5 Great Romance Films on Netflix

Today is Valentine’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than by watching romantic films? Even if you aren’t going to spending your Valentine’s Day with someone you love, you can celebrate by appreciating the great love stories from cinema. These are some of my favorites that are available on Netflix instant for you to watch tonight (I also just realized that four of the six films I chose deal heavily with death. I don’t know what that says about my relationship with romantic movies, but these are all really excellent, regardless).

The Apartment, 1960, dir. Billy Wilder

I developed a small crush on Jack Lemmon after watching this film for the first time. I say small because he is and always will be John Gustafson, the grumpy old man, to me, but he is so darn charming in this movie it’s impossible to not fall a little bit in love with him. Shirley Maclaine is equally as charming, and you spend the entire film rooting for them and detesting Fred MacMurray. The story is smart and quick- a young man works his way up the business ladder by letting his superiors use his apartment for evenings with their mistresses. This leads to a romantic complication.  When Jack Lemmon’s character comes to the realization of said complication, the look on his face is heartbreaking. A great film, with one of the best endings to a romantic comedy of all time.

Amélie, 2001, dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet

I can confidently make the claim that there isn’t a single movie in the world more charming than Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie. Amélie is a young Parisian girl doing her best to help those around her, and in doing so she finds herself falling in love with a photograph of a man she finds in a photo booth.

SWAYZE DOUBLE FEATURE: Dirty Dancing, 1987, dir. Emile Ardolino/Ghost, 1990, dir. Jerry Zucker

I couldn’t make a decision, so here’s two Swayze features, both are modern classics. I, ashamedly, didn’t see Ghost until last year, but I cried like a baby. That final scene really is as romantic as it’s given credit for. I’ve seen Dirty Dancing numerous times, but I just recently watched it again and remembered how great it really is (and Patrick Swayze is REMARKABLY sexy in that movie, I mean, it’ll make you weak in the knees).

Sabrina, 1954, dir. Billy Wilder

Bogart, Hepburn, Holden- it’s star-studded! My favorite Hepburn film that I’ve seen. It’s still bizarre to me that Audrey Hepburn was often put in the role of awkward, gangly brunette who isn’t immediately seen as beautiful. She’s one of the most iconic American beauties. This is a great film, though. I haven’t seen the remake with Harrison Ford and I don’t need to- this one is perfect. Isn’t it romantic?

Rent, 2005, dir. Chris Columbus

Rent is indubitably my favorite musical. I’ve never cried so hard at a musical (the I’ll Cover You reprise? I was a human waterfall). It’s full of love stories, Mimi & Roger, Collins & Angel, Maureen & Joanne, Mark & his film, it’s a perfect musical. Jonathan Larson was a genius, and his story is heartbreaking. He died unexpectedly of an aortic dissection the morning of Rent‘s first performance Off Broadway. Larson was a straight man who wrote such a touching story of addicts, homosexuals, and struggling artists in 1989 at the height of the AIDS epidemic. The fight for gay rights is, unfortunately, still an issue today. Here’s hoping that soon equal rights will actually mean equal rights and love will mean love and anyone can marry whoever they want regardless of gender.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Annie Hall (one of my favorite films of all time, the story of a break up), Love Story (sad sad sad sad sad), Big Fish (just the scenes between Ewan McGregor and Alison Lohman), Frances Ha (I would definitely include this in a Galentine’s Day list- seriously the best friendship story)

Advertisements

PLAYING DRESS-UP

Hands down the best thing about Halloween is dressing up in costume. This year, I have a couple planned. I work with first graders on Friday, and I’m planning on dressing up as Princess Unikitty from The Lego Movie for that and I’m so excited about it. If you haven’t seen The Lego Movie, you need to. It’s excellent, seriously, even for adults.

Then, on Halloween night, I’m dressing up as 2012 Rust Cohle from True Detective. My boyfriend was going to be 1995 Marty Hart, but he’s sick and bedridden for Halloween. I’ve got the arm tattoo, fake cigarette, hair for the ponytail, mustache, and my moleskin notebook. It’ll be a good one.

I’d say those costumes are on two very different ends of the spectrum. In the past, my costumes have been all over the place. Let’s explore my history in costumes*.

halloween12

In 2012, my boyfriend, Tyler, and I dressed up like 1990s club kids a la Party Monster starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green about the infamous Michael Alig. I wore a metallic silver blazer from Forever 21, a pink and white striped tank top with a teal tank top underneath, and not pictured: some angel wings I bought at a costume store, a tutu, bright blue tights with bright purple fishnet tights over them, and my white danceline boots. I also just realized that Tyler has Devon Sawa hair in that photo.

bowie

During Homecoming Week in high school, there was always “rockstar day”, and my senior year I dressed up as Aladdin Sane era David Bowie fairly successfully. I used red hairspray for my hair and crayon face paints for the lightning bolt on my face. I wore a white t-shirt with a gold studded pocket from Forever 21, a pair of black leather shorts, also from Forever 21, metallic gold leggings from Target, and a pair of metallic silver ballet slippers that I think I also got at Target.

