a variation of ‘Erik’ which is the real name of the Phantom in the original Gaston Leroux’s novel. You can read an excerpt from an earlier draft of one of the chapters here. I’ve since put that post on the back burner since I started this blog, but I’m still hoping to pick that up again in the future.

The Most Beautiful Piece

Beauty is so subjective, but I think I’d have to go with the two part list of 15 favorite period drama heroes that I collaborated with my friend Paula. It took quite a bit of effort to do this and I must say, it’s filled with a lot of really beautiful men 😀

The Most Helpful Piece

Hmmm, I don’t want to be presumptuous that people find any of my posts helpful, but I suppose for non-Bond fans or those who aren’t familiar with this franchise might find Our picks of Best & Worst Bond films from each decade handy when they want to get into Bond movies.

Most Popular Piece

To this day, no post has been able to beat this Actors who are (surprisingly) good singers post I did back in November 2009. Thanks to IMDb hitlist (which sadly is going away soon), this post got nearly 20,000 hits in one day and over 100 comments. I guess everyone has some strong opinions as to who they think are good singers… or not 🙂

Most Controversial Piece

No doubt this one is the most controversial so far – Tired of boys ruling Hollywood? Get these real men to the rescue. It’s another post that got picked up by IMDb in 2009 that generated quite a lot of angry responses! Some actually call me a racist for the lack of colored actors in the post. Geez, I’m not white myself but since when is it wrong to have a preference in actors?? People take these things way too seriously, ahah.

Most Surprisingly Successful Piece

Well, unlike the King of Blog Series that is Nostra, there’s barely any that I keep regularly here on FC. But the Five for the Fifth series prove to be quite successful ever since I launched it back in January of 2011. Thanks everyone for participating on these posts every month!

Most Underrated Piece

Well, I often mention Return to Me on this blog as one of my favorite rom-coms ever. I wrote a lengthy piece as to why it’s such a beautiful, poignant chick flick more people should check out, sadly I don’t think anyone’s read it.

Most Pride-Worthy Piece

I spent a ton of time on each of the fantasy movie pitches that Castor of Anomalous Material started, so those posts are very special to me. My favorite of all of them remains to be Hearts Want, a romantic thriller starring Timothy Dalton and Helen Mirren in the lead roles, directed by Ridley Scott. It’d be a dream come true to someday translate that into a real screenplay.


Well, since I’m quite late into this meme, seems like everyone has done this already or been tagged by others. So I’d like to pass this award to those who hasn’t done this yet but whose blogs are one of my favorites. So here goes:



Thanks everyone for your support of this wee blog. Your readership and comments are always sincerely appreciated!

The Flix List – Valentine Edition: 10 Romantic Comedies I LOVE

It’s Valentine’s Day eve! Guys, did you order your flowers yet? 😀

Photo courtesy of Princess Ashley on Flickr

Romantic comedies or rom-com for short, gets a bad rep these days. Obviously a lot of them deserve it, i.e. When in Rome, Leap Year, The Ugly Truth, etc. which can’t even be included in the ‘so bad it’s good’ category. Alas, year after year, Hollywood keeps churning out one banal rom-com after another. But of course, not all rom-coms are created equal, when the ‘chemistry’ is right, that is when the cast, dialog, direction, etc. all mesh together well, we’ve got ourselves a movie that warm the heart. They make us laugh and cry tears of joy and we can always go back to them whenever we need a dose of romance in the movies. So, here are ten rom-coms that I certainly don’t mind watching over and over again (in alphabetical order):

  1. Amélie
    A delightful gem that beguiles me from the start with its unabashed kookiness. Audrey Tatou is perfectly cast in this winning French movie, it proves that a love story can be charming and sweet without being sickeningly saccharine. A delicate balance surely, but director Jean-Pierre Jeunet pulled it off beautifully (check out my full review)
  2. Four Weddings and a Funeral
    Is it wonder this British rom-com was such worldwide box office hit? The highest-grossing British film in cinema history boast a fabulous cast, a wonderfully witty dialog and a realistic portrayal of unrequited love. Witty, funny, delightful… if only there are more rom-coms like this one. This scene alone with Kristin Scott Thomas deserves a place in this list.

  3. Notting Hill
    Ok, I promise you I didn’t pick this one because I have a penchant for floppy-haired Hugh Grant 😀 Let’s face it, who hasn’t dreamed of a scenario like this one, actually having one of our favorite celeb fall in love with us. Yet somehow, despite the lofty potential of cheese, I can’t help but be swept away by the lovely romance between Grant’s everyman and the superstar, played w/ extra megawatt smile by Julia Roberts. The fabulous London location and this inventive changing season scene also play a huge part why I adore this movie!

