MIDNIGHT IN PARIS:A REAL TEAR-JERKER
There’s a scene in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris in which the time-travelling hero Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson, is forced to bid adieu to Adriana the woman of his dreams (an ethereal Marion Cotillard). Having been transported from 1920s Paris to the beginning of La Belle Epoch,Gil realises that like himself, Adriana dreams of experiencing a different era. Acknowledging that they belong in different times and that their burgeoning love cannot overcome the desire both of them have to be transported in time, the two are forced to say goodbye for the final time. A real tear-jerker.
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE: ROLE PLAY
Wong Kar-Wai’s breakthrough film is often described as just an exhaustive exercise in framing and lensing. But Christopher Doyle’s genius aside, it’s a deeply resonant romance between a man and a woman who choose not to express their love because they don’t want to be like their spouses who are having a secret affair. In such a consciously forbidden zone, there is this unforgettable scene on the streets of Hong Kong where Mr Chow and Mrs Chan (Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung) role-play. She plays his wife and he plays her husband and they try to play out scenes from their love story, not realising or perhaps pre-empting that they themselves are in the middle of one. It’s in that one moment they are together — in their common tragedy and their uncommon love.
NOTTING HILL: THE PROPOSAL
William Thacker (Hugh Grant), the floppy-haired bookshop owner, realises that he had actually been a “daft pri**” when he had turned down Holly A-lister Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) and had dismissed her almost tearful lines: “And don’t forget... I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” He somehow manages to reach Anna's “final” press conference in London, with a lot of help from his quirky friends, where he once again embraces his fake profile — that of a journalist from Horse and Hound — and asks whether Anna would reconsider her thoughts about Mr Thacker. The lights brighten. She smiles. Radiant. He smiles. Awww. And a few scenes later a pregnant Anna is seen lying on Will’s lap in the park while Elvis Costello’s She plays in the background: She maybe the reason I survive/ The why and wherefore I’m alive.
SAPTAPADI: HATRED TO LOVE
I can’t help but think of the most romantic pair on screen I have ever seen — Uttam-Suchitra. Remember the Othello-Desdemona scene from Saptapadi? That alone has egged me on to read Shakespeare in the first place! The tug-of-war of love and hatred had its first moment of pure chemistry when Krishnendu and Rina Brown couldn’t stop staring at each other long after the curtains came down on stage. Goosebumps!
This is what happens when one has a thing for older men — one tends to moon over books like Daddy Long Legs and films like Lamhe. My most romantic scene from this Yash Chopra film is when Pooja (Sridevi) is upset over Kunwarji’s (Anil Kapoor) indifference towards her even though it’s her birthday. She walks out and is sitting by a bonfire when he comes and hands her a small box. She opens it... it’s a beautiful pendant and chain. All her obhimaan forgotten, she turns her face so that he can fasten the gift around her neck. He complies. #SoHotSoSweet
10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU: I LOVE YOU BABY!
No one who has watched this film can ever forget the scene where a cheeky Heath Ledger’s Patrick sings I love you baby to the tune of a marching band in an attempt to woo Julia Stiles’s very cantankerous Kat. Patrick dancing across the bleachers as he sings the song will melt the hardest heart, no wonder Kat flashed the sports teacher right after to get Patrick out of detention!
BEFORE SUNRISE:SILENCE SPEAKS
The effortless chemistry between Ethan Hawke’s Jesse and Julie Delpy’s Celine stands out in every scene. One scene stuck in my head is when the two almost-strangers go to a record store and head to the listening booth to plug in to a Kath Bloom record. While the song Come Here plays, the two stand in one corner of the booth listening to the song silently and sneaking glances at each other, all the while avoiding eye contact. It’s a scene without much (or any) dialogue, but the song is beautiful and so is the body language of the two. There’s so much tension between them as the song goes: No I’m not impossible to touch/ I have never wanted you so much/Come here/Come here.
KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI:“BRO” TO “BAE”
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is the most romantic SRK film for me. My favourite scene, however, isn’t when they dance in the gazebo, but when they play the game of basketball at the summer camp. Oh, that moment when khel khel mein Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) tugs at Anjali’s (Kajol) pallu is romance personified. That smirk on SRK’s face and the shock on Kajol’s… the sexual tension in that passing moment is totally #GOALS for the unrequited crush from college. He finally sees you as a sexual being and not a bro. The former something that she wished for... the latter something that actually happened. Sigh!
