Valentines Day is upon us yet again. And yet again … no valentine for me. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the day. My mother has this tradition of leaving little valentine gifts for my sister and I. Invariably it is a sweet card with a little message and some delectable (and expensive) chocolate. Just to let us know that we are loved. How sweet is that? This year was no exception. I awoke to find a beautiful black and white card picturing a sophisticated lady dressed in white against an elaborate background, and the words “Happy Valentines beautiful Aalyn, you are well loved” written inside. Accompanying this was a large square of the most delicious dark chocolate – ‘Willie’s Cacao: Madagascan Gold’. The only ingredients are ‘Cacao mass, raw cane sugar, and cacao butter’. And it was absolutely beautiful, so smooth and rich.
As it’s the day to celebrate romance, love and devotion, I thought I might share some of my favourite valentine flicks. As you may or may not know, I’m a huge fan of film and I literally have a list on my laptop of movies I must see before I die … and it’s growing longer rather than shorter. Despite this, the list of romances I have seen could fill a book. I have to say that I am rather a fan of the awfully cliched ‘chick flick’, but also appreciate classic love stories. So here is a little bit of a mix of my favourites (in no particular order):
1. Roman Holiday. This has to be my favourite Audrey film. The first time I saw it I was only around 7 or 8, but loved it from the first. My Grandma had a collection of Audrey Hepburn classics and we used to always beg her to ‘watch Audrey’ whenever we stayed over. Her favourite was Sabrina, and so was my sisters, but I always had a soft spot for Roman Holiday. Don’t you just love the guitar scene on the boat?
2. Love Actually. This is my family’s favourite Christmas movie. We watch it every year, as I mentioned in a previous post. I love the idea of different people’s lives all woven together and interconnected. My favourite ‘sub-story’ was always Daniel (Liam Neeson) and Sam (Thomas Sangster). Their journey is just so beautiful, and always touches my heart.
3. Notting Hill. Sweet, funny and adorable, how could you not like this film? I’ve always liked Hugh Grant, and this has to be one of my favourites.
4. Pride and Prejudice. Of course, I had to include Elizabeth and Darcy. Whether it’s the 1995 classic mini-series (my first introduction to the world of Jane Austen) or the 2005 Joe Wright version, I just love it all.
5. The ‘Before’ series. That is, ‘Before Sunrise’, ‘Before Sunset’, and (recently) ‘Before Midnight’. I realise that this is actually three different movies, but they’re all so closely connected that it almost feels like one continuous film. They may not be to everyone’s tastes, but I really love the slow-moving, naturalistic style of these films. It almost feels like you’re watching a documentary at times.
6. Dirty Dancing. This is a recent discovery for me. After years of hearing how great it was, I watched it for the first time a few months ago. At first, I wasn’t sure why everyone loved it so much. However, after watching it again with my sister, I fell in love. It took me a while to grasp the magic of this classic film, but once I did, it quickly earned a place in my list of ‘all-time favourites’.
7. Amelie. I watched this for the first time when I was around 10, and loved it from the first. This is such a quirky, eclectic, sweet, colourful film and I absolutely adore it!
8. Moulin Rouge. I first watched this (again) when I was around 10 or 11, and was rather shocked at the crude nature of this over-the-top film. However, once over the shock of the overt sexuality, I became entranced at the heart-breaking passion and yearning of these two lovers. I’m not a major fan of musicals, but this is definitely an exception. A genius film, and a beautiful story, this one always leaves me red-eyed and heart-broken.
9. Some Like it Hot. Not so much romantic as absolutely hilarious, this is my favourite Marilyn Monroe film. It never fails to leave me in fits, and has (in my opinion) one of the best ending lines in movie history. Definitely a must-see!
10. Leap Year. One of my mum’s favourites, the scenery in this film always moves me. Oh and the story is great too! Funny, romantic, and sentimental … and you’ve gotta love the Irish accent!
Well, happy valentines beautiful!