  4. One Fine Day
    I can’t exactly say I’m a big fan of George Clooney but I’ve got to admit he charms up a storm in this one. He’s got a delightfully effortless chemistry with sexy Michelle Pfeiffer, surprisingly believable as a single mom who’s driven but vulnerable. The New York City setting is as equally appealing as the two leads and definitely adds to the romantic mood. Even the kids in the movie are likable instead of annoying, making this a one fine rom-com.

  5. P.S. I Love You
    Ok, I’m one of those who wants Gerry Butler to get off the rom-com trail, but this is one I actually adore. Initially I thought the usually-serious Hilary Swank was miscast in this, but upon several re-watching, I now think she perfectly captures the essence of a woman mourning the loss of her husband and her bumbling scenes are actually pretty funny. I put this one in my favorite unconventionally-romantic flix list last Valentine’s Day as it doesn’t follow the same formula of girl-meets-boy or a happily-ever-after ending. As I said in that previous post, Butler’s so darn charming you’ll be more than willing to forgive him for his ghastly Irish accent 😀 Not to mention the great supporting cast of Kathy Bates, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Harry Connick Jr., among others.
  6. Return to Me
    If you’ve read this post I titled ‘the beautiful, poignant chickflix nobody’s ever seen.’ There’s a reason David Duchovny and Minnie Driver are one of my fave romantic couples of all time. You just can’t help rooting for them and just want them to find happiness after the circumstances they’ve been through. The classically-tinged soundtrack is awesome, too, especially if you’re a fan of The Rat Pack. I can’t recommend this movie enough, folks, if you haven’t already, put this in your Netflix queue!
  7. Sabrina (1995)
    Last month I listed this movie as one of my favorite remakes. Granted I have not seen the original and Audrey Hepburn’s a tough act to follow. Yet Julia Ormond is enchanting in this Sydney Pollack movie. It’s also surprisingly goofy in parts, and the tone is decidedly fluffy. Like Swank in P.S. I love you, I initially thought Harrison Ford was miscast, but I end up loving him in this role. Greg Kinnear is amusing as always, and he complements Ford’s ‘curmudgeon’ character perfectly. Oh, and if you’re observant, see if you can spot Paul Giamatti as one of the kitchen staff.
  8. Sleepless in Seattle
    Sure the two leads hardly spent more than ten minutes together, but it’s the events leading up to it that is just so fun to watch. This is definitely one of the best of Meg Ryan‘s abundant rom-coms (she’s practically a sub-genre!) and Tom Hanks is as endearing and funny as ever. Lots of iconic NYC scenes and landmarks in this one that no doubt still inspire lovebirds on Valentine’s Day. The supporting cast is great: Rob Reiner, Victor Garber, Hanks’s own wife Rita Wilson, and even Rosie O’Donnell were delightful. Again, the music is one of the best thing of this. In fact, I still play the soundtrack from time to time.
  9. Roman Holiday
    Who doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn? Pair such a lovable icon with an equally winsome Gregory Peck and you’ve got a recipe for a marvelous classic. The Italian setting also piles on the charm and is almost the ‘star’ of the film itself, but of course the charismatic leads can’t be outdone by even the most beautiful scenery. This is also in my favorite unconventionally-romantic flix list, and as I said in that post, the best love story is the unexpected kind.
  10. The American President
    Speaking of unexpected, who’d have thought a movie about a widowed US president be so romantic? But that’s exactly what you get in this Rob Reiner rom-com starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening as the unlikely couple. I’m not much into political movies, but I was able to get past all the rhetoric and just focus on the sweet romance. I love the first time Sydney Wade hangs up on the prez because she thought it was a prank phone call, and the cute first kiss in the China Room. No doubt Andrew Shepherd is on my list of memorable movie presidents.
    ….

Honorable Mentions

10 Things I Hate About You, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Kate & Leopold, Serendipity, Some Kind of Wonderful, While You Were Sleeping, You’ve Got Mail, (500) Days of Summer, What Women Want, When Harry Met Sally.

The rom-com still on my must-watch list: Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night (1934) Well I finally saw it, read my full review.


Here’s wishing you all a lovely Valentine’s day! So what are some of your favorite rom-coms? Viewing suggestions welcome!

MGM filed bankruptcy: What are your five favorite MGM movies?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to everyone that MGM finally filed Chapter 11 yesterday after all the money troubles the studio has been in. Back in July, I lamented about the next 007 film being canceled as a result of MGM’s financial woes. According to The Wrap, last week MGM’s creditors approved a plan to waive its $4 billion debt in exchange for large ownership stakes in the once-mighty studio. After the plan is approved by the court, MGM will be run by Spyglass Entertainment.

