Today we welcome author Mia March to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Mia’s The Meryl Streep Movie Club, out now, is a story about how women come together to find commonality—and eventually their own happiness—through watching movies. To help us reach that common ground, Mia is sharing her list of top 10 romantic movies. Thanks, Mia!
Coming up with my top 10 favorite romantic movies wasn’t easy (there are so many), but these are the ones (in no particular order) I watch over and over, that never get old, that inspire me, make me think, make me laugh, make me cry, make me see something new with each viewing.
Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version): Two words: Colin Firth. Based on one of my favorite novels by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice has it all: Five unmarried sisters in early 19th century England, delightful humor, the constant threat of disgrace, the arrogant, smoldering Mr. Darcy (of the pride), the intelligent, good-humored Elizabeth (of the prejudice). I love every version, but the BBC’s adaptation is my favorite.
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Another movie based on a favorite novel—and based on Pride and Prejudice too. Funny, poignant, and honest. My favorite moment, from the mouth of Mark Darcy: “I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet that I was unforgivably rude and wearing a reindeer jumper that my mother had given me the day before. But the thing is, um, what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you. Very much.” Even better, when Bridget basically says, “Yeah, sure, if I changed everything about myself.” Mark Darcy says: “No. I like you. Very much. Just as you are.” I’ve seen this movie at least five times. Each time, my heart SWELLS at that line.
The Enchanted Cottage: In this 1945 gem, disfigured former golden boy solider Robert Young hides out from the world in a New England cottage, where he meets “homely” maid Dorothy Maguire. As they open up to each other, their blossoming loves transforms them from plain to beautiful, from disfigured to able-bodied. But only they can see this in each other. Visitors see them as they really are—or do they?
Hope Floats: I always love Sandra Bullock, but I love her like crazy in this movie. This isn’t a favorite of anyone’s, it seems, but I love every minute of it. Publicly humiliated, a divorcing single mom returns to her small Texas hometown where she’d been Homecoming Queen, and rediscovers herself. Takes her a while to say yes to wonderful Harry Connick Jr. Gena Rowlands, who elevates everything, plays Sandra’s mama.
Dirty Dancing: Oh, how I love this movie. Set in the early 1960s at a Catskills resort hotel, Jennifer Grey learns all kinds of life lessons from the beautiful Patrick Swayze, the dance instructor from the other side of the tracks. Funny, poignant and wonderful.
Love Actually: Once again: Colin Firth. Sometimes, if I’m in a cruddy mood, I’ll watch just the opening of this movie, to see Bill Nighy messing up “Christmas Is All Around.” Instant happiness. Everyone is in this movie, from the brilliant Alan Rickman to the always wonderful Emma Thompson to Liam Neeson to Keira Knightley. I watch this movie every year at Christmastime, and luckily, it’s on practically every day all December.
A Walk To Remember: I’m always surprised by how much I adore Mandy Moore. I also love Shane West’s face. Mandy plays the self-assured teenaged daughter of a strict minister; Shane plays the boy with the very bad attitude whose life she changes. This movie is typical Nicholas Sparks, and you know what that means: watch with many boxes of tissues.
When Harry Met Sally: This really needs no editorializing. The best movie on earth. I love a world where Billy Crystal is the leading man. One of the gems that the brilliant Nora Ephron left us with.
Say Anything: I adored John Cusack from his earliest teen flicks, but Say Anything made him my favorite actor for a long, long time (until I discovered Colin Firth. And Johnny Depp). The funny, touching story of a new high school graduate who has no idea what he wants to do with his life (when Ione Skye’s father asks him what he does intend to do, John Cusack says: “To spend as much time as possible with your daughter, sir”) and the valedictorian he wins over. There’s a hilarious Lili Taylor too. I’ll be honest about something, though. Every time I see this movie, at the very, very end, I always have the same feeling. Ione is going to break John’s heart in London.
The Bridges of Madison County: My beloved Meryl Streep and the one and only Clint Eastwood. What I love so much about this film, aside from the questions it raises at the end about Francesca Johnson’s choice, is that you absolutely understand how Meryl Streep’s lonely Iowa farm wife character fell so deeply in love with Clint’s National Geographic photographer character in just four days. Beautifully done. I love this movie so much that it’s the film that begins the Meryl Streep “movie club” in my novel and gets an estranged family of women talking and opening up for the first time in years. Many years ago, on Thanksgiving, my own mother and grandmother were arguing all day—over whether to put garlic in the mashed potatoes and who said what twenty years ago. But after dinner, we all sat down to watch The Bridges of Madison County and went from sniping and arguing to talking very openly and honestly about the film, and truly listening to one another. It changed our relationship that night—and inspired my novel.
Are any of these films on your own list of favorite romantic movies? What are yours?
To enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Mia March’s The Meryl Streep Movie Club, make sure you’re a registered member of the site, and then simply leave a comment about the post below!* *NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2012/08/author-mia-march-on-her-top-10-romantic-movies beginning at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) August 3, 2012. Sweepstakes ends at 12:29 p.m. ET on August 13, 2012 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/page/official-rules-mia-marchs-meryl-streep-movie-club-comment-sweepstakes. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.
Mia March lives on the coast of Maine, the setting of The Meryl Streep Movie Club, published this past June by Simon & Schuster. The novel is slated to be published in over 18 countries. Kirkus Reviews kindly describes The Meryl Streep Movie Club as “a heartwarming, spirit-lifting read just in time for beach season.” Mia’s next novel, Finding Colin Firth, will be published by Simon & Schuster in the summer of 2013.
For more info, please visit Mia’s website at www.MiaMarch.com.
You can also friend her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MiaMarch.author
and follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/March_Mia