Aug 3 2012 12:30pm

Author Mia March on Her Top 10 Romantic Movies

The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia MarchToday 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 FloatsHope 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 SallyWhen 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 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 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

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Lynne Connolly
1. Lynne Connolly
You mean apart from Casablanca? Best. Movie. Ever.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Notting Hill
An Affair to Remember (that last scene makes me sob uncontrollably)
Bringing Up Baby (funny, real connection between the principals)
His Girl Friday (so I'm a Cary Grant fan. Sue me)
Now, Voyager "Why ask for the moon when we have the stars?"
The Sheikh (cheesy, but they were right, Rudi was smokin' hot)
Blood Wedding (flamenco dance film)
A Bout De Souffle (more smokin' action from Jean-Paul Belmondo)
Sunday In the Park with George (it's a musical, but hey, you had Pride and Prejudice, which is a TV series, not a movie)
Top Hat
Anything else with Fred Astaire in it
James P. Pope
2. jim162065
The boat house should be on the list, still need to see the orginal one.
3. SassyT
I would like to add Camille (the movie Annie watches at the movie theater with Mr. Warbucks) with Robert Taylor and Greta Garbo. The ending is just tragic (have tissues on hand) but the rest of the movie is just wonderful.

Love Pride and Prejudice (all versions).

What? You've only watched Bridget Jones's Diary 5 times? I watch it every time it's on tv (not as much fun because they cut out the bad words) and I have a copy (with all the glorious bad language)

Love Actually has grown on me. I was diappointed by it the first time I saw it but now I love it (especially Andrew Lincoln as the guy in love with....oops I won't spoil it).

A Walk to Remember: I'm not a Nicholas Sparks fan but in this movie there is just something so sweet and endearing about these characters. Also a fave of mine.

My all time favorite is of course When Harry Met Sally. I mean it's funny, it's romantic, it's got little old couples explaining how they met and fell in love. What's not to love about this film.

Say Anything: Peter Gabriel and the boom box. Need I say more?

You've pretty much got most of my faves up there (except I've never seen The Bridges of Madison County...although, my father, a retired military man with all the usual macho guy traits, told me this was a really good
4. pamelia
You named some of my favorites (Pride & Prejudice, Bridget Jones & Love, Actually --- hmmm, Colin Firth much??), but I also love:
Overboard (Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn)
Random Harvest (an old Greer Garson movie)
The Last of the Mohicans (with Daniel Day Lewis-- not a "romance" film per-se, but the romance elements in it are swoon-worthy)
The Philadelphia Story
I'm sure I'll think of about 5 more after I submit this comment too! :)
5. susieqlaw
Long live Lloyd Dobbler!
6. bookaholic
I do love some of Mia's choices. Although I haven't watched all of them.
My favorite romantic movie ever is 2 Days in Paris. I definitely don't get tired of watching Dirty Dancing, Love Actually, A Lot Like Love, The Notebook, Harold and Maude, Somewhere in Time, While You Were Sleeping, ... Who am I kidding? I can't pick 10 movies only. I am a big big big romantic at heart. Now...what I know is that I am dying to read Mia's book.
Mia March
7. MiaMarch
I just added so many movies I haven't seen--or haven't seen in a long time--to my list. Thank you all for your comments!!
8. Kareni
A favorite here is Shirley Valentine. It's both funny and touching.
Cyndee Thomas
9. 16lt
I love all the movies Mia chose and I would add "Love Story" and "The Way We Were". I hope to win her book with the title I love! thank you for a chance to win.
Cyndee Thomas
10. Brigid
I love Hope Floats!! Though I love anything Sandra Bullock. And Colin Firth is easily one of my favorite actors.
Melissa Amster
11. eema2emma
When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorites too. I also love While You Were Sleeping and Where the Heart is.
12. Clare Roberts
What a great list, it includes my 3 faves Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version of course), Bridget Jones' Diary and Love Actually. I'd also add to it, Sweet Home Alabama, Sleepless in Seattle and You've got mail.
Mary Ann Brady
13. mirahana
I would love to win this. Would make summer a joy!
Rakisha Kearns-White
14. BrooklynShoeBabe
I'm glad I'm not the only one who loves A Walk To Remember. I can stop what I'm doing at any time of day to watch it. My other favorites are Something New with Sanna Lathan (from Boss) and Simon Baker (from The Mentalist). So sexy.
Melissa Jordan
15. wandecki1
I totally agree with your top 10! All are fantastic and I love all of them.
Also agree with those who added: Somewhere In Time (omg...the kleenex I go through), While You Were Sleeping (cry everytime!), Last of the Mohicans (I will find you!!.....sigh)

I'd like to add Splendor in the Grass (sooo good)
Marva Pitre
All of Mia's movie picks are good. The only one I haven't seen is "The Enchanted Cottage". My favorite is "Say Anything". John Cusack is one of my favorites.
Marian DeVol
18. ladyengineer
Most of those mentioned by everyone are good, especially all versions of Pride and Prejudice. To these I would add Gigi, Kate & Leopold, and An Affair to Remember.
Elizabeth Halliday
19. Ibbitts
I definately agree with Casablanca, An Affair to Remember (the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr version), Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version), Dirty Dancing, Love Story, and The Way We Were.
I'll add:
To Have and Have Not (Bogart & Bacall) "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."
A Star is Born (the Streisand/Kristofferson version)
And my #1:
The Notebook (James Garner's best career work, bar none...)
Shauna Comes
20. djshauns
I definitely agree on Pride and Prejudice, although I actually like the Keira Knightly version better (the Colin Firth BBC one is good too).
I am also a fan of Bridget Jones, Dirty Dancing, Casablanca, 2 Weeks Notice, and pretty much any other movie versions of Jane Austen's work (most especially Sense & Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet and Emma with Gwenyth Paltrow, though BBC just did a version of Emma with Romola Garai that was pretty good too).
You've Got Mail is also a good one, and I actually like the older versions, The Shop Around the Corner with Jimmy Stewart & In the Good Old Summertime with Judy Garland, as well.
Mary Lynne Nielsen
21. emmel
I agree with much of this list--and love the citing of the not-often-seen The Enchanted Cottage. But for me, the 1995 P&P doesn't count. Not on the quality of it, but on the time. At about 10 hours, this is a mini-series, not a movie. Otherwise, great list!
23. filkferengi
Don't forget "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir."
Mia March
24. MiaMarch
My must-watch movie list is as overflowing now as my TBR list! Love all these suggestions. Thank you so much for your comments!

I just realized that I forgot one of my all-time favorites, though: Crossing Delancey.

I just love old love stories and cry thur all of them. I'm at a age in life where you know what true love is and can't get enough.
elaine fisher
27. elfette
Her NEW movie looks good, I have to many scenes I like to choose just one movie.
28. nancygal
I would much rather laugh thru a love story than cry thru one.
30. Jacqueline DeGroot
"Sex and the Single Mom," with Gail O'Grady and Grant Show is an all-time favorite of mine. The laundry room sex scene is very sensual--being on Lifetime, I was surprised how erotic it was. "Ladyhawke," with Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer is my most favorite, but "A Perfect Stranger," (based on a Danielle Steele novel), with Robert Ulrich and Stacey Haiduk is a close second. I also loved in him "Princess Daisy," an oldie with Lindsay Wagner based on a Judith Krantz novel. Loved this post.
Heather Rizzuti
31. heatherbartley
I like your list, and there are a few that I have never seen before. However, you did not include some of my favorites: Never Let Me Go (a sad, romantic sci-fi movie), Last of the Mohicans, and The Abyss (mainly a sci-fi thriller, but there is such a romantic love story involved!).
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