My Top Ten Favorite Romantic Movies
I know everyone likes top ten lists—I can’t keep myself from wanting to know who like which books or movies best, and I realized I haven’t thought about my favorite romantic movies in quite a while. I don’t go to movies very often these days. Between a full time day job in the theatre, and a full time job writing romances, my time is pretty well spent (throw in some food and a very little bit of sleep). But now and again, I do get out to see a movie or more likely watch one through Direct TV. So here is my current list of fave Romantic Movies. (I’m taking this rather loosely, considering the guidelines of romance writing and the need for an HEA. Not all of these movies end happily, but they are very romantic nevertheless!)
These are in no special order, except for the first one, which is my all-time favorite romantic comedy.
1. Notting Hill. The proposal at the end makes me catch my breath each time I see this. Love It!
2. Bridget Jones’s Diary. Very funny and awesome. And the end, again, is just heart-tugging.
3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. A new favorite because of the proposal scene between Lizzie and Darcy. Priceless!
4. Titanic. Yeah, no HEA, but killer romance nonetheless.
5. Kate and Leopold. Who cannot love Hugh Jackman in this role? He makes me want to go back to 19th century New York!
6. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The sword fight at the end is spectacular, and I just love all the things he does for her. Plus, the medieval period is my favorite and I love the production values of the movie.
7. It Happened One Night. An oldie but a goody. Funny as crap, and yes, very romantic. I always wanted to see it done as a remake with George Clooney and Renee Zellwiger.
8. Shakespeare in Love. YES! God, so witty, so romantic, so funny. I adore Tom Stoppard’s writing, and of course the cast is stunning. Makes you want to fall in love—with Shakespeare if on one else.
9. Gone With the Wind. Classic. Maybe the first romance I ever read. Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. Again, no HEA, but boy, what a romance.
10. You’ve Got Mail. I loved them in Sleepless in Seattle, but the love/hate relationship in YGM is just over the top romantic for me.
As a writer, I use movies to assess how people in love act, what they say, how they react to one another. So movies are a great resource for any writer to help bring our characters to life and to that “happy-ever-after.”
I love your list Jenna. Some of mine which you didn't have on yours is The Notebook and PS I Love You. Maybe because of the HEA's but they both are my go to movies when I need a dose of romance!
Destitute and without friends, Violet Carlton is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another . . .
Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves. . . .
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Footsteps approached once more, slowed, stopped.
Violet’s heart pounded, her rapid breathing keeping pace. The huge bed to her right drew her attention for perhaps the hundredth time. Was this the moment? She seized the arms of the velvet chair, fighting to hold herself in place. Her nails sank into the soft fabric as she struggled to slow her breaths.
The handle lowered.
Her head came up, back straight, forced smile plastered on her face as the door opened wide and she caught a glimpse of the man who had bought her for the night. Madame Vestry had informed her this morning that one of her regular customers had responded favorably to her invitation—she’d actually called it an invitation—and for Violet to make herself available in the green room at eight o’clock tonight.
She’d not been told who he was and somehow it mattered little to her she did not know the name of the man about to ruin her. One of the house rules forbade her to ask. If the gentleman offered his name, that was his business. The other girls had told her if she needed to put a name to the face, to think of customers as “Lord John.”
This Lord John entered the small room in a swirl of black fur and sandalwood, the spicy scent tickling Violet’s nose, making it twitch.
She tipped her head back and looked up into the swarthy face. Dark hair and piercing blue eyes, a strong jaw, and a long, straight nose. Too tall, though. He was too tall for her. The ridiculousness of the irrational thought broke through her lethargy. She forced herself up out of the chair as he strode toward her.
The smile curling his full lips would have been charming had not the gleam in his eyes betrayed his lustful intent.
“Good evening, Cassandra.” His deep baritone voice sent a frisson of dread through her. “Such a lovely name for a lovely temptress.”
“What pleasure may I give you this evening, my lord?” The words came out flat, but by God, she’d gotten them out. Now to remain standing and not faint. One small goal at a time. She stared at the wide expanse of blue velvet jacket barely two inches from her face.
He ran the back of his hand along her cheek and goose flesh pimpled her whole body. “I do hope the pleasure will be mutual, my dear.”
Violet jerked back from his caress. Her gaze, firmly fixed on the gold buttons of his jacket, now shot to his face, expecting a leer. How could he suggest she might enjoy being debauched?
His dark brows had puckered into a surprised frown, almost reproachful. He lowered his hand.
Dear God. She couldn’t refuse him anything. Lord John owned her for the night. Whatever he wanted to do to her, be it lewd touch or soft caress, she had to submit. No matter she wanted to scream, or cry, or pummel his chest. Curse him for being a depraved wretch who reveled in her misfortunes.
That wasn’t fair. She returned her gaze to his chest. Despite her misery, she couldn’t blame him for her misfortunes or her decision to come here. He was a man bent on the usual pleasures of men, and she needed the patronage of such men to survive. If he wanted her to be pleased, then she would convince him of her pleasure. A leaden weight settled over her, grounding her. She tipped back her head and smiled at him, the practiced false smile that showed her teeth. “Then I am certain we shall both be pleased, my lord.”
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical in all time periods because passion is timeless. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as Vice-President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has three series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France.
She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.
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