William Shakespeare (a. k. a. The Bard) can consume the entire post, as most of his plays revolve around the agony and ecstasy of true love. "Romeo and Juliet" surely tops the list, and Franco Zeffirelli can't be faulted for his friendly popularization of the tragedy. After all, anyone (and everyone) knows the star-crossed lovers. Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey, who played the titular characters, were as young and lively as Shakespeare saw it. There have been countless adaptations of the play, and Baz Luhrmann's offbeat version would resonate with a younger generation of moviegoers, but Zeffirelli's adaptation was simply superior in all aspects. What about the other romantic stories?
Some millennials grew up watching Adam Sandler's romantic comedies, which would be a long shot for an essay topic. (You could persuade your professor to pen an essay on Sandler and the 1980s. Why did it ticked with the viewers?) Jane Austen's works would generate renewed interest, as it wouldn't get old. Hollywood producers knew it. Baby Boomers and the members of the Silent Generation fondly remembered the black-and-white pictures starring Clark Gable, Cary Grant or William Powell. This could be a topic of intense discussion, as it would bring out the snobbery on some people. College students won't be the exception, as literary criticism is a frequent exercise. A good romantic movie is judged by the number of hankies used, the frequent sighs heaved, and the quickening pulses.
Cinema Aphrodiso: When Love Alters Destiny
Ninotchka (1939) by Ernst Lubitsch. A charming count (Melvyn Douglas) fell in love with a rigid Soviet envoy (Greta Garbo). They met in Paris, so seductive and Western in many ways. It wasn't surprising that Nina Ivanovna "Ninotchka" Yakushova warmed up slowly, laughing out loudly in one unforgettable scene. Garbo became renowned for playing women who must suffered in the name of love, so this comedy revealed another side of the actress that her fans have little known of. The script by Billy Wilder, satirical of Communism at times, would suggest that Parisians have a chronic case of spring fever. The audience couldn't resist it.
Roman Holiday (1953) by William Wyler. Audrey Hepburn played a princes who wanted to get away from her royal duties momentarily while Gregory Peck was a reporter who was assigned to get a scoop on her. One night in Rome changed their lives, and the final scene was full of affection. (Viewers with a heart of stone won't get teary eyed by it.) The Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) wouldn't disappoint excited viewers.
The Way We Were (1973) by Sydney Pollack. Barbra Streisand was a Left-leaning ugly duckling while Robert Redford was the golden boy at the campus. They fell in love, which showed that real beauty couldn't be seen by the (human) eyes. The bittersweet ending might remind some fans of Carrie and Mr. Big, which was the way they were.
When Harry Met Sally (1988) by Rob Reiner. It would be possible for friends to fall in love with each other. There was a higher chance for college mates than colleagues.
Ghost (1990) by Jerry Zucker. He was a banker, she was an artist. And they were madly in love with each other. The pottery wheel scene was arguably the highlight of this (romantic) fantasy thriller, which should push all buttons.
Pretty Woman (1990) by Garry Marshall. J. F. Lawton's screenplay was a modern update of Cinderella, about a hooker with a heart of gold and her Prince Charming, a businessman making a living in buying and breaking up companies. It would resonate as a dark tale about class in L. A., yet it had greater success as a fantasy of sort. Everyone wanted a happily-ever-after ending.
Sense and Sensibility (1995) by Ang Lee. The moral of Jane Austen's classic would be good guys could finish first, as Alan Rickman's Colonel Brandon's good intentions and patience won Marianne Dashwood's heart.
The Wedding Singer (1988) by Frank Coraci. This romantic comedy was the most memorable collaboration between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, an ode to tacky clothes, long hair, and Billy Idol. Music fans would witness the renewed popularity of 1980s hits, probably the best time for listening to love songs. Boys II Men might disagree with it.
Malèna (2000) by Giusseppe Tornatore. The Italian filmmaker would be remembered for movies about young lads experiencing first love. In this case, a married woman who was the envy of a small Sicilian town. Lajos Koltai made sure that Monica Bellucci, who played the titular role, would look stunning from every angle. She was a working-class Venus, so the boys (and men) couldn't be faulted for not keeping their eyes off her.
Love Actually (2003) by Richard Curtis. This Christmas-themed rom-com would show how some guys could reveal their true feelings to their beloved: Writing it on large cue cards.
Suggested List for Snobs
There was no need to argue over the list, as you could come up with an alternative. You had eclectic taste, and you strongly believe that your preference would be much better than your coursemates (or roommate). You could gain some admirers.
“Pride and Prejudice” (starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson), “Now, Voyager” (featuring a vulnerable Bette Davis), “Woman of the Year” (with a strong Katharine Hepburn matching wits against a secured Spencer Tracy), “The Shop Around the Corner” (proof that pen friends can find true love), and “The Awful Truth” (a riotous comedy of how an energetic wire fox terrier can save a marriage). The list can go on unless you want to take a break from the coursework and opt for those big-screen adaptations of Nicholas Sparks's novels. In this case, it would be Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth.