Saturday, February 11, 2012

Romance Special continued: Garrett's top romantic movies

You've read about Spike Marlowe's favorite romantic movies, and here are mine, some traditional, some unorthodox, but all, in my opinion, the best.

1. Vertigo

The sexiest Hitchcock movie. A film that's intense and nuanced at the same time with no simple explanations or easy solutions for any of its characters. Jimmy Stewart losing his mind is a beautiful thing. Kim Novak driving him to distraction is an even more beautiful thing. It's a film that poses questions that are important to answer in any relationship. Questions about whether we can actually love someone or we can only love the self they project and if the self we project can break a lover's heart and our own heart alike. If you haven't seen this, you're losing out on a great, tragic romance.

2.Say Anything

Lloyd Dobler (Jon Cusack)is a likable but shiftless slacker. Diane (Ione Skye) is the valedictorian. Their relationship is a teen movie cliche, but there's a lot more to it. Say Anything is about two young people discovering life and love and what they find out isn't what you'd expect and isn't what other romantic comedies would tell you. Say Anything is about how there is no outright solution to life, how the answers and the values instilled in you aren't necessarily the be-all and end-all. It's ending, a sort of riff on that of The Graduate conveys how relationships take you to scary places, how growing up brings you to scary places, but together a couple can survive them. In a genre that thrives on everything being just so, this is a movie that stays romantic but tells it like it is in regards to life's uncertainties.

3.The Abominable Dr. Phibes

You're probably going to think I've gone out of my fucking mind. This violent cult curiosity and horror masterwork seems an unlikely choice for one of the most romantic movies. This is a movie about real devotion. A mute beauty's devotion to her misshapen master. A man's devotion to his dead wife. There's nothing more romantic than avenging your loved one's death in ludicrous, gory ways like having them devoured by locusts and exsanguinating them completely. Every time I see this movie, it makes me wish that I could buy vendetta insurance so anybody who accidentally kills someone I love will have to face my impractical steampunky vengeance.

4. Bringing Up Baby

One of the great screwball romantic comedies. Cary Grant is a paleontologist. Katherine Hepburn is a nuisance. They seem like an unlikely couple. In fact, as charming and sweet as Hepburn's character is, Grant would have to be out of his mind to fall for her. But somehow in spite of everything, these two end up together, having survived a ridiculous ordeal and seen the best and the worst in each other. And that's one of the things that love is really about. It might have been a prototype for a lot of stupid and cliche romantic comedies in the future, but it's message, its entertainment value and you know...a fucking leopard make it one of the best and most entertaining romances.

My Least Favorite

And here are two movies that I don't recommend bringing anywhere near your special romantic evening. These two nasty pieces of work from great directors leave me with a bad taste in my mouth and an ache in my heart.


Is there anything more erotic than watching a sociopathic dick get away with murdering an innocent young woman? Murder can be sensual. Murder can be an exciting transgressive meeting of Eros and Thanatos. Or it can be disgustingly banal and sad, the sort of shit that's "ripped from the headlines". This movie is about as erotic as sitting on a hot steampipe and watching this movie, it feels like Woody Allen's parents made him sit naked on this very steampipe. This is not a sultry noir full of Scarlett Johannsen sex. This is about an awful person who does awful things and ends up killing to maintain a life of respectability. If this film gets your heart or your hardon aflutter then you might want to consider committing yourself.

2.Talk to Her

Ah, Almodovar. A master of bad romance. Until seeing Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down! I hated this director like I hate broccoli and fascism. And I hate broccoli and fascism. The reason I developed this hatred was Talk to Her, a harrowing film about a man who is in love with a matador in a coma. Makes you want to rush out and buy it right now, huh? Sounds like an exciting, sexy time. It isn't. It seems to say that the ideal relationship paradigm is nonparticipation. Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down! is a claustrophobic romance as well, but not nearly so claustrophobic as Talk to Her and has the charm of Antonio Banderas to keep it afloat. Talk to Her does not. By the end of the film, I felt like I was about to fall into a coma, or would be better off being in one.

If you'd like to further make use of my expertise in the arts of romance,you can order a custom sonnet from me. Tell me the name of your loved one and two things about them and for only five dollars, you can get your own one of a kind sonnet. FIND OUT MORE

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