Movies are to romance what Rough Guides are to adventure, right? Visions of how good life could be if you took the right paths instead of just drinking in the hotel bar all night. By that logic, if you watch enough rom-coms you, theoretically, should know how to get the most out of relationships - and life. And everything would be wonderful! Take One Day, for example.
Lone Scherfig’s adaptation of David Nicholls’ much-loved book has got to be the strongest example of how not to lead your life. So, if you just do everything opposite to Em and Dex, you’ll be happy and in love quicker than you can say 'best film eva.'
Of course that’s what makes One Day one of the most romantic stories of recent times - the two leads realise too damn late how perfect they are to each other. Argh! It’s enough to make you want to quit your day job waiting tables in a Mexican restaurant.
Featuring a stellar cast lead by Academy-Award Nominee Anne Hathaway and Brit Jim Sturgess, the film showcases an array of home-grown British including hilarious and heart-breaking turns by Rafe Spall (Shaun of the Dead) and Romola Garai (Atonement). It’s out on Blu-ray and DVD from 6th February. Can’t wait.
To toast the film’s release, we look back at some of the most romantic moments on film EVA!!
- One Day (2011)
When Em hugs Dex in London’s Soho and tells him 'I love you, Dex, so much. I just don't like you anymore,' your heart just feels like giving up. You want to scream at Dex 'shape up! Lay off the coke and be the man Emma needs! Quickly - time is precious!'
Sorry, got a bit worked up there. Following the story of Emma (Hathaway) and Dexter (Sturgess), who meet on the day of their university graduation, July 15th 1988, the film catches up with the pair on the same day for the next 20 years as they experience the highs and lows of adulthood both together and apart.
A tale of best friends, regret, missed opportunities and ultimately love - One Day needs to be seen again, in your own home, with a brand new pack of Kleenex and maybe some Ben and Jerry’s.
- Brief Encounter (1945)
Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard meet in a suburban railway café. Their love is instant, but there’s one snag = they’re both married, to other people.
Their repressed romance is confined to lunches and daytime cinema trips until it’s over before it began when Howard’s character is forced to take a job overseas.
It all ends as it began, much too quickly, in that crowded railway café. Says she to him: 'I want to die. If only I could die.' He responds 'If you’d die, you’d forget me, I want to be remembered.' Thanks to David Lean’s masterful film, the couple that never was will never be forgotten.
- It Happened One Night (1934)
Spoiled newspaper heiress Ellie (Claudette Colbert) runs away from her Murdoch-like father only to bump into a conniving, but charming newspaper reporter Peter (Clark Gable) on the greyhound bus.
This depression-era set farce is the original rom-com, with Ellie and Peter’s mutual distrust morphing into love as they traverse the country meeting various oddbods.
It ends with a once stridently independent Ellie telling Peter 'I can't let you go out of my life now. I cannot live without you."
If you need any more convincing, It Happened One Night is one of only three films to take the top four Oscars - for best film, direction and acting. Colbert’s hair is also amazing.
- When Harry Met Sally (1989)
"Men and women can never be friends because the sex part always gets in the way," Harry (Billy Crystal) smugly tells Sally (Meg Ryan) as they embark on a New York City-based relationship that spans several decades.
Despite Sally’s reservations, Harry’s decree proves correct - Harry and Sally cannot be friends, the sex part, and then the love part very much gets in the way.
Nora Ephron’s script is as hilarious and heart-warming as it is sooth-saying and true. A terrific movie that’s as powerful when you’re with someone as when you’re single.
- Annie Hall (1977)
Annie Hall is a funny one (literally). After all, Annie (Diane Keaton) and Alvie (Woody Allen) don’t end up together but they have some of the best ‘old times’ any couple could ever wish to have.
There’s that scene with the lobster - Alvie and Annie scuttle and shriek over the creepy crustaceans - the time Jewish Alvie spends Easter with Annie’s WASPish family (Christopher Walken plays Annie’s suicidal brother to a tee) and their hilariously awkward introduction to Toney Lacey (Paul Simon) LA mansion.
In the end of course, the film makes you wonder what the point is in having relationships. Explains Alvie as this magical film concludes: 'They’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd but I guess we keep going through it because most of us...need the eggs.'
One Day is out on Blu-ray and DVD from 6th February