148824_447700446790_7313825_n

The absolute most fun you will ever have dressing up is at a live showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’ve gone to a local showing every year for the past two years (sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to go this year) and it’s the most fun in the world. For Rocky Horror I go with your standard fishnet tights, high heels, feather boa, fake eyelashes, heavy make-up, and I usually wear a cleavage-y leotard. It’s all in good fun.

215593_5904120348_6597_n

I was Carmen Miranda for my sophomore year of high school danceline Halloween party. I bought the costume at Party City, something I normally wouldn’t do, but it was fun and funny so I figured why not. I opted against showing my belly and wore a black and white striped tank top underneath.

1919444_1168249678657_5821257_n

I was a black cat for a Halloween party my senior year of high school. Kind of boring, but very easy to throw together. I borrowed the cat ears and tail (that you can’t see, but it was awesome) from a classmate, and I wore a black leotard, black skirt, belt, black cardigan, black fishnet tights, and black boots. Black, black, black, black.

1930071_14407655348_4204_n

I absolutely LOVE dressing up for decades. For Decade Day my junior year of high school, juniors had to dress up for the 80s. I found this pink dress and teased my hair up and wore a pair of black pumps. Simple. Awesome. I was feelin’ real good, as you can see, like I was in the final dance scene in Footloose.

40s

Another Decade Day, this time you could choose any decade that fit your fancy. I chose the 40s, because 40s style is classic and I figured not a lot of people would opt for that. I wore a white blouse from Gap, a black pencil skirt from Gap, wedges from Gap Kids (they killed my feet, but they worked perfectly for the costume- I suffer for fashion!), a pair of pear earrings and a pearl necklace, a black and white polka dot sash, and a big pink flower in my hair. 1940s to a T.

1930989_29389000348_1533_n1935770_135684560348_4031522_n

My senior year our decade of choice was the 1970s. I decided to go as a Z-Girl, like Peggy Oki, and wore a Zephyr Skateboard Team t-shirt, a pair of white shorts, yellow tube socks, black Converse All-Star low tops, and a red and white sweatband.

UC4l9

For another Halloween party my senior year of high school, I went as an indian. I wore a shirt that I made in pre-school (which is nuts! it was a dress on me in pre-school and it fit perfectly like a t-shirt my senior year of high school), brown shorts, brown leggings, and brown fringed boots. I braided my hair in pigtails, and wore some jewelry that looked like it would fit the part.

cow

For a danceline carwash my sophomore year of high school we had a cow costume to catch people’s attention. Obviously, being the costume fiend that I am, I wore it. It was fun. It was goofy.

hick day

Another Homecoming Week costume, this was for “redneck day” (which, if you ask me is every day in a small town Alabama high school) my junior year in 2008. I took a different route than the typical camp-and-bright orange and went with a flannel shirt and a pair of shorteralls from American Eagle. I think I’m also wearing Sperry Topsiders (because who didn’t in the mid to late-2000s?)

juno1924075_33340710348_1616_n

For Halloween in 2008, I dressed up as Juno from the titular 2007 movie. I wore that orange striped tank top that no Juno costume is complete without, a green Roxy hoodie I got at TJ Maxx, black Converse All-Star low tops, and a Hollister skirt over blue jeans. Also, the obligatory jug of Sunny D. What can I say, I like props when it comes to costumes.

31668_390625606431_1468306_n

Homecoming Week, “When I Grow Up” day, wherein I (jokingly, of course) chose to be a reality television show star. This was right at the height of the Jon and Kate Plus Eight scandal. I was never a fan, but I thought it would be funny. I carried a bunch of multi-racial baby dolls and a People magazine. I used the same half-globe for my belly that I used in my Juno costume, and I wore rolled up jeans and orthopedic shoes along with a floral top from Gap.

sloan

My friends Rachel & Rachel had a 1980s movie character dress up shared birthday party in 2009, and for it I dressed up as Sloane Peterson from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I wore wayfarer sunglasses, a blue top from Forever 21, dress pants rolled into shorts from Gap, an authentic 1980s belt and cross-body purse I borrowed from my mom, and my white danceline boots (not pictured).

Image0186

My costume to end all costumes: At my junior high school, there was a huge literary character costume contest every year for Halloween. So, in 2004, my seventh grade year, my mom and I came up with the idea for me to dress up as Chicken Little. This was the end result. For the plump chicken body, we got two pillows and taped them together with duct tape. We also made duct tape suspenders so the pillows would stay put. Then, we got an oversized t-shirt and sewed white feather boas all over it. On top of my head, I wore a white beanie with a red chicken’s comb sewed on top. The legs are just bright yellow tights, and for my chicken feet I wore white kids with your standard yellow cleaning gloves pulled over them. It was so much fun to wear. I couldn’t sit in a desk the whole day at school and I had to sit in the floor. I looked like I was going to pop some eggs out at any second! I won the costume contest that year.

I know that this is nowhere near all the costumes I have worn in my life. These are just the ones I have handy on my phone. Maybe they’ll give you some good ideas, I hope so. It’s coming up close, these are mostly last minute costumes that I threw together that turned out pretty successful.

Now I’m curious to know, what’s been your favorite Halloween costume that you’ve ever worn? What are you going to be this year? What do you WANT to be? Let me know!

* not all costumes are Halloween costumes, some are just me playing dress up for various events.