We've already given you five great movies for Valentine’s Day viewing, but it was so hard to pick only five. Whatever kind of movie you’re looking for to share with someone special – something classic or something edgy – you will surely find something to enjoy among these five utterly romantic movies.
City Lights (1931)
Sound had well and truly come to the cinema when Charles Chaplin made his silent classic City Lights. The director and star’s decision to stick to the slapstick style that made him a household name only serves to make City Lights even more sweet and beautiful. Chaplin plays his trademark Tramp character, who one day meets a blind girl selling flowers on the street. An unusual series of events lead to the flower girl thinking that her new acquaintance is a millionaire, a charade that the tramp is able to maintain after saving the life of an actual millionaire. City Lights is as funny as anything else Chaplin ever made, and also a perfect example of his optimism and love of life that never feels saccharine or forced.
All that Heaven Allows (1955)
Hollywood director Douglas Sirk’s films, most of them tear-stained melodramas, were critically maligned when first released, but have since become enormously influential and highly regarded. The years have done nothing to tarnish the gorgeously autumnal All that Heaven Allows, the story of Cary Scott (Jane Wyman), an older widow who falls for her handsome landscaper Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson). The couple’s disparity in age is fuel for neighbourhood gossip, and even Cary’s own children are embarrassed and made a social pariah due to her mother’s alleged indiscretions. All that Heaven Allows is an archetypical melodramatic weepie, so if you’re looking for something a bit edgier, it was also adapted in German as Ali: Fear Eats the Soul in 1974, and as Far from Heaven in 2002.
The debut feature from Terrence Malick, who would go on to international acclaim with The Thin Red Line, The New World and The Tree of Life, Badlands is a dreamlike and profoundly affecting story of love on the run. Sissy Spacek stars as teenager Holly, whose flowery love poetry soundtracks in voiceover her run from the law with her boyfriend Kit (Martin Sheen) following their murder of Holly’s father. This astonishing film is an atmospheric and surprisingly beautiful re-imagination of teenage love in a post Rebel Without a Cause world. The most incredible scene is when Holly and Kit dance to Nat “King” Cole bathed in the light of their car headlights in the middle of a deserted field.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Sofia Coppola’s masterpiece is barely a love story. It’s barely even a story. The gentle and delicate film is a gorgeous evocation of a blossoming connection drowned out by the noise of modern day Tokyo – by the roar of trains, karaoke bars, strip clubs and pachinko parlours. Scarlett Johansson stars as Charlotte, who has come to Tokyo with her photographer husband John (Giovanni Ribisi), only to find herself spending a lot of her time alone. She meets famous actor Bob Harris (Bill Murray), who is in Tokyo shooting whiskey commercials, and the two immediately become fast friends, and perhaps more than that. With a moody and impressionistic indie rock soundtrack and jaw-dropping cinematography, Lost in Translation is a gentle whisper of a movie that continues to echo long after it ends.
Acclaimed anime director Hayao Miyazaki directed this poignant animated tale inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid. Ham-loving fish-girl Brunhilde is one of the many daughters of scientist and/or wizard Fujimoto who craves to live on land. Breaking away one day, she finds herself stuck in a bottle, only to be rescued by the inquisitive Sōsuke and given the name Ponyo. The delicate ocean ecosystem is cast into disarray as the surprisingly powerful and magical Ponyo expresses her desire to live on land with Sōsuke, who she believes to be her true love. Ponyo is a sweet and innocent, but supremely moving and powerful tale of the transformative, earth-shattering power of real love.
If you want to head out to see a movie on Valentine's Day, there are plenty of great options, like 2 tickets for $20 at Dendy (we recommend Carol or Brooklyn!), Breakfast at Tiffany's at Moonlight Cinema, or French New Wave classic Breathless at Golden Age Cinema and Bar. Plus heaps more!