Coincidentally, just a couple of days ago I saw a roadblock skin advertising on IMDb about TCM’s Moguls and Movie Stars series that is currently running. As you probably know, Turner Classics Movies cable channel is owned by Turner Broadcasting System, which also owns the MGM library. The History of Hollywood program is an original, seven-part documentary that marks the channel’s most ambitious project to date and the most comprehensive chronicle of the birth and dramatic growth of American movies ever produced for television. I wish I had cable as it’d be so fascinating to watch the stories behind Hollywood’s power elite and all the drama behind the scenes that surely rival whatever they’re putting up on screen.

MGM was no doubt one of the most powerful Hollywood studios in its day, and it’s also got one of the most iconic logos of Leo the Lion. When I was a kid I used to love seeing Leo roars before a movie started, surrounded by a ring of film reels with the studio’s motto Ars Gratia Artis, a Latin terms which means arts for art’s sake (per Wiki). It evokes the grandeur and glamour of Hollywood’s golden age, though perhaps not as fresh and edgy as some newer studio logos such as Focus Features, Pixar or Lionsgate.

The studio has released hundreds of movies since its inception in 1924, though it never quite reclaim its glory and box office prowess it had in the 30s. Many of their movies remain beloved classics to this day, such as 12 Angry Men, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ben-Hur, Doctor Zhivago, Gone with the Wind, North By Northwest, Singing in the Rain, West Side Story, and of course, those James Bond movies.

If I have to list my top five favorite MGM movies, I’d probably go with this:

  • Ben-Hur
  • Casino Royale
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Return to Me
  • The Living Daylights

You can see all of MGM movies either on their official site or on Wikipedia. Now tell me what are your top five favorite MGM movies?

31-Days Movie Meme: Day 1 and 2

Another month, another meme. Andrew over at Encore Entertainment posted this 31-Days Movie Meme on Sunday, and the idea is to post on a given topic daily, i.e. Sequel that should not have been made, Favorite romantic couple, Freakishly weird movie ending, etc. You can see the full list on his post.

I think this is a great idea for a meme, though I surely can’t commit to ALL 31 days! But I’ll do a post at least once or twice a week if the topics interest me. Well, without further ado, I’m starting with the Day 1 and 2 in one post.

Day 01 – Sequel that should not have been made
Now that would have to be Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). I love the Indy franchise and who doesn’t love the rugged Harrison Ford in his best, funnest role ever, so when the movie came out I couldn’t wait to see it. Alas, other than the theme song, there isn’t much that the 4th sequel retain from its predecessors. Not even the great Cate Blanchett as the Russian villain could’ve made a dent in this movie, but the real blunder is the script, it’s as if that kid from the 2nd sequel had written it as a school paper! The ludicrous ending was the crowning atrocity of an already insufferable piece of work. Might as well just have the alien hand Indy a light saber and tell him “I’m Your Father” and the agony will be complete. The only good thing that comes out of this is that I don’t have to bother adding a fourth one to my Indy trilogy boxed set.

‘Honorable’ mention: Batman & Robin. Batnipples and Clooney’s idiotic, pesky grin. ‘Nuff said. But I expect a heck of a lot more from Spielberg and Lucas, so that made Indy 4 all the more painful to watch.


Day 02 – Movie that you think more people should see
Well, pretty much all five from this Cure for the common flix post I did last year. But the one I’d recommend the most is Return to Me, I dedicated a whole post for it, that’s how much I love that movie! Starring the under-appreciated Minnie Driver and the funnier-than-we-give-him-credit-for David Duchovny, I can watch this over and over again. Give it a chance. Trust me, it’ll restore your faith in the rom-com genre!

Favorite Unconventionally-Romantic Films

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, readers!
Whether or not you’re spending it with a special someone — be it spending time with friends/family or simply doing something you love — I hope your day’s filled with things that bring you joy.

As I’ve mentioned in my Friday post, below are some of my favorites that don’t exactly follow the conventional formula of courtship. I certainly would rather re-watch these ten times over before I shell out my hard earned $$ to see the ensemble crap cast rom-com Valentine’s Day in the theater (but apparently I’m in the minority as it’s the number movie at the box office this weekend.

Anyhoo, here they are:….

