Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #3

Ghost - Starring:  Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore & Whoopi Goldberg

IMDB Link: Ghost 

8Track Love Movie Playlist 

My favorite song from the movie:  Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers

Why I love the movie:  Ghost is simply a timeless classic and always will be.  It speaks to our hope that there is something beyond this life - something beautiful and peaceful.  A place where we will again see those we love who went before us. 

To me, that is the one of the best messages of this movie - that nobody is lost to us forever.  At the end, when Sam says to Molly, "See ya", it is his promise to her that they will be together again someday.  

Death is hardest on those left behind to miss us.  Sometimes, it is only the hope of Heaven, a place of eternal love, that gets them through the worst of the loss.

Just like a much darker movie, The Crow, this film speaks of coming back to seek justice, right the wrongs, and protect those we love.  It makes us think about guardian angels, our loved ones still watching over us and, I think, finding a profound happiness in our lives and how they touched them while they were alive.

The other thing about Ghost that I love - you just have to have faith and believe.  During times of the worst pain, physical or emotional, times of sadness and despair, the hardest thing to do can sometimes be to jump into belief of things we cannot see or touch.  But that belief is often the only thing that saves us.  God is real, he is a loving God and he will take our hand if we reach out for his.

My favorite quote from the movie:  "It's amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you. See ya."

"I've had more lifetimes than any 10 people put together, and it's been an amazing ride...So this (dying) is O.K." - Patrick Swayze - R.I.P.

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #4

Love & Other Drugs - Starring:  Jake Gyllenhaal & Anne Hathaway

IMDB Link: Love & Other Drugs 

8Track Love Movie Playlist

My favorite song from the movie:  Maggie & Jamie by Bloodstream

Why I love the movie:  This movie is difficult for me because the storyline is about a woman who has an incurable and progressive disease, Parkinsons.  Maggie is an artist, a free spirit that says exactly what she thinks and lives life with gusto, a passion and fearlessness that many of us are unable to attain. 

It's not until the middle of the movie that you see the disease progressing and how that affects her on a physical and emotional level.  As painful as it is to watch, it's also inspiring to see how hard she fights for normalcy, to not be a victim of her own body.

The movie shines a light on a subject that rarely comes up in film - the guilt that sick people feel over how their illness or disease affects those around them, specifically their loved ones.  How do we ask or expect or even want them to stick with us through possible years of changes the disease will enforce. 

One of the hardest scenes of the movie is when an older gentleman, whose wife has had Parkinsons for years, talks with Jamie, Maggie's boyfriend.  Jamie, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, is new to being in a relationship with a person who is ill.  The older man lays out what it's like to love someone with a disease. 

He brings home the point of - I fell in love with a healthy, vibrant woman and what I'm left with is a sick, slowly dwindling away, wife.  He makes it clear that had he known in the beginning that this is what his life would become, he would have left.  It's a poignant, yet brutal view into the perspective of a person that loves someone who is sick.

On a personal level and taking the liberty of speaking on behalf of all people who have a debilitating disease, watching that scene was a validation of so many of our guilt feelings and insecurities.

I could be strong while watching Maggie's hands tremble as she tried to open a bottle of medication.  Or when she poured herself a drink and it sloshed over the side of the glass. 

We watch those things and we can relate.  We know how frustrating it is.  We know the inner dialogue she's having because we've had it a thousand times too.  We're okay, most of the time, with handling our illness.  What hurts us most is watching what it does to those we love.

My favorite quote from the movie:  "Sometimes the things you want the most don't happen and what you least expect happens. I don't know - you meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you. And then you meet one person and your life is changed forever."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #5

Practical Magic - Starring:  Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Aidan Quinn, Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest

IMDB Link: Practical Magic

8Track Love Movie Playlist

My favorite song from the movie (and also one of my daughter's favorite songs of all time):  Crystal by Stevie Nicks

Why I love the movie:  I believe that not only is love magical, so are people.  We all have our special abilities and talents.  Each of us are unique and bring something to life that only we can.  Nobody can speak or laugh as we do, nobody can create beauty in the same way as another. 

Sally casts a spell as a child, hoping to divert love and a broken heart when she grows up.  The spell in turn brings her the one man who is her soul mate.  Some things are destiny and magic always plays a part in the turn of fate's hand. 

The relationship between the sisters, Sally and Jillian, and with their aunts is another reason I love the film.  This movie is very much about the strength of women, our power over adversity, the ability to keep standing up and moving forward and our need for one another in the best and worst times. 

