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Be your most romantic this Valentine’s Day!

Written by Omair Alavi

These 14 Hollywood classics will make you fall in love this February 14th!

These 14 Hollywood classics will make you fall in love this February 14th!

Every year Valentine’s Day takes place on 14 February, and couples very much in love celebrate it by going out on romantic rendezvous, for candle-lit dinners, or simply for a walk on the beach. However, this year, we will try to make you opt for another activity that doesn’t involve you taking a step outside your home. In fact, once you are through reading about the 14 romantic flicks mentioned below, you might not want to spend the next Valentine’s Day away from your home theatre, because each film will make you fall in love, all over again.

Casablanca (1942)

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman

Director: Michael Curtiz

In the first half of the last century, there were hardly a few films that dealt with human emotions as Casablanca did. Set during the early days of the Second World War, it featured Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, a cynical expatriate American who owns a nightclub in the Moroccan city and is happy with his life until his former lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) approaches him to help her and her fugitive husband escape the Nazis. His struggle within himself is easily the film’s highlight as he is unable to decide whether he wants to help his former flame or not. The catchphrases like “Play It Once, Sam. For Old Time’s Sake.” and “Of All the Gin Joints in All the Towns in All the World, She Walks into Mine.” are still popular even after eighty years!

Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday (1953) starring Gregory Peck

Roman Holiday (1953)

Cast: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn

Director: William Wyler

Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) is an American reporter settled in Rome; Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) is royalty roaming around in the same city while on a goodwill tour of Europe. Bored with their lives, they both want to escape from their responsibilities, and when they get the chance, they do. While Joe recognizes the princess who is posing as Anya Smith and wants to interview her without her knowing it, something else happens. He falls in love with her, and she for him, and with the secret service in tow, they have a great time on their roman holiday. Although the film’s story resembles that of Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert’s It Happened One Night (1934), it was the sparkling chemistry between Peck and Hepburn that added the sizzle to the William Wyler classic.

An Affair to Remember (1957)

Cast: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr

Director: Leo McCarey

Ever wondered how the Empire State Building became a symbol of romance in Hollywood? It all began with this Cary Grant – Deborah Kerr flick where love meets tragedy before the eventual happy ending. The film revolves around two already-engaged-to-others characters – playboy Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant) and nightclub singer Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) – who after falling in love decide to take a six-month break and reunite atop the Empire State building so they can start their new lives together. However, fate has other plans in mind for them and misunderstanding replaces the love before fate again comes to their rescue but in the end. The film was later copied repeatedly in India as Arzoo (1965) and Mann (1999)while in Pakistan, it was made as Mann Ki Jeet (1972)without, obviously, the Empire State Building in all three unofficial remakes.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Cast: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan

Director: Rob Reiner

Unlike Hollywood films where the story takes place in the present only, When Harry Met Sally revolves around Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) who grow as a couple and as individuals over a period of time. Both Billy and Meg are on top of their game in this flick which still seems fresh and timeless despite being more than thirty years old. Spend your valentine’s day this year by meeting Harry and Sally, if you haven’t seen this classic, because all those who have seen it love every scene. Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma-starrer When Harry Met Sejal has nothing to do with this classic, and must not be mentioned in the same sentence as the Hollywood flick!

Pretty Woman (1990)

Cast: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere

Director: Garry Marshall

It has been thirty-three years since bachelor businessman Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) hired a relatively new hooker Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) to be his escort for social gatherings. However, after the two spend time with each other, they start falling in love with each other despite the class difference. What makes this modern-day fairy tale succeed is their brilliant performance – he as the Prince Charming to her Cinderella. Not only does love triumph in Pretty Woman, but the viewers also get to see the megawatt smile that made Julia Roberts an overnight star.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan

Director: Nora Ephron

He is a widower taking care of his only child after his wife’s death; she is in an unhappy relationship and wants to be rescued. They are brought together by the child who calls the radio station so that his father can find a partner and their family can be complete. If that sounds like Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to you then drop everything to watch Sleepless in Seattle because you are missing one of the best romantic classics of all time. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks as Annie Reed and Sam Baldwin respectively are on top of their game and keep the audience guessing as to whether they will get together or not. Thanks to Sam’s son Jonah (Ross Malinger), the film has a happy ending but not before the familiar Empire State Building comes into play.

