9 of the Greatest Ever Movie Love Stories ...

By Neecey

We all have our own ideas about what makes the greatest movie love stories. For me, it has to be characters who are believable and whom I can relate to and empathise with, a grounding of reality (i.e. a story that is too fantastical just doesn’t cut it) and a brilliant storyline that sends my own emotions on a roller coaster of deep despair and soaring joy. I love it when love triumphs adversity, but I can also appreciate a not so happy ending when lovers are parted by design or circumstance, thwarted by fate or interference. Here’s my favorite movie love stories. I wonder how many are your favorites too?

1 The Shop around the Corner

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Unless you’re a fan of old Hollywood movies you probably won’t have heard of this one, but you will know the story very well because it was made as “You’ve Got Mail.” No matter how much you like the modern take, it just does not compare to the original in my opinion, which remains one of the greatest movie love stories. There’s just something far more believable about James Stewart and Maureen O’Hara than Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (whom I’ve never been a fan of anyway).

2 Love Story

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

If you want sad endings in your movie love stories, you will need a whole box of tissues for this one. If a film has the nerve to be called Love Story, it has to live up to it, don’t you think? Well this one does. And, unlike so many films from the '70s (I don’t know why this applies so much to this decade) that look tired and old-fashioned, Love Story is timeless. It’s the classic premise of spoiled rich kid meets kid from the other side of the tracks and despite their differences, love flourishes.

3 Moulin Rouge

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Oh what a joy this film is. It is one of the great modern movie love stories. It is loud and brash and colorful and charming and sentimental and bursting with romance. And who knew Ewan McGregor had that soaring rich velvety voice in him? This movie is a complete assault on the senses and I just lap it all up. The characterizations are really strong and beautifully portrayed by McGregor and Nicole Kidman and I never can resist those really sad endings. A rocking soundtrack adds to the fun.

4 The Notebook

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

I have to confess, I only saw this for the first time a couple of weeks ago, but it certainly left a major impression. I work at home and the TV is usually on as background noise. I actually stopped working (wow – such a rare occurrence) to sit and watch this movie. I must be some kind of masochist because I really enjoy the very saddest love stories. The Notebook is everything movie love stories should be; found love, lost love, refound love only to lose it again (the latter with an interesting twist on the usual). It is beautiful, happy and sad and ultimately, heart wrenching.

5 West Side Story

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Oh joy of joys. This brilliant movie took the Oscar for Best Picture in 1962 and rightly so (It actually won 10 in all). This is magnificent in every sense of the word. There have been many, many versions and takes on the greatest love story ever told – Romeo and Juliet – down the years, but using it as the basis for a musical makes this one of the best ever movie love stories. The fact that you know it is going to end in tragedy is forgotten as you are carried along on the most stupendous musical journey. If you think Romeo and Juliet is old hat, refresh it by watching this masterpiece.

6 Dr. Zhivago

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

The master of cinematic atmosphere – David Lean – really knew how to make snow magical. And I’m sorry, Keira Knightley, but your TV movie version doesn’t even come close to the original. In the role that he will always be remembered for, Omar Sharif is outstanding as the doctor who falls in love with a political activist’s wife against the bloody and tumultuous backdrop of the Russian Revolution. Boris Pasternak wrote a brilliant story and they did full justice to it with the movie.

7 Breakfast at Tiffany’s

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

I heard you asking if any more of my favorite movie love stories were going to have a happy ending – well here’s one! But, we have to go through some pain and heartache before George Peppard finally gets his girl. Audrey Hepburn wows us all as socialite Holly Golightly who has more hats than brains, bless her. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is everything we want. A good looking leading man, a beautiful girl, a crazy, funny neighbor (Mickey Rooney is so funny), mobsters, mistresses, high fashion and NYC – what’s not to love?

8 Love Actually

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Ok, time to lighten the mood a little. Romance should be fun and heart lifting. It will be sweet for some and sour for others, but love is a merry go round and you just never know which horse might stop for you. Love Actually is a superbly crafted montage of stories intricately tied to each other by the brilliance of the master of British comedy, Richard Curtis. I just love the mix of happy and sad in this movie and who wouldn’t love that photo collage at the end?

9 Casablanca

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Regularly appearing as number one in the list of greatest movie love stories, Casablanca is an absolute classic and one of the most quoted movies of all time. If you have never seen Casablanca, please watch it. I’m sorry to tell you that is another of my choices that has a sad ending but there’s an act of selflessness that is uplifting – trust me! It fully deserved its 3 Oscars in 1944 and I, for one, will never understand why Bogey was only nominated but didn’t win.

How many of these great movie love stories are among your favorites? In case you’re wondering – tenth on my list would be Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of other choices. I’d love to know which ones.

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