Movies to move you | VailDaily.com
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Movies to move you

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily
ALL |

Women openly cry and men secretly fight back tears while watching them.

“I’ve got something in my eye,” is the most common reason a guy will give for that stray tear during a romantic movie, but everybody knows the truth.

Enjoying some quality time with your significant other this Valentines Day is a great excuse to get all gushy and doe-eyed, but after you’ve given each other the flowers, chocolates and stuffed animals, pop in one of the following flics and cuddle up on the couch or the bed ” whichever is closer to the TV.

“Say Anything” is equal parts scripted angst and captured reality; it’s also the movie that made John Cusack the model male for romantic-minded women everywhere. When the average Lloyd Dobler (Cusack) falls for the overachieving and beautiful Diane Court (Lone Skye), their relationship soon falls victim to a variety of obstacles, most notably Diane’s scholarship to study in England and her father’s IRS investigation. As expected, her father (John Mahoney), doesn’t approve of ole Lloyd and they soon break up, but the kid is relentless in his pursuit of true love. This leads to the iconic scene with a trench coat-clad Lloyd holding a boom box over his head under Diane’s window while trying to win her back with Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” playing full volume. Now a pop culture essential, “Say Anything” is a revealing look at how “true love” is often hindered by real life and things beyond our control.

Nothing can come between lovers like death. But in this case, not even death is enough to keep Sam (Patrick Swayze) and Molly (Demi Moore) apart. Sam and Molly are the perfect New York City couple ” artistic, good looking and likable ” making it all the more heartbreaking when Sam is murdered during a robbery gone wrong.

Sam soon discovers his friend Carl (Tony Goldwyn) is involved in a money laundering scheme and has paid his killer to get the password to his work computer to access the company’s accounts. Knowing that Carl will soon go after Molly for the information, Sam lures fake psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) into helping him alert Molly to the danger. In the end, Carl is thwarted and demons scoop up his soul for a visit to Hell while Molly and Sam say one last good-bye before the door between worlds closes for good. Whoopi plays the comic relief in a movie otherwise dripping with dramatic and romantic tension. And then there’s that part with Moore and Swayze at the pottery wheel, one of the most unforgettable love scenes in cinematic history. If your boyfriend is a human being, he will cry too.

Arguably Woody Allen’s best movie ever, “Annie Hall” is a candid examination of a doomed relationship. Allen plays Alvy Singer, a neurotic and nerdy comedian who has somehow managed to land Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), a beautiful, outgoing city woman. Most of the movie is about the two overcoming their hang-ups with themselves and each other with a lot of snappy banter and funny flashback scenes, but eventually they split up and Annie moves to L.A. and in with another man (Paul Simon). In typical love-story fashion, Alvy realizes that he truly loves Annie and can’t live without her so he sets off to California to get her back. Almost anybody who has ever gone through the whole friends-to-lovers-to-friends-again relationship syndrome will be able to relate to this humorous and honest look at maturity through lost love.

Some forward-thinking man finally realized that not all romance movies have to cater to girls. You can have a rugged leading man, beautiful female lead, murder, mystery, international espionage, bar fights and Nazis crammed into a film and still have it be about love. That’s exactly what director Michael Curtiz did over 60 years ago when he gave the world “Casablanca,” a movie that men and women can agree on without remorse.

Humphrey Bogart’s portrayal of Rick Blaine, a smoking, drinking nightclub owner with a heart of gold, gave women something to swoon over while men could admire his tough-guy demeanor. Enter Blaine’s ex-lover, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) who is now married to Laszlo, a Czech resistance fighter running from Nazis. The plot is full of twists and turns, betrayals and back stabbings that slowly come to a boil in the last few scenes. Bergman loves both her husband and Blaine, and is torn between the two, but in the end, Bogart makes sure that reason prevails. He puts Lund and Laszlo on a plane to escape Casablanca so they can continue to fight the Nazis and be with each other. “Casablanca” spawned many quotable lines and won many awards, but it will always be remembered as a movie where love triumphs over selfishness and evil.

I resisted this movie for years based simply on the fact that every girl I ever talked to said that it was their favorite love movie ever. Listening to their claims of the great sadness and accompanying rivers of tears that this movie provoked was as exciting to me as watching reruns of “The Golden Girls” with my mother.

I finally caved in and watched it only to find that it was a rather good movie, and I could totally see why girls could eat it up so quickly. First of all, they have Ryan Gosling to look at, but we have Rachel McAdams. Then there is all the Southern love story stuff; Noah Calhoun (Gosling) and Allie Hamilton (McAdams) falling for each other in innocent times, torn apart by family differences and war. After reuniting seven years later, they discover that while much has changed between them, their love for each other still burns. The movie’s twist ending is the best and saddest part of the whole affair, even though most will see it coming a mile away. The biggest lesson learned from watching this film is that true love is not all fun and romance, it’s often a draining process of hard work and determination that only the two involved will understand.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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