  • Jane Austen’s movies: Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice

    Col. Brandon & Elinor in Sense & Sensibility

    Ok, so all of Austen movies do end happily. But slow-burn romances mixed with a few misunderstandings thrown in seems to be a reliable recipe for irresistible love stories. S & S is one of my all-time favorites of all genres as it’s features not one but two bewitching characters: Elinor Dashwood & Col. Brandon, whose love for Edward Ferrars and Marianne Dashwood respectively seems for a time hopelessly unrequited. But that doesn’t make them bitter or unkind, in fact, their love seems to exemplify this Bible verse: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4 … Though I’ve seen this movie a gazillion times, the scene towards the end where Elinor’s whimpering uncontrollably as she can’t contain her emotion any longer never fails to get me sobbing as well!

    On a related note, I adore Persuasion‘s story of second chance at love, though since the 1995’s version with Ciaran Hinds, there hasn’t been a decent film adaptation. The BBC version left much to be desired, mostly the lack of chemistry between the two leads (though hunky Rupert Penry-Jones makes for a striking leading man) and uninspired direction – having the heroine Anne Elliot running about town is just plain silly. With a ton of trite remakes of flicks that shouldn’t even be made in the first place, I long to see the beguiling love story between Anne and Capt. Wentworth gets a chance to come alive again on the big screen!
    ….

  • BBC’s miniseries North & South
    Mill owner John Thornton and Margaret Hale didn’t meet cute the way most rom-coms start with. In fact, they met under the most brutal of circumstances as she witnessed him beat the living daylight out of his mill employee. But love works in mysterious ways. Evidently nothing – not his possessive mother, initial prejudices, even economic collapse – can keep these two apart. When we saw this on one of our gals’ monthly movie nites, every girl in the room pretty much fell for Richard Armitage’s mesmerizing Mr. Thornton. Thornton and Margaret’s restrained passion definitely gives P&P’s beloved couple Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth Bennett a serious run for their money! If I were to make a list of best movie kisses like Hatter did, this breathtaking one at the end of this miniseries definitely takes the cake.


  • A Walk in the Clouds
    Whaddayaknow, one of my favorites Keanu Reeve’s movies is a chick flick! He isn’t the most expressive actors of the bunch, but he’s quite convincing here as a soldier who finds love when he least expects it. Paul Sutton’s just on the way home from war to be with his wife when he bumps into (literally) Victoria Aragorn on a bus who’s pregnant out of wedlock. Paul offers to pose as her husband after she tells him her traditional father would kill her if he knew her condition. He and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón share a warm chemistry, and the lush and romantic scenery of the Napa vineyards she aptly refers to as ‘the clouds’ definitely gets you in head-in-the-clouds frame of mind.
    ….
  • P.S. I Love You
    I’m still puzzled as to why the critics hate this movie so much. Everyone I talked to, even my guy friends + my hubby, actually enjoyed it, even if they won’t openly admit so. The opening scene of a married couple bickering in their apartment is both funny, sweet and surprisingly real. I also LOVE the catchy tune Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken by Camera Obscura in the beginning credits! At first I thought Hillary Swank is miscast in the role of Holly but given the weighty subject of dealing with the loss of a husband, she actually offers the right balance of pathos and exuberance her character needs. Gerry Butler follows his ultra-machismo role in 300 by playing the goofy but tender-hearted dead husband. The flashback scenes show him at his funniest and most appealing, he’s so darn charming you’ll be more than willing to forgive him for his ghastly Irish accent 🙂 The best part is, I love how this movie leaves the ending open for possibilities, instead of rushing to pair Holly with another soul mate that sweeps her off her feet.

