Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what constitutes “romantic.” For the next few Tuesdays, I’ll be talking about films I find romantic, including clips.
#1, Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946)
This is a post-war suspense film that has a very dark background to it. While not being so designated, it definitely has a “film noir” feel to it, complete with the cynical hero who works for American government, the beautiful but no-good heroine (her morality is constantly under question), and the “big machine” of Evil working behind the surface (in this case, Nazis who escaped to Brazil–Rio de Janeiro–and are trying to resurrect the Reich). There is a wealthy but weak “other man” and his mama, who provides one of the scariest scenes in Hitchcock’s canon.
And there is The Kiss (http://youtu.be/Zu8JASfWb6A).
Why is it “romantic”? Well, aside from the obvious acting talents of and chemistry between Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, the story is about our hero and heroine falling in love. But both of them have to overcome their internal baggage and their pre-conceptions of each other before the initial hot wave of attraction can last… Both of them have to rescue the other in some way… and it is not easy nor is it pretty, but the final scenes are so satisfying it is worth waiting it all out.
Oh, and hey, they’re gorgeous to watch, together or separately.
And this isn’t “just a chick-flick” either: the suspense and danger should put it near the top for any guy who likes to watch George Clooney or Matt Damon to their thing, or who likes Bond… with fewer gadgets.
In fact, watching Notorious provides the background for a scene in Mating Mariella.