What are you planning for the most romantic day of the year? Instead of going out for dinner and a movie, how about staying in? Cook a romantic dinner and watch a movie for just you two. For this evening, let’s consider three romantic movies of the ’80s that both men and women might enjoy.
The Princess Bride (1987) with Cary Elwes and Robin Wright
Lying in bed with a cold, the little boy’s grandfather begins telling a story. After the first few sentences of the book, the little one sighs, “Ah no, is this going to be a kissing book?”
Intelligent and with perfect comedic timing, this story pokes fun at love stories and fairy tales, all the while unfolding an endearing love story. It’s this back and forth between, love, action and betrayal – with a bit of cluelessness – that really sells this as a classic comedic love story. Besides excellent casting and superb scripting, the narration of the grandfather aids in the suspension of disbelief.
Classic quotes from this movie are still bandied about today such as: “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line…ha, ha… .” At this point, the Sicilian falls over dead. “The bride tells the king – her soon-to-be father in law — that as soon as she reaches the honeymoon suite she is killing herself, to this he deadpans, “Won’t that be nice.” “As you wish,” the man-in-black yells as he rolls down a very high hill. Granted, this last line is much funnier when you see the film.
When Harry Met Sally (1989) with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal
Taking the long road traveling toward love, Harry and Sally make you wait for it. Nevertheless, the wait is worth it. They meet, dislike each other, they argue, years pass, and then they finally listen to each other. Once they finally become friends, they share everything-including Harry’s romantic conquests and his belief that they were all quite satisfied. This line of sharing leads to the quote that ranked #33 on the 2005 AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes.
Clearly irritated, Sally states, “All men are sure it never happens to them; and most women at one time or another have done it, so you do the math.” Harry smirks. Next, in a crowded delicatessen, she proves her point with the iconic, “Yes, yes, yes… ” table-pounding climax people are still taking about (video). It’s the scene that made all of us identify with a fellow diner who said, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Dirty Dancing (1987) with Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze
It seems like forbidden love draws us into a story quicker than ice cream melting on a hot summer day. Similar to Romeo and Juliet, a relationship between a doctor’s daughter and the hired help – vacation resort, dance instructor — was a no-no. Nevertheless, just as Romeo and Juliet became lovers in spite of family pressures, Baby and Johnny do as well. Happily, this is where the similarity ends.
In this story, our two lovers prevail due to their love of dancing and Baby’s blind eye to stereotypes. Through her openness and eagerness to help others, the sheer veil of our class system is revealed and falls away.
The climax of the movie begins with Johnny delivering a classic line most men in love can identify with. Even though false accusations resulted in his firing, Johnny returns to the resort to dance with Baby for their final dance. When he finds her seated in the corner of the dining room, he sneers, “No one puts Baby in the corner!” Classic. The two then stroll out to the dance floor surprising all, including her father, with a perfectly executed dance routine played out to the tune “I’ve had the time of my life”. Watch the movie and share that feeling.
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