ROMAN HOLIDAY: “ROME. BY ALL MEANS ROME”
A young princess, strong-armed by everyone around her into toeing the aristocratic line, is on a royal tour of Europe. In Rome, unable to fight the impulse for some adventure, she flees the palace and is discovered by the curious — and gorgeous! — Gregory Peck, a journalist, who shows her around Rome, inconveniently falls in love with her and is unable to be disloyal and submit the story to his enraged editor. My favourite scene is right at the very end, when, at the press conference, the princess is asked which city along the tour appealed to her the most. She launches into her rehearsed, diplomatic answer but then stops herself and declares: “Rome. By all means, Rome.” It is a love that is doomed, for it is inconceivable that a princess and a commoner will live happily ever after. But decades later, Prince William married Kate Middleton, so I’m still waiting for Part 2, even though Peckburn is a couple hard to out-chemistry.
ABBY SEN: THAT MOMENT WHEN..
That moment when Parama (Raima Sen) confronts Abby Sen (Abir Chatterjee) and accuses him of having an affair with another woman. No, they hadn’t conveyed their feelings to each other yet but there was so much brewing between them already. In that scene after a heated argument the two finally hug and we know.... This particular scene from Atanu Ghosh’s sci-fi film Abby Sen is so poignant and so romantic that the aftertaste lingers long after.
YOU’VE GOT MAIL: THE CUTEST LOVE STORY
They are bitter rivals in business and anonymous friends on the Internet. He knows, she doesn’t. She hates him, he has just realised he has feelings for her. So he bounds off to her place with a bunch of daisies. Why daisies? Because on their very first meeting she had mentioned in passing that they were her favourite flowers. Awwww! At her apartment, she tries every means to get rid of him but he works his irresistible charm on her and is soon making tea for her and tucking her into bed, while she is blabbering out her biggest secret to him. It’s a beginning of the cutest love story and you can’t but watch this scene — and the whole film — with a happy smile on your face and a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart.
TAMASHA: LOVE WITHOUT EGO
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’s “Agar main do minute aur rahi toh mujhe tumse pyar ho jayega…phir se. Aur tumhein nahin hoga, phir se” was my fave Ranbir-Deepika romantic scene... till Tamasha happened. Ved (Ranbir) is hysterical after Tara (Deepika) rejects his proposal. The couple fight initially with Ved saying: “Tujhe toh pyaar ho gaya hai pagli” and Tara blurting out: “Haan Ved.” Her eyes shining with tears is painful and romantic at the same time. She tries to hug him tight and he struggles initially, only to calm down and hug her back. She pats his head softly, but he gets up and storms out, leaving her alone... sobbing. But then she gets up and runs behind him. Agar tum saath ho playing in the background makes the scene even more beautiful.
LAKSHYA:NO MUSH, BUT CUTE
I love that scene involving the cute banter between a video-game addict boy and a focused activist girl, who is a romantic at heart. For the boy, it is absolutely a given not to show too much mush, but the girl wants him to show some emotion. In this scene, Hrithik Roshan’s Karan bags his first job and suddenly tells girlfriend Romi (Preity Zinta): “Toh main soch raha hoon ki main tumhare daddy se baat karoon.” Romi’s curt query: “Kis baare mein?” Karan: “Arre, shaadi ke baare mein!” Romi, sweetly but seething from within, replies, “Karan, main jaanti thi ki ek na ekdin hum shaadi ki baat karenge, magar yeh baat tum aise kahoge maine yeh nahin socha tha.” Karan’s masterstroke: “I see...toh kya tum chahti ho ki main ek phool (takes a paper roll in his hand) lekar aaoon aur tumhare aankhon mein jhaank kar kahoon, ‘Romi...blah blah blah?!’ As Karan says “Eeewwww” hiding his face in Romi’s lap, my heart goes awwww!
