Geek Valentines Day!

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I ended up committing to writing an article in honor of Valentine’s Day.  So, I thought I would share some of my favorite romantic scenes from a few films that might be considered “geeky,” for various reasons.  And¸ out of the kindness of my heart, I’ve opted not to include anything from Twilight or its sequels.  You can thank me later.

So, just a small sampling of some of my faves.  This is in no particular order, nor is it in way meant to be complete.

1. Tangled

I can’t say enough how much I love this movie.  I wasn’t prepared to love it since I had yet to see a CGI film that compared to the majesty of Beauty and the Beast or any other traditionally animated film.  But it moved me.  In a way a movie hasn’t done so in a very long time.  Flynn Rider is cocky and adventurous; Rapunzel is naïve but stubborn.  And yet they truly connect and bring out the best in one another.  The scene in the boat as the lanterns light up the night sky is one of the most beautiful romantic scenes ever.  EVER.  The music, the animation, the way Flynn watches Rapunzel as she watches her lifelong dream come true.  It’s not his dream, but he’s experiencing it with her and even helps her participate in the ritual.  I suppose it sounds silly and not at all like my usual cynical self to say that this film captured the very essence of love, but for me, I think it did.

2. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Han and Leia have long appealed to movie audiences, but their relationship is a common one seen in film.  The rogue and the gal who is unwilling to acknowledge her feelings goes back to classic stories like Gone With the Wind and beyond.  Their banter provides more than entertainment; it is essentially foreplay, leading up to a climactic kiss in the Millennium Falcon.  Now, I know a lot of people like the “I love you!” “I know” scene from Cloud City, but I have to be different.  I like The Kiss.  Where Leia tells Han she likes men, and he tells her she likes him because he’s a scoundrel.  It appeared on the movie posters and is full of such steam and passion that fanfic writers are STILL writing X-rated stories about it decades later.  Makes you wonder what else happened on the Falcon.  Hey, just how long WERE they in space, anyways?  Makes you wonder.

3. The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is a delightful blend of romance, comedy, and adventure, and it has endured through the years for just those reasons.  With lines like “Death cannot stop true love.  All it can do is delay it for a little while” Wesley has won the hearts of female audiences everywhere.  He risks all to rescue his ‘twue wuv’ from marrying an arrogant and scheming prince, and then there’s the line:  “Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.”  The couple survived the Fire Swamp, Wesley (sort of) lived through torture, and Buttercup didn’t REALLY marry the prince, so all ended happily ever after.

4. Chasing Amy

Kevin Smith tackled romance in his film Chasing Amy, and though there is plenty of humor and pop culture references, it also has a lot of heart.  I’ve always loved Holden’s speech to Alyssa where he confesses his love for her, in spite of the fact that he knows she’s a lesbian.  There’s something so touchingly honest in his speech, as if he’s laid his heart bare for her, and her response will either destroy or save him. It’s a very different film from Clerks or Mallrats, but I still think it’s one of Smith’s best.

5. The Lake House

This isn’t the most perfect movie in the world, but I find myself watching it whenever it’s on TV, and part of it even takes place on Valentine’s Day.  Even Keanu Reeves in a romantic lead doesn’t deter me from watching.  This is sort of a modern fantasy, where two lonely people are brought together by a mailbox, though they live two years apart.  Yeah, it’s weird.  But the overall theme seems to be sometimes you just have to wait for love.  Don’t stop living in the meantime, and eventually true love will find you.  This is underscored by the reference to Jane Austen’s Persuasion, a book about love delayed for many years.  It’s a sweet film, and one that I think is worth viewing.

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6. Beauty and the Beast

Ah, my favorite Disney film. The story of a spunky bookish gal who seems to only attract jerks until one day she meets a prince under a terrible spell.  Again, I’m going to go with the less obvious romantic scene here.  Most would choose the ballroom dance scene, which is truly a masterpiece of animation (CGI and traditional animation combine to create a stunning sequence), but I’m going to have to go with the library.  I admit, I have a thing for books.  And libraries.  And instead of giving Belle “flowers, chocolates, promises [he doesn’t] intend to keep,” the Prince gives Belle his library, which appeals to her more than any generic gift.  It’s one of the sweetest, most romantic things I’ve ever seen in a movie.

I suppose I could continue with the list, but I’ll leave it at these few unusual picks of mine.  Oh, but I must also mention that scene from Attack of the Clones where Padme reveals that she “truly, deeply” loves Anakin before they are taken into the Geonosian arena.  I mention it only because my editor told me to.  I think the scene is cheesier than anything I saw in Twilight, but that’s just my opinion.  I know he’ll disagree.  Vehemently.

Editors Note: I asked Scarlett to put this clip on the list because it is, indeed, one of the most romantic and heartfelt moments in geeky cinema and every time I watch it it chokes me up. –Swank

But that’s the beauty of film.  It appeals to all of us in different ways, for different reasons.

So . . . what are your favorite romantic scenes from geeky movies?