  • Lost in Translation
    Arguably one of Bill Murray’s best roles – and perhaps Scarlett Johansson’s as well – it’s a poignant tale of an unlikely friendship of a jaded movie star and a young neglected newlywed that grew into something more. I know this movie’s kind of an acquired taste as some people actually loathe it, but I though it’s not exactly ‘entertaining’ from start to finish, this movie had me in tears both in laughter and sadness. The ‘lip my stocking’ and other thigh-slapping scenes are obviously hilarious, but they’re not just ‘ha-ha’ funny as they’re tinged with heartache. Their unconsummated May-December romance is heartfelt and beautifully acted, and the unsugar-coated ending is exquisitely touching.
  • Return to Me
    I’ve written a whole post dedicated to this movie for good reason. The relationship of Bob & Grace is as unconventional as they come, and David Duchovny and Minnie Driver definitely deserves a spot in top ten movie couples list..
    ….
  • (500) Days of Summer (full review)
    I don’t think I need to explain this one. Billed as the anti rom-com, it’s a fresh and inventive look at relationship and how expectations hardly ever translate to reality. Great performances, witty script and innovative direction makes this one of the best modern love story of this generation.
  • Roman Holiday
    I absolutely adore this movie! The best love story is the unexpected kind, and neither Princess Anne nor American reporter Joe Bradley ever set out to fall for each other. Two extremely charismatic actors, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, plus the enchanting city of Rome they wander though makes for a lovely, whimsical and downright romantic classic. Despite the dreamy quality, I love how this movie has the good sense of not resorting to some fanciful, far-fetched denouement. In fact, the movie is all the more sweeter and meaningful because of it.
    ….
  • The Painted Veil
    Unlike a lot of romances, this one actually happens after the wedding.
    The story takes place in China in the 1920s, which tells the story of a mid-class doctor (Ed Norton) who marries an upper-class woman (Naomi Watts) and moves to Shanghai. As I said in my full review, it’s a rare gem that tells a wonderful human drama without being too cutesy or overly romantic. Love is more than a bed of roses or candlelit dinner, sometimes it’s mystifying and even thorny, but always worth fighting for.
  • Somewhere in Time
    For the hopeless romantic in all of us, this fantastical time-travel love story gets me every time. It’s an absolute requirement to have a box of tissue handy when you watch this movie. Forget Lois Lane. Christopher Reeve’s most heartbreaking movie romance is with Jane Seymour, as he won’t let the 60-year span between them get in the way.

    After falling in love with a photo of the beautiful actress Elise McKenna, playwright Richard Collier self-hypnotizes and wills himself to be transported back to 1912. He ends up meeting the woman of his dreams and they fall in love, but between Elise’s jealous manager (Christopher Plummer) and the time matter itself, can their love survive? If you’re not moved by John Barry’s lush score and the haunting Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini that runs throughout the film, you ought to check your pulse.

….
I realize with a list like this, I probably commit a ‘sin of omission’ either because my memory fails me, or I simply have not had the pleasure of seeing those you don’t see on this list, as some fellow bloggers have already pointed out last Friday.

So readers, what else have I missed? Please sound off in the comment section.

What I’m thankful for: My loving husband

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! Thought I’d take the time to reflect on what I’m really, really thankful for this year. There are too many really, the fact that I get to live another day and have a job, family, friends… this blog =) Those are all abundant blessings I can’t ever take for granted. And the one thing I know I’ll always be grateful for is my caring husband, and the fact that I’ve been married to him for the past seven years. No seven-year-itch or anything of the sort, thankfully.

So, as a tribute to my great hubby, here are five wonderful movie husbands any woman would be blessed to have. The movie itself may not be perfect, but the husband portrayed here certainly seems that way.

  • John Rolfe – The New World
    Chris Bale as John Rolfe

    The Pocahontas-inspired story actually centers on her love affair with Capt. John Smith (Colin Farrell). But it’s the last twenty minutes of the 2.5-hour movie that touched me the most. Christian Bale’s John Rolfe fell in love with the grieving young woman after losing her first love, and eventually married her. His brief scenes with her show how patient and loving he was towards her, even until the end when their love is tested. Their scenes together are definitely one I can watch over and over again. It’s a testament of that Bale can play a hopeless romantic convincingly. I wish he’d tackle this type of role more often!

  • Paul Child – Julie & Julia
    This movie is definitely all about the heroine that is Julia Child. But just like the phrase ‘behind a great man, there is a good woman,’ the same can be true vice versa. Paul Child was a loving and sympathetic husband who stood by Julia even before she became famous, and even when fame beckoned, he’s still supportive of her instead of becoming jealous of it like a lot of men would.
  • Duke – The Notebook
    James Gardner’s Duke shows how love transcends devastating circumstances. He never gave up reading their love stories over and over again to his Alzheimer-stricken wife Allie (Gena Rowland), giving us a whole new meaning and inspiration to what ‘in sickness and in health’ marital promise is all about.
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  • Gerry Kennedy – P.S. I Love You
    Gerard Butler might be a player, but he sure can play a dreamy husband, dead or alive. Hilary Swank’s Holly can be quite a pill but Gerry handle her rants and mood swings in stride and sense of humor. His love for her even transcends death as he leaves notes from the afterlife to help her move on. Plus, any husband who’s willing to do this silly but sexy strip dance absolutely deserves to be on this list.
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  • Bob Rueland – Return to Me
    In this movie, David Duchovny doesn’t play the role of a husband for very long but in those brief scenes, he makes for such an adorable and supportive partner to his zoologist wife. He’s funny, charming, and sweet as can be. When he suddenly lost her, his grief was genuinely moving and heartbreaking that we all root for him to find love again. When he does, he was the epitome of a perfect boyfriend, too, which is a far cry from the womanizer role he plays in Californication.