This, to me, is magical - that we're tiny specks of light in a vast universe and yet beyond all understanding, each of us are meant to be here for just a little while to make a difference, to be loved and love in return. 

My favorite quote from the movie:  "I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for."

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #6

Notting Hill - Starring:  Hugh Grant & Julia Roberts

IMDB Link: Notting Hill 

8Track Love Movie Playlist 

 My favorite song from the movie:  How Can You Mend A Broken Heart by Al Green

Why I love the movie:  Hugh Grant, as the male lead, is hysterically funny, shy and awkward as he tries to navigate falling in love with a gorgeous movie star while being just an ordinary man.  I think it's great that he owns a book store because that's been a dream of mine as well. 

There's his best friend and roommate, Spike, an artist who adds a sense of the creatively insane to the film.  That appeals to me since I think all artists, of any genre, are some form of the Mad Hatter.  (That needs to be a blog post of its own.)

The wonderful thing about Notting Hill is how it defines love.  It can bring us to our knees and lift us up so high we have to look down to see the stars.  It doesn't care about our plans or prejudices.  People are just people - rich or poor, gay or straight, black or white, sick or healthy.  Love is the great equalizer in this world.

My favorite quote from the movie:  "After all... I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #7

Legends of The Fall - Starring:  Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Brad Pitt, Henry Thomas, Julia Ormond, Karina Lombard

IMDB Link: Legends of The Fall 

8Track Love Movie Playlist

My favorite song from the movie:  The Ludlows by James Horner

Why I love the movie:  This one is difficult to write only because there is so much to love in the film.  It's a sweeping epic that stuns with the rugged and majestic scenery combined with multiple stories that intertwine to create what is simply - family - in all its complex simplicity.

If someone were to ask me to list five movies they should see, Legends of The Fall would be on the list. 

I think that I relate to it on a personal level because I have Native American blood and the movie has heavy tones of that culture - not only with characters but the music, the beliefs and the way of life that is lived.

It is the story of three brothers and their love for one woman.  A story of war and honor, a father who has seen the truth of battle and his inability to stop his sons from seeing it too.  Love, war, loss and betrayal tear the family to pieces.  You watch them try to find their way back from tragedy but this movie is not about neatly tied plot strings and happy endings.

Rather, it's about life - real life - where most often, you don't get 'do overs' and sometimes the only happy ending is learning and breathing.

My favorite quote from the movie:  "One Stab: Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy, or they become legends."

Friday, October 4, 2013

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #8

Beauty & The Beast - Disney Animated Classic Film

IMDB Link: Beauty & The Beast

8Track Love Movie Playlist

My favorite song from the movie:  Beauty & The Beast by Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson

Why I love the movie:  Well, first of all, who doesn't like Disney movies?  We all have our favorite - which one is yours?  Take a moment to think about it and smile as scenes pop into your head and you hum a song from the movie. My favorite is Cinderella, for a couple of reasons.  It was the first (and only) movie my mom ever took me to see in a theater.  And, later on in my childhood, I very much felt like Cinderella and waited for my prince and a better life. 

But, back to Beauty & The Beast - I love the moral of the film.  To find love in someone no matter what they look like.  To base that feeling on who they are as a person (or beast, lol) because it really is the soul and mind that create true beauty in people.  Each and every person has a soulmate in this world.  I believe that with all of my heart.  We have to find ours or hope that the path in life that we walk takes us to them.  But if you've got some set idea in your head of what they should look like, you just may not see them as they pass you by. 

This movie really is about not judging others because that's what gets Beast in trouble, in the first place.  It's a good lesson to learn - giving people a chance and sometimes many chances to show us who they really are.

My favorite quote from the movie:  "It's a pity and a sin / she doesn't quite fit in / 'cause she really is a funny girl / a beauty but a funny girl / she really is a funny girl... that Belle."

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #9

A Walk To Remember - Starring:  Mandy Moore & Shane West

IMDB Link: A Walk To Remember

8Track Love Movie Playlist

My favorite song from the movie:  Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden

Why I love the movie:  Some people question the ability of young people to love for real.  They call it puppy love, a crush.  They minimize it and say you'll love many times in your life, this is only the first time.  I think we forget what it's like to be that young and to give everything we have to love.  We are not yet jaded as we withhold aspects of ourselves.  We havn't learned how to play games yet with love.  When we are young, we are trusting and generous with our emotions and showing them.  We're fearless as we jump.  We are simply - free. 

