It’s Valentine’s Day this month, and love is in the air – here are our Valentine’s Days picks.
When Harry Met Sally (1989), dir. Rob Reiner
Maddy Raven, Film & TV Editor
If I ever don’t list this film in my top ten films of all time, please allow the ghost of Nora Ephron to strike me down where I stand.
Written in collaboration with Rob Reiner (director of The Princess Bride (1987), another classic), When Harry Met Sally… is an iconic romcom which asks the age-old question: can men and women ever truly be friends? It follows Harry and Sally, as they meet during a cross-country road trip, and then over the subsequent ten years as they settle into their separate lives in New York. The film also stars Carrie Fisher as hilariously underrated best friend archetype, Marie.
It’s safe to say that this film is the reason I still have incredibly unrealistic standards to this day, though I do disagree – men and women can be friends! Just not these two.
Metropolitan (1990), dir. Whit Stillman
Sam Vickers, Deputy Editor
Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan is a brilliantly understated comedy of manners that tracks a crowd of wealthy teenage socialites during one debutante season in New York in the ‘90s. Complex love triangles and inter-class relationships lead to the group splintering and the protagonist, Tom Townsend, finds himself suddenly without the group of friends he had become attached to over this summer.
Tom is an ardent socialist and so he at first feels some conflict at his forays into this world of the super-privileged, but ultimately falls in love with Audrey, a beautiful student whose suitability Tom is tragically blind to. The film follows a single, quite simple plot and is extremely subtle, trusting the viewer to notice the aspects of dialogue or character that Stillman wishes to highlight. Metropolitan’s score is unintrusive and compliments the sparkling tones of the groups dates the socialites go on, with outdated blues music underlining the sad truth that these summer parties will soon end forever, for Tom at least.
Down with Love (2003) dir. Peyton Reed
Katya Spiers, Digital Editor
It's 1960s New York City and Barbara Novak (certified rom-com queen Renée Zellweger) is a best-selling writer whose magnum opus 'Down With Love' is taking America by storm – preaching the possibility of a commitment-free sex life to liberate women from loveless marriages. In swoops ladies' man Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor), an esteemed journalist determined to prove Barbara wrong. What follows is an extravagant, hyper-stylised romantic romp that is the film equivalent of a huge banana split: all saccharine sweet, hot pink and retro-chic, with plenty of cherries on top.
Down with Love has all the effortless charm of a Nora Ephron flick, as well as the high-saturation, feather boa-d allure of Clueless (1995). And it's available to stream on Prime. You can thank me later.
Clueless (1995), dir. Amy Heckerling
Layla Nathan, Sub-editor
Clueless (1995) has not only stood the test of time but truly stands as a classic amongst a great era for rom-coms. The story follows the coming-of-age of rich and popular Cher Horowitz, played by the gorgeous Alicia Silverstone, a character loosely based on Jane Austen’s novel Emma (1815).
This movie has every rom-com necessity, a great makeover scene, quippable one-liners and of course, romance to make you go ‘awww’.
The love interest Josh (Paul Rudd) genuinely helps Cher become a better person, and I personally choose to ignore the fact that he's technically her step-brother (don't worry, they're not related, but it's still kind of weird).
This movie is truly iconic even to the extent of the fashion inspiring Donatella Versace’s 2018 collection and catchphrases still recognisable 25 years after its release. If you have somehow never seen this rom-com royalty… ugh, as if!
Featured: IMDb, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc.
What have you been watching this Valentine's month?