Monday, March 4, 2013

My 28 Days of Romance Movie Challenge

Throughout the month of February, I decided I wanted to take on a movie challenge. Every day, I would use Flickchart to figure out my #1 unseen romance movie and watch it. Some of them were tragic romances, some were cheerful rom coms, one got unclassified as a romance after I pointed out to the Flickchart kings that there wasn't much romance actually in it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this challenge. I watched a lot of movies I wouldn't have watched otherwise, and some of them turned out to really be worth it. I will probably do this again next year.

So here are all the movies I watched for this challenge in February:

The Ones I Loved
Better Off Dead. It's been a long time since I laughed this consistently at a movie. A bizarre, surreal rom com. So good.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Not spectacular as a romance specifically, but it's just a really good movie. And that's saying a lot, because I really hate westerns.

The Ones I Liked
In a Lonely Place. A fantastic noir looking at the dark side of relationships. I want to give this one another watch in a couple years and see if I like it even more.
La Strada. Oh, this was sad. A heartbreaking tragedy with some excellent acting for both central characters.
Moonrise Kingdom. My fourth Wes Anderson flick, and probably my second favorite, after Tenenbaums. it's just a lot of fun.
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. A very moving story of redemption and rekindled love.
The Lady Vanishes. A nice light-hearted mystery and I did love the romance in this one. They make for a fun couple.
The Red Shoes. A pretty traditional love story, but filled with some gorgeous dancing.
Red. Fascinating little drama, though I've been told I should see the other two in the trilogy to really understand the ending.
Ninotchka. Sweet and ridiculous 1930s rom com. Not substantial, but it sure makes for a fun viewing experiences.
Ugetsu. While not quite as sad as La Strada, I reacted to it in a very similar way. This one has a very dark beauty to it.
La Jetée. One of the few experimental films I actually really enjoy, this is a great science fiction story told in a very unique way.
A Matter of Life and Death. Pretty charming, even if it does get extremely cheesy at times.

The Ones I Thought Were Okay
Badlands. Martin Sheen was the most interesting part about this Bonnie and Clyde-esque movie.
Laura. As much as I dislike detective-based noirs, this one had some fun twists I didn't see coming, and even though I didn't love it, I didn't hate it either.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High. There are a lot of stories going on here, and a few of the "main" ones are just not interesting at all. The ones that are interesting, though, are entertaining.
Chungking Express. I had great difficulty following the narrative, but what I followed I liked pretty well.
From Russia With Love. Probably my favorite Bond that I've seen so far, though that isn't saying much. And I couldn't for the life of me tell you what actually happened in this movie today, two weeks after I watched it. It had something to do with Russia.

The Ones I Didn't Like
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. Some good bits, but far, far too long and sprawling to hold my attention.
Children of Paradise. Thoroughly enjoyed the first half, then the second one came along and was boring, melodramatic, and made all my favorite characters thoroughly unlikable.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Too much raunch for not nearly enough laughs.
Days of Heaven. I just don't get Terrence Malick. I don't. I was so bored through this movie.
Giant. The last half hour is pretty good, but it takes so very, very long to get there...
From Here to Eternity. The only part I cared about was the subplot with Frank Sinatra. Everything else was thoroughly uninteresting.
Out of the Past. A detective-based femme fatale noir. It's not that surprising I didn't get into it.

The Ones I Hated
Jules and Jim. I could not have cared less about the fates of these people. If I spend the entire movie with three people watching them interact, I expect to care about them at some point...
Barry Lyndon. The 3-hour saga of the most unpleasant person ever, who goes around destroying lives everywhere.
Pierrot le Fou. An infuriating mix of narrative and experimental film. The two fight each other all the way through the flick instead of complementing.

If you want to read longer reviews of these movies, you can find most of them at my Letterboxd page.

What are your favorite romance movies?


  1. So which one got unclassified as a romance?

    1. Barry Lyndon. He has two brief romantic entanglements, but neither of them are important enough to really count it as a romance.

  2. Hannah, curious about your rules here -- did you watch the new highest ranked romantic movie every day? Were the logistics of that overly difficult?

    Great idea. I miss the days when I could have curated an entire month of movies. Ah, what I would do with the ultimate freedom to watch whatever movies I wanted ...

    1. Yes, every day I went to the list and picked the highest ranked romance I hadn't seen yet, acquired it, and watched it. The only difficulty with the logistics was acquiring the movie. I found it through a legal stream whenever possible, but admittedly bent copyright rules to be able to see a few of these on the days I needed to.

      This is, weirdly for me, the freest I've been in years to watch movies, timewise. I'm currently working full time as a freelance writer, which is time-consuming, but not as much as being in school was, and not as stressful as my last job, which just knocked me out at the end of the day and left me not wanting to do *anything*. So I'm taking full advantage of this time to go a bit movie crazy, because if I ever get a job teaching (what I eventually want to do) that time will vanish again. :)