This movie shows the beauty of young love.  It shows how love can change us, make us better people.  It shows that yes, another person can be responsible for our happiness with just their presence in our life.  It also shows the wrenching sadness of watching someone that we love who is ill.  And their process of death.  But it does it in such a way as to make life and even the end of it a joy to behold because of unselfish acts in being there for someone, in making those last days special, making dreams come true.

Most adults can watch this movie and be taught a thing or two about true love, how pure it can be.  What it means to really put someone else before yourself.  If we allow it to while we watch, it can take us back to our own first love and being young, remembering when maybe we were a better version of ourselves because we were innocent & vulnerable.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #10

Hope Floats - Starring:  Sandra Bullock & Harry Connick Jr.

IMDB Link: Hope Floats

8Track Love Movie Playlist

My favorite song from the movie:  Make You Feel My Love by Garth Brooks

Why I love the movie:  The spirit has an indescribable strength at its very core that almost always allows us to hope for a better tomorrow.  Birdie has not only been betrayed by her husband but also her best friend and on national television to make matters worse.  Forced to face truths she had no inkling of and to become a single mother that moves back home, she proves the cliche is true - That which does not kills us makes us stronger. 

Sandra, as Berdie, makes us feel like she's one of us.  The girl next door, the mother and wife doing her best - nothing special, just an ordinary woman who is heartbroken by circumstances many women can relate to.  That's the beautiful thing about Hope Floats - from beginning to end, it's our lives there on the screen.  It's our story or a version of it.  It seems like we lose small pieces of ourselves along the way until we don't recognize who we've become in comparison to who we once were. 

The female relationships in this movie are told with such honesty and simplicity.  Gena Rowlands as Berdie's opinionated and tough mother.  Berdie's relationship with her young daughter, Bernice, as the child tries to understand the end of her parent's marriage and abandonment by her father.

Through scene after scene, you root for Berdie and Bernice to make a better life.  You watch Harry Connick Jr. as Justin Matisse and think that is the sexiest name ever for a romantic hero that says to Berdie, "Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."

My favorite quote from the movie:   "Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That's what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too.."

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #11

Someone Like You - Starring: Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear & Ashley Judd

IMDB Link: Someone Like You

8Track Love Song Playlist

My favorite song from the movie:  Dreamsome by Shelby Lynne

Why I love the movie: Sometimes, we're so focused on who we think or want to be 'The One' that we're blind to just how wrong for us they are.  The right one can be there in front of us, or better put - beside us - as they listen, make us laugh, hold our hand, help us to be better people and be our friend.  Someone Like You shows that truth in hysterically funny, charming and poignant scenes.

I never cried while watching this movie which is unusual for me - chick flicks can pull tears from me like no other.  But I did laugh and smile those sappy smiles while I sighed and cheered and felt that there is hope for true love to be found in the most unexpected people.

My favorite scene in the movie is when Jane and Eddie finally have the confrontation over Jane's misandy beliefs after a painful breakup with Ray.  Realizing that Jane is simply heartbroken and trying to make sense of it all, Eddie sits on the end of the bed, takes her in his arms and tells her, "I know it hurts. I know. Maybe that's why we hold on as hard as we do.. we just can't believe that such a miracle can ever happen to us twice.  Someday you'll find it again." 

My favorite quote from the movie:  "There are few things sadder in this life than watching someone walk away after they've left you, watching the distance between your bodies expand until there's nothing... but empty space and silence."

My Favorite 'Love Story' Movies: #12

P.S. I Love You - Starring:  Gerard Butler & Hillary Swank

IMDB Link: P.S. I Love You

8Track Love Song Playlist

My favorite song from the movie:  No Other Love by Chuck Prophet

Why I love the movie:  We all want to be remembered.  We wonder how we'll be remembered.  What memories did we make that were special to our children, our spouse?  Is there a brother, a sister or even a parent to remember us as a chubby child with a dirty face?  A friend to remember us as an awkward teenager that was full of potential to be an amazing adult?

It's not about sadness, grief or mourning.  We would much rather our loved ones celebrate the life we had and keep us alive in their memories with stories told to our grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The first moment this movie shattered me was after Gerry passed away, Holly kept calling his phone just to hear his voice on the voicemail message.  I sat, curled in a chair, sobbing until my ribs hurt.  We want to be remembered for the big things, or who we were as people, but it's something as small as our voice that is truly needed by those we leave behind. 

How Gerry has planned the year after his death to help his wife get on with her life is special and remarkable.  It's obvious he knew her even better than she knew herself to take her through each step of grief to acceptance and new love. 

I've included one of my favorite scenes from the movie.  Holly cannot fall sleep alone - it is then that she misses Gerry most.  I think everyone can relate to that.