Thanks for all the positive comments and thoughtful posts inspired by our earlier Top Ten list. We’ve been working on a second list, on our way to what will ultimately become The Top 100 Relationship Movies Of All Time.
11. High Fidelity
This droll comedy features John Cusack, one of our favorite actors, and the remarkable Danish actress, Iben Hjeljle (pronounced EE-ben YAY-luh.) We first saw her in a touching movie called “Mifune,” and have been big fans ever since. She turns down most roles she’s offered (including “Lord of the Rings”) because she doesn’t like to travel away from her family for long periods of time. We’re glad she took the role of Laura in “High Fidelity,” though, because she is absolutely brilliant in it. The movie explores key themes such as fear of commitment and how to deal with breaking free of a dead-end job. Also, for those of us who love music, there are wonderful musical treats in this fine little work of art.
12. Somewhere In Time
Produced by our longtime friend and colleague, Stephen Simon, “Somewhere In Time” is one of the deepest and most atmospheric movies of all time. Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour will always live in the hearts of inspirational movie lovers everywhere, playing the time-traveling couple that fate has united and re-united through ages. The lush score by John Barry is also one of the major triumphs of this movie.
Did you know about the passionate love-affair between the novelist George Sand and the musical genius, Frederic Chopin? Neither did we before we saw this moving drama about their love, life and times. George Sand was the pseudonym of a French woman, Amantine Aurore Lucille Dupin, who became the first great female novelist in French history. Played to perfection by Judy Davis, she was very far ahead of her times, dressing in men’s clothing and smoking cigarettes, both scandalous activities in 1830s Paris. Chopin and his music melt her flinty heart, leading to a complex relationship with the delicate musician (played by Hugh Grant.) There is a sub-plot involving Chopin’s friend, Franz Liszt, whose harried married life and henpecked-husband status Chopin very much wishes to avoid. There are many layers to this movie, which is why we’ve watched it several times, with growing appreciation every time.
14. In America
This movie has great depth and a big heart; it’s just the kind of art we most appreciate. Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton play an Irish couple struggling to survive in New York City, where the husband has come to fulfill his acting dreams. Living in a seedy apartment with their two young daughters, the couple comes to terms with loss, deception and death, learning a great deal about themselves along the way. Part of the charm of this movie comes from the two transcendently beautiful children, who express their own reactions to events but also act out, as children do, the subconscious feelings and needs of the parents. We found ourselves thinking and talking about this movie long after we’d seen it for the first time, and now after repeated viewings, we continue to regard it highly.
15. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
One of the most innovative movies ever made about relationships, Eternal Sunshine works on many levels. Written by Charlie Kaufman (“Adaptation”; “Being John Malkovich”) and starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, there is awesome talent at work here. The plot is zany but has deep roots in relationship wisdom. Is there anybody who hasn’t struggled with trying to get over a break-up? As Jim Carrey’s emotionally-withdrawn character undergoes a procedure to erase memories of the free-spirited Clementine from his mind (a procedure she’s already undergone,) he realizes as his memories fade that he must do everything to get her back. Is it too late? Will he be able to learn from his past errors and regain the love that transformed him? We found ourselves enthralled by the bold, quirky concepts and the brilliant performances of the main characters. Stellar performances also by Tom Wilkinson and Kirsten Dunst.