CHENNAI EXPRESS: THE REAL DEAL
Tricked into taking part in a wedding ritual, Shah Rukh Khan lifts Deepika Padukone in his arms and starts a steep climb up a temple. There are about 800 stairs and our man huffs and puffs, much to his fake bride’s amusement. A few steps from the finishing line, his arms almost giving way, SRK gets intense. Staring at his contorted face full of resolve, Deepika realises this slacker is the real deal. And then she looks at him, the moment you know you have fallen for someone.
NO STRINGS ATTACHED: PERIOD MIX
One would not normally pick a film with the title No Strings Attached for a memorable romantic scene. But you know what? For many of us, this is what romance is. The not knowing part. The scene where Adam (Ashton Kutcher) makes Emma (Natalie Portman) a “period mix”. He comes to a house full of synchronised bleeders, makes his way in announcing that he has cupcakes (knows where to touch, oh yeah!), quotes the uterine wall shedding thingy he Googled AND cuts a CD... or “period mix”. Okay, he says “to help soothe your womb” like some Middle Age druid and includes Red, Red Wine in the mix. But still. What we loved? That he takes all that effort doing the sweetest thing he could, not because he has to but because he wants to, even when there are no strings attached. That’s romantic.
SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE:LOVE CAN HAPPEN AT ANY AGE
Sixty-something Harry (Jack Nicholson) and 50-something Erica (Diane Keaton) end up falling in love, even though Harry was once dating her daughter Marin. The last scene of this 2003 film is a mini classic with a dejected and much-in-love Harry standing on a bridge in Paris, overlooking the Seine. But then a taxi pulls up and Erica walks out saying that she’s still in love with him. “What do you have to say about it?” she asks. He looks at her nonplussed, before blurting out: “If that’s true, then my life just got made.” She asks: “Why did you come here, Harry?” His awww reply: “Turns out the heart attack was easy to get over. You… are something else. I am 63 years old and I am in love… for the first time in my life.” A special scene in a special film that simply says that love can happen anytime, at any age.
CITY OF ANGELS:NO LOVEMAKING, JUST DEPTH OF FEELING
It has all the makings of a romantic scene. A rainy night. A dark room. Meg Ryan’s soft golden curls. The unreal touch of an angel named Seth (Nicholas Cage). And Sarah McLachlan’s incredible whisper of a voice singing In The Arms Of The Angel. Maggie feels Seth’s presence in her room on a stormy night. She feels him caress her and then she calls out to him, asking him to stay with her while she sleeps. There’s no lovemaking here. Just depth of feeling. And the courage to believe in something unseen.
AWAY WE GO: LOVE IS... HOPE
Burt (John Krasinski) and a pregnant Verona (Maya Rudolph) take a cross-country trip across the US in search of the perfect place to settle down and raise their child in this Sam Mendes film. They meet all kinds of people but the examples of family life leave them dissatisfied. Finally they end up in a home that almost seems at the end of the world, cut off from civilisation, in the countryside. The final scene of the movie — from the moment they start walking towards a two-storey white house (Verona’s family home) on a piece of enclosed land dotted with trees — is sheer magic. They walk into the house, slightly hesitant. A side of the house overlooks the ocean. They sit down on the porch and look at the sunset. Burt asks, “This place is perfect for us. Don’t you think?” Verona looks into his eyes and replies, wiping away tears: “I hope so. I really f***ing hope so.” The scene — with the haunting Wait by Alexi Murdoch playing in the background — works because it is so full of hope. They don’t know what the future holds for them, but they know they’ll be there for each other.
DIL CHAHTA HAI: SHE’S GETTING MARRIED, HE PROPOSES
The youth fave is a cult classic for many things, but among a billion other reasons, I love Dil Chahta Hai for the way in which Akash (Aamir Khan) goes down on his knees to ask Shalini (Preity Zinta) to marry him — right in the middle of her pre-wedding festivities. He looks at her and says the very same lines he used on her flippantly so many years ago, but this time with intensity tinged with pathos: “Mujhe yakeen hai ki main sirf iss liye janma hoon ki tumse pyaar kar sakoon... tum sirf iss liye ki ek din meri bann jao”…. Her eyes, caught between the heart and the head, don’t leave his face. It’s a moment caught in time… you will her to say ‘yes’ and yet you feel her dilemma. And when she finally melts into his arms with moist eyes and a smile on her lips, your heart soars for yet another love story gone right.