Carl and Ellie – Up
It’s a stretch to call Pixar Up a Valentine’s Day film, especially since it is more interested in loss than in love. But even in the brief montage they share together, Ellie and Carl are one of the most delightful and heartwarming couples on screen in cinema. In many ways, they’re opposites, with the wedding scene showing the inadequacy of families across the aisle: gunned and howling hillbillies, and bleak, tense Puritans. Even their furniture shows us this contrast, with Carl’s brick utility chair sitting next to Ellie’s elegant, embroidered seat – they even evoke the figures when empty. With their undisputed commitment to each other despite their different personalities, you cheer them on almost immediately.
Unlike most romance movies, Carl finds the love of his life early on and he suffers for most of the film. This is where I think UpThe glow of one’s kicks in – especially by deprioritizing romantic relationships as the most important thing in life. Carl leads a very happy life with Ellie, but after his death he is left adrift, perfectly illustrated by his house floating in the sky. It wasn’t until he made new relationships, became Russell’s mentor, and befriended a talking dog and a tropical bird, that he regained meaning in his life. Not bad for a children’s movie, eh?
Samuel Zucca, editor
Jesse and Celine – Before the trilogy
Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) meet on a train en route to Vienna. They spend the night there and promise to meet in the same place a year later (it’s the 90s: that’s all they have to do). Jesse arrives but Celine does not. It doesn’t matter: life goes on. However, their paths cross again, nine years later, in Paris. Roll the clocks forward nine years and the couple are on vacation in Greece, married and father of a family.
This is the macro story of Richard Linklater Before trilogy, a wonderfully understated examination of a twenty-seven-year-old relationship that thrives on the little details. Filmed in three episodes nine years apart, the series follows a magical night of courtship and how it plants the seed for a more stormy but more complete relationship. Delpy and Hawke effortlessly win in their roles. Supported by Linklater’s humanist touch, they go from eager and naive to Before sunrise cautious but hopeful in Before sunset and honest but passionate about Before midnight. Seeing the length of their relationship, from doe-eyed cherubs to real altered adults, alongside the actual aging of the cast, is a joy to behold, and offers a full portrayal of romance few other movies can match.
Sam Denyer, editor
Troy and Gabriella – Musical High School
Troy Bolton might have put on some questionable dance moves in his day, and Gabriella’s love of chemistry isn’t something I could ever relate to, but this unlikely couple has become the figurehead of my romantic awakening. Fate, in the form of an inopportune spotlight, chooses these two from the crowd and they are forced to sing a love duet together… Then Troy makes a terrible singing joke in the shower, Gabriella laughs and BAM! Sparks fly, fireworks explode behind them, and my eight-year-old heart trembles.
From there, their entire relationship is bounded by song, from the squeaky, bouncy basketball “Get’cha Head in the Game” to Gabriella’s heart-wrenching ballad down the hall (“Now I know you’re not a fairy tale / And dreams were meant to sleep ‘). We’re swept away by their shy first encounters and romantic rooftop dates, and watch them face hilarious, yet intense opposition in the form of the sunglasses diva who is Ashley Tisdale. Their relationship provides abundant emotional fodder for romantic fantasies, but also tells the story of two people stepping out of their niches and cliques to discover something new. The mutual faith of Troy and Gabriella gives them the strength to be themselves and deliver their epic finale, the certified banger that is “Breaking Free”.
Leah Renz, film critic
Bella and Edward – The Twilight Saga
Sullen teens, werewolves and vampires glistening in the sun – Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) are the couple of movies people love to hate. Despite the differing opinions on the couple, it is undeniable that they defined the genre of teen romance in the late 2000s. To this day, Edward and Bella remain one of the most memorable and iconic movie couples in the world. 21st century – love triangle with Jacob (Taylor Lautner) apart.
The development of Edward and Bella’s relationship through the five films of the saga shows them at their best and their worst. Despite the “dating 100-year-old vampire” aspect of the relationship, there is a warm familiarity that comes from watching two somewhat imperfect individuals fight to make it work. Pair it with some hilariously choreographed action scenes from the Cullen family protecting Bella, and you’ve got the perfect couple of fantasy romantic flicks.
duskThe divided teenage cult over the issue of “Team Edward or Team Jacob” may have caused some unfair preconceptions about the saga, but that doesn’t eclipse the nostalgic glee that stems from Edward and Bella’s relationship to the saga. ‘screen. In my opinion, there is no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a dusk marathon!
Samantha Hicks, film critic
Charles and Carrie – Four weddings and a funeral
Ah, weddings. A memorable display of love between two people surrounded by friends and family, for some, seems like the pinnacle of romantic gestures. Charles (Hugh Grant) couldn’t disagree more. For him, they’re a reminder of past romances and his inability to commit to settling down. That’s until he meets Carrie (Andie MacDowell), a brash and carefree American with the world at her feet. After fleeting interactions as they navigate the social hell of the first marriage, he can’t seem to get her out of his head.
As their lives come together in three more weddings and a particularly heart-wrenching funeral, viewers watch Charles and Carrie continue to miss each other like ships in the night, feeding their feelings for each other as they try to live out their more realistic destiny. . Their decision not to marry at the end of the film shows the unconventional nature of their romance and perhaps saves their friends the same grudging reluctance they feel about receiving an invitation in the mail. Candid, imperfect and eternally charming, Four weddings and a funeral is a staple Valentine’s Day classic.
Jade Matlock, editor
Marie and Tim – About the weather
When Mary and Tim met, it was love at first sight. The second time, Mary had a boyfriend. During the third time, they fell in love again.
At 21, Tim discovers that the men in his family can time travel to days they’ve already lived. If it changes the events that happened that day, the result may also change. However, when Tim tries to fall in love with his crush Charlotte, he consistently fails. It shows that it was faith and luck that brought Tim and Mary together and a little bit of trial and error.
At first, Tim abuses his time-traveling abilities to make their sometimes awkward and comedic relationship perfect. However, when their marriage collapses due to heavy rains, Tim asks Mary if she would have preferred a better day. Marie replies: ‘No. Not for the world. Tim realizes that the imperfection is normal and he decides to go back in time only to relive days with his sick father. After the birth of their third child, he saw each day as if it was the only time he could experience it.
Many more heartbreaking situations occur in this film. It’s beautifully filmed and shows a relationship that slowly grows from humble beginnings to the perfect imperfect forever.
Julia Van Egmond – Film Critic
Are you looking for a little more romance in your life? Check out these other articles from Redbrick Film:
Review: The Happiest Season
Redbrick Rewind: Bee Movie
Review: The Princess Switch: Switched Again
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