Weighing in on romantic flicks: Voices from around WV
By Tony Rutherford
What romantic movies will be popped into DVD players for the Valentine’s Day holiday? Instead of giving my own Top Ten favorites, a selection of regional artists, reporters, media types and officeholders, chimed in on their best choice for celebrating Cupid’s arrows that strike on February 14.
KATHY BROWN – former WSAZ TV anchor/investigative reporter / Charleston attorney:
“Slumdog Millionaire ” (2008), a great love story about endurance and never giving up. Plus, it’s a fun movie and I love trivia questions!”
KENNIE BASS – reporter/critic WCHS/WVAH-TVL:
“Dirty Dancing” (1987), Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze are fantastic in this film. They are perfect for each other. And, it boasts a soundtrack with classic songs that are perfect for a romantic night alone with someone you care about. A classic that should be required viewing to show how true love overcomes all obstacles.
TIFFANY JOHNSON BAYLEY – former Miss WV Venus and former Huntington resident, now owner Avalon Park Jewelry, Orlando, Florida:
“The Thomas Crown Affair ” (1999), the most romantic, seductive movie ever.
GLEN BERRY – Photographer:
“Groundhog Day” (1993), lighthearted and funny, touching at times, and suggests that given enough persistence, nice guys and underdogs can indeed find happiness.
SCOTT CASERTA – Huntington City Council:
“Barefoot in the Park” (1967), A funny, funny love story !
ERIN O’NEILL – Editor, Graffiti:
“Titanic” (1997), yes, the song is annoying. Yes, James Cameron took some liberties with history. And dying a long agonizing death in ice water isn’t exactly romantic. But Kate and Leo have such amazing chemistry.
DANI MCCALL ENGLANDER – independent film actress/ producer:
One of my all-time favorite romantic flicks is “Love Actually” (2003). I realize it’s more of a Christmas flick due to the film being set around that holiday, but it’s just such a gorgeous combination of stories/romantic situations that make you laugh and tug at the heart strings. Enjoy it every single time I see it no matter how many times that may be so far – and it’s quite a few.
BETH HENDRICKS – Reporter Herald Dispatch:
I’m going with “Gone With the Wind” (1939). Sassy Scarlett is a fighter and survivor, but also a hopeless romantic. As a Southern girl myself, I can relate to her character. The idea of finding your soul mate and everything you’ve ever wanted right in front of you is the ultimate type of love story we all hope for. Rhett Butler delivers one of my all-time favorite movie lines when he says, “You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”
EVAN BEVINS – Graffiti contributor, writer Support Group webcomic:
While the presence of Sean Connery, Gillian Anderson, Jon Stewart, Dennis Quaid, Ryan Phillippe, Angelina Jolie and Nastassja Kinski brought 1998’s “Playing by Heart” to my attention, it was the quality of the film that made it one of my all-time favorites. These interlocking tales demonstrate a concept Hollywood rarely seems to grasp – that love is about so much more than sex.
TIM IRR – WSAZ TV news anchor:
Personally, mine is the 2003 British romantic Christmas comedy, “Love Actually”. Great cast, great interwoven story – and Liam Neeson doesn’t kill a soul.
SELINA KYLE – Huntington pinup/glamour model:
Since I was young, “Sleeping Beauty” (1950), has always been my favorite fairy tale, Disney production and romantic movie. I’ve even done a photo shoot where I was Sleeping Beauty.”
KIM WORDSWORTH – professional actress/former Huntington “Rocky Horror Picture Show” cast member:
“Moulin Rouge” (2001) remains a favorite film, because it shows that love, above all else, makes us truly alive.
MARY POINDEXTER WILLIAMS – Huntington’s first lady and award-winning actress:
(Mayor) Steve (Williams) and I were talking about this when we left “Les Miserables.” Some of our finalists, “As Good As It Gets” (1997), “An Affair to Remember” (1957), “Magnificent Obsession” (1954) and “You’ve Got Mail” (1998).
George R. Snider III – Murder and Merriment director and actor, gave his Top Five Valentine’s Day flicks:
5. “Amelie” (2001), A truly captivating film about a girl (Audrey Tautou) searching for her true love along a magical journey.
4. “The Notebook” (2004), Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling pair together in a movie where a poor young man falls in love with a rich young girl and they are separated by social differences.
3. “Now, Voyager” (1942), Bette Davis and Paul Henreid find impossible romance in the story of a spinster aunt who comes out of her shell on a cruise and falls hopelessly in love with a fellow passenger.
2. “Casablanca” (1942), A magnificent film on all levels: great story, great setting, plenty of conflict, and a most heart rendering romance between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. It’s a perfect movie.
1. “When Harry Met Sally” (1989), A twist of fate and a shared ride propels Billy Crystal to discover that his friendship with Meg Ryan over many years is a blossoming love that he can’t live without. It’s the perfect date movie of all time.
As far as my choices, “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993) starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, itself an adaptation of “An Affair to Remember” (1957) featuring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr and “Love Affair” (1939) featuring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. “Affair” ranks #5 on the American Film Institute’s greatest love stories. The simple premise: A couple fall in love on a cruise and agree to meet New Year’s Eve on top of the Empire State Building.
Hanks and Ryan re-teamed in 1998 with director Nora Ephron for the first Internet-themed romance appropriately titled “You’ve Got Mail.” It’s also a remake of Ernst Lubitsch’s “The Shop Around the Corner” (1940) that starred James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan. It was revived on Broadway in 1994-1995 under the title, “She Loves Me.”
Back a few lengths racing down home stretch, the Academy Award-nominated “Silver Linings Playbook,” where a man and woman working through the hurts of past relationships find friendship, encouragement, and love in each other.