Ask the Reader: favourite Valentine’s Day flicks

One Day 

Anyone who knows me well enough will know that I am partial to a romantic flick, with my all-time favourite tear-jerker being ‘One Day’. Starring Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway, this 2011 film is based on a David Nicholls novel of the same name. Centring around two individuals, the film follows the progression of a relationship over a period of 18 years, revisiting their narrative on the same day each year.

‘One Day’ explores post-university life, loss and navigating romantic relationships, all of which makes it particularly relevant to current university students as we look to our own futures and the ways in which our own personal relationships will develop over the years. Whilst it might not be the best film to watch for some light-hearted relief, ‘One Day’ is captivating from start to finish, and watching the romance unfold between Dexter and Emma is a key reason for my own multiple viewings.

Pride and Prejudice 

Is there a moment in romantic film history as iconic as that of Elizabeth and Darcy (Knightley and Macfadyen) standing underneath the columns in the pouring rain, Darcy shooting an ‘I love you’ to Elizabeth in response to her utter confusion? There is so much to enjoy here; Darcy’s oblivion and awkwardness, and frankly his downright insolence, Elizabeth’s horror and the power of her formidable response to him. The electricity of when Darcy pulls away from a near kiss and strides away from Elizabeth is just so potent.

But the same can be said for the entire film; it is the perfect romance story, full of humour, excitement, and the ambience of a period piece, impossible not to enjoy, and even more impossible to not root for the leading couple by the end of the film. It is my favourite feel good, enjoyable romance film of all time.

About Time –

About Time is a 2013 romcom directed by Richard Curtis. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, the story explores 21-year-old Tim who discovers that the men in his family have the ability to time-travel. Like most classic romcoms, he predominantly uses this newfound power to try and find a girlfriend. For a film that’s central premise is time-travel, Curtis manages to make the plot well-grounded as nearly all of the characters, regardless of their flaws, are extremely likeable.

Tim’s character embodies Curtis’ favourite Hugh Grant-esque protagonist tropes, made even more amusing by his initial failings when learning how to navigate such an extraordinary capability. The story is especially enjoyable because it looks more broadly at Tim’s life instead of solely his romantic endeavours. You grow to like him as a person as he gradually realises the importance of living in the moment as opposed to constantly seeking perfection.

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