We all know that The Princess Bride is the greatest fantasy-romance movie ever made. (You can have a different opinion, but do know that opinion is wrong.) However, there are several other horror, science fiction, and fantasy movies that are great to create a romantic mood. So, if you’d like to try a different movie for this year’s Valentine’s Day, here is a great list for you.
Based on Neil Gaiman’s 1997 novel, Stardust was brought to the screen by Matthew Vaughn as the director and co-writer, and by Jane Goldman as a co-writer. The movie stars Claire Danes as Yvaine, a fallen star, Charlie Cox as Tristan Thorn, Michelle Pfeiffer as a witch named Lami, and Robert De Niro as the captain of a pirate ship that can fly. (The ship, not the captain). This movie also features several other actors who would go on to incredible careers.
The story itself begins when Tristan Thorn promises to retrieve a fallen star. Upon realizing that the fallen star is a woman and that others are after her, Tristan and Yvaine find themselves on an adventure through a magical landscape in which they have to survive witches and other dangers. In the process, Stardust becomes a love story that is magical in every sense of the word. If you can find this movie, watch it for Valentine’s Day.
“You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn’t true. I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate… It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves… You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional.
But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and… What I’m trying to say, Tristan is… I think I love you. Is this love, Tristan? I never imagined I’d know it for myself. My heart… It feels like my chest can barely contain it.
Like it’s trying to escape because it doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I’d wish for nothing in exchange – no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine” – Yvaine, a fallen star, played by Claire Danes
Although this legendary cinematic masterpiece is more a coming of age/heroine’s journey tale. There is something to be said for the romance between Sarah (Jennifer Connolly) and Jareth (David Bowie). For many teenage girls in the ‘80s, Bowie’s portrayal of the Goblin King was the ultimate adolescent fantasy.
While Jareth’s behavior towards Sarah is manipulative and infantilizing by 21st century standards, it’s hard not to feel at least a little sympathy for him.
With all his power and magic Jareth is unable to achieve the one thing he wants more than anything; Sarah’s love. He drugs her, hypnotizes her and attempts to intimidate her to attain this. At the film’s climax, the Goblin King becomes aware that he is just a figment of Sarah’s imagination and can never have the relationship with her that he wants.
This bittersweet strangeness that was Bowie’s trademark is displayed brilliantly here. Furthermore, I really felt when Jareth said, “I’m exhausted from living up to your expectations.” Connolly portrays Sarah’s quiet strength and resolve very well.
There is a great Aesop here for girls and women about standing up to powerful and controlling men. Add to that a brilliant story that seamlessly weaves humour and danger and you have an excellent Valentine’s Day film. Just don’t fall into the Bog of Eternal Stench.
The Shape of Water (2017)
At a top-secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.
Written and directed by the brilliant Guillermo del Toro. ‘The Shape of Water’ is an unusual film that transcends its genre and winds up being part romance movie and part people movie. The film’s plot revolves around an unusual creature that is being held at a scientific research facility.
The film’s central relationship between the mute woman Elisa and the creature is beautifully written and brilliantly performed by both Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones. The film is a modern twist on ‘Beauty and the Beast’, but is so much more because it presents us with a group of characters that are broken in some way. Indeed the relationship that develops between Elisa and the amphibian being kind of fixes something in her.
For me. ‘The Shape of Water’ is the perfect romance movie for the kind of couple that likes to think outside the box. It’s proper brain candy.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Right now, there’s no better romantic fantasy film to watch than this. Bill Murray is superb in this, in the way that only he can be. What he adds is a lurking sadness, beneath the funny. But there’s still plenty to laugh at. With the current pandemic every day really does feel like the one before! This idea for the film is a fine one, especially when it become a way to make it a love story. For couples, watching this together might remind one another what first attracted them to their partner. So, for romance it wins hands down.
Fellow “Ghostbuster”, the late Harold Ramis directed and co-wrote this lovely, whimsical film. The role was perfectly suited to Murray, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else being able to capture what he can. That’s where Bill Murray excels, in playing the grump who is really in pain. This film sees Murray give one of his best performances, in that role. It’s wonderful, how he gently begins to fix the error of his ways, for the character played by Andie MacDowell. She also gives a fine performance, helps to make the film a true classic.
Overall, Groundhog Day (1993) provides fun, poignancy and ultimately, hope. When I watched it recently, on Amazon Prime, the next film suggested at the end was . . .Groundhog Day – of course! All these films suggested have their appeal, but for where we are right now, this has to win. Next year (hopefully) will be very different. So, take the opportunity and make it your Valentine’s 2021 Day flick!
So with all that out of the way. We here at SciFiPulse.Net wish you a Happy Valentines Day, which this year falls on a Sunday. So stay safe and have fun.