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Cast: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell

Director: Mike Newell

It takes Charles (Hugh Grant) four weddings and an unfortunate funeral to finally realize that he is in love with Carrie (Andie MacDowell) in this classic British rom-com. Despite being a story about a beauty and a loser, suspense is the highlight of this movie. The flick was later unofficially remade in Pakistan as Paray Hut Love where the plot remained the same (it had one less wedding) but Sheheryar Munawar and Maya Ali did exactly what Charles and Carrie did!

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman

Director: John Turtletaub

When Lucy (Sandra Bullock) gets a second chance at love, she grabs it by not accepting that she isn’t the fiancée of her crush (Peter Gallagher) she saved from an accident, but by going along with his family while he was in a coma. The younger brother of the comatose guy named Jack (Bill Pullman), however, gets suspicious of Lucy and her goals but is unable to prove anything. Things go haywire when Lucy actually falls in love with Jack and the patient wakes up from the coma. The story might not seem new in 2023 but when the film came out, it was so fresh that Bollywood filmmakers and Pakistani TV directors were not able to stop themselves from getting inspired by it.

Titanic (1997)

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

Director: James Cameron

Whenever a list of the greatest romantic flicks would be made, Titanic would be on top of the list because it is a classic love story laced with all kinds of emotions. It revolves around a 100-year-old Titanic survivor Rose DeWitt Bukater (Gloria Stuart) who narrates the story of the unsinkable ship that met her fate in April 1912 to a group of youngsters who found her necklace underwater while searching for the ship’s wreckage. How the young Rose (Kate Winslet) met the drifter Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) on the ship, and how they fell in love is known to all, as are the reasons behind the ship’s fatal accident that took the lives of many, including Jack. If while reading this text you didn’t hum Celine Dion’s Every Night in My Dreams, then you need to watch the film again, and be mesmerized this Valentine’s Day!

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan

Director: Nora Ephron

Power couple Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan reunite for director Nora Ephron again after Sleepless in Seattle, and although they didn’t meet in the former flick till the end, they are constantly at loggerheads in You’ve Got Mail. However, while in the real world, they play rival bookstore owners, Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly, in the online world, they exchange emails, and unknown to each other fall in love slowly, and gradually. The film sparked many remakes in India and Pakistan with the latest one being Meri Jhooti Love Story in which Bilal Abbas Khan and Madiha Imam become Facebook friends using their friends’ identities and even though they get married to each other, they still love the ‘other’ version they haven’t met.

Notting Hill (1999)

Cast: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant

Director: Roger Michell

William Thacker (Hugh Grant) might be an unsuccessful Notting Hill bookstore owner but when film actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), considered the most beautiful woman in the world, drops in for a visit, his luck changes. The two meet up again and again before finally falling in love, but that makes things harder for them instead of easy. The paparazzi don’t seem to like their union since she is a Hollywood star and he is an ordinary guy but love always triumphs when the going gets tough and that’s exactly what happens in this film. The scene where Will encounters her ex-boyfriend must be one of the most copied scenes in the world because it has been executed so well.

50 First Dates (2004)

Cast: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

Director: Peter Segal

Ever since Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) met the beautiful Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about her. However, Lucy suffers from a form of short-term memory loss which is why she forgets meeting him once the date ends. What makes this film sweeter than the rest is Henry’s resolve to keep dating Lucy and his exhaustive attempts at recreating their perfect first date until she gets better, which somehow, she does in the end, after fifty such dates!

Hitch (2005)

Cast: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin Smith

Director: Andy Tennant

Those who are able to find love at first sight are lucky, for the unlucky ones there is Hitch (Will Smith) who imparts his wisdom to those who can’t help themselves. Not only does he teach love techniques, he sort of guarantees that a man can get the girl of his dreams if he overcomes his fears and of course listens to him. Using Albert Brennaman (Kevin James) as his latest student, he helps him become desirable in the eyes of the rich, beautiful, and available heiress Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta) but in the process becomes the target of gossip columnist Sara Melas (Eva Mendes) who considers him a villain than a hero. Will Hitch be able to save himself this time or will his game be over, that’s what makes the film better than the rest! And if the plot seems like Salman Khan