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I guess I just like liking things

Nowadays there's probably an app for that

Nowadays there’s probably an app for that

I was informed the other day that  my “lists are very macho-centric.”  Since I am a dude, this probably happens unconsciously, but it is not my intent to have nothing but action movies and explosions here, so in honor of Valentine’s Day I thought I’d do some lists about relationships. I’m in no position to write a “best relationship movies ever” list, so I decided to limit it to movies that I own copies of, figuring that if I thought they were good enough to own, I must like them.  After all, why would a person knowingly own a copy of something he didn’t like?  I mean, unless his wife came to the marriage owning a copy of Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights and he couldn’t figure out a way to disappear it without raising suspicions, that is.

Now, every movie has relationships in it, of course. These lists contain movies where I feel the relationship it contains that I’m referring to is important to the story, with “important” meaning “how I took it, anyway.” I also cannot figure out good titles for these lists, so feel free to substitute better words. Presented alphabetically.

Fairytale Romance

  • Across the Universe – This one is more “real world,” but the Beatles music gives it its fairytale quality
  • The Crow – emo love can still be love!
  • Enchanted
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • Lord of the Rings – Aragorn/Arwen is one of my favorite onscreen couples ever
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack and Sally literally make beautiful music together
  • The Princess Bride – The closing song says it: “Our love is like a storybook love”
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – Robin/Marian is literally the stuff of legends, people
  • Up – The first ten minutes of this movie are a better love story than most other movies in this entry

Family Relationships

  • Big Fish – I’m still not completely sure I understand this one completely. It also could fit under the “Fairytale Romance,” but the father/son relationship is at the heart of this one
  • Deep Impact – The father/daughter relationship in this one kills me
  • Elf – His relationship with his Elf-dad is great, and the relationship he wants with his human dad is a great journey
  • Field of Dreams – Father/son again
  • Harry Potter – Harry’s parents play a huge role in this series, even though they’re absent
  • The Incredibles – Some of the family moments in this movie make me tear up every single time I see it.  When the mom is flying the plan and it’s being attacked and she can’t protect her kids and there’s going to be a huge explosion and there’s yelling and oh man.
  • Juno – Parents/pregnant teen daughter; soon-to-be teenage mom/baby; adoptive mom/baby; divorcing couple… take your pick!
  • Liar Liar – Father/son/The Claw
  • Little Miss Sunshine – The whole family unit, trying to function as one. This one’s weirdly sweet in very strange ways
  • Magnolia – Another father/son, but with a whole bunch of others thrown in. Plus: raining frogs.
  • Psycho – “A boy’s best friend is his mother!” Hey, I didn’t say all these relationships were good ones.
  • Reign Over Me – Loss of family
  • The Simpsons Movie – The Simpson family has always been called “dysfunctional,” but I think that does a disservice to so many families that operate similarly and still work pretty well. The Simpsons have been through an awful lot together but they obviously love each other.
  • Strange Brew – Brothers trying to scam a brewery together. Most hilarious version of Hamlet ever.
  • The Terminator series – Sure Sarah wants to protect her son and raise him correctly so he can lead a future group of humanity to victory over terrifying robots, but it speaks more generally to a mother’s desire to do those things for her kids even if she never gets inside info on their futures.

Troubled Relationships – Slightly differentiated from “Real World,” but I couldn’t explain why necessarily. I started to write notes on these but started getting sad, so I decided not to. Sorry!

  • 50 First Dates
  • 500 Days of Summer
  • Crazy Stupid Love
  • Date Night
  • Die Hard
  • Lars and the Real Girl
  • Lost in Translation
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith
  • Sideways
  • Spanglish
  • The Break-Up
  • The Sixth Sense


  • The Butterfly Effect – Most of the changes he tries to make are to try to make things better for the girl he loves
  • The Crow – Double mention!
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – This one rings more “Real World” to me, but I can’t get past the mind-wiping aspect being sci-fi. This is one of my favorite movies.
  • L.A. Story – Magical sign in a wants-to-be-magical city
  • The Lake House – Yes, I own this one. Furthermore, I’ve seen it more than once. Nertz to you!
  • The Matrix – Neo and Trinity, man.
  • Star Trek Insurrection – Captain Picard’s too-brief romance with Anij is one of my favorite in all of Trek.
  • Star Wars – Han and Leia, man!


  • Harry Potter – The main point of this series, innit? Harry, Hermione, and Ron are a great friendship, even if Hermione could’ve done most of that without their help.
  • Of Mice and Men – George and Lenny and the rabbits. Feels bad, man :(
  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – Neal & Del are an unlikely friendship, but sometimes those forged in the fires of distress are the longest-lasting. I always wondered what happened to these two down the line.
  • The Toy Story series – Toys aren’t supposed to make you cry, man.


  • Fargo – You’ve got the good (Marge & Norm) and the bad (Jerry & Jean) here.
  • Return to Me – I haven’t seen this in a long time, but remember liking it even as I was sure no one else did.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – A sad tale underneath all the bloodletting and pie-making.
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan – Kermit & Piggy married at last!  …sort of?
  • The Simpsons Movie – Homer and Marge are one of the all-time great couples and I’ll fight anyone who says differently
  • True Lies – Harry & Helen had some things to work out, but they eventually did, so good for them!
  • Unforgiven – We never see Will’s wife Claudia, but his love for her influences his whole way of being
  • Up – Man, we don’t have to talk about those uplifting/heartbreaking first ten minutes again.

Real World – I didn’t know what else to call this category. I considered leaving it as “Unsorted,” but this works well enough

  • As Good As It Gets – Over time people have ascribed cheesiness to it, but I will always love that “You make me want to be a better man” scene.
  • For Love of the Game – I like this movie more than I like actual baseball, but I do love the intertwinement of baseball and relationships in this one.
  • Garden State – That “do something spontaneous!” scene drives me absolutely up the wall, but I still love this movie.
  • Grosse Pointe Blank – Hey, hit men have feelings, too.
  • Love Actually – There are so many different types of relationships in this one that you’re bound to like at least one of them. Nice move, filmmakers.
  • Once – I think I love the soundtrack more than the movie itself.
  • Red – Hey, Bruce wouldn’t have even gone to find her if he didn’t care about her
  • Shopgirl – I liked the movie version better than the book, and that is a rare deal
  • The Spider-Man series – Even though “gaining spider powers” is more believable than “nerd gets hot women,” Spider-Man’s relationships (both family and romantic) are the big reason he is who he is
  • The Wedding Singer – Because Billy Idol says so, and because no one should have to go through life as “Julia Guglia”
  • Titanic – I have this because the ship stuff is awesome. The romance stuff is mostly nonsense, but I’m glad it got Leo and Kate off to some good starts.
  • When Harry Met Sally – If the speech is good enough for Turk to (unknowingly) say to Carla, it’s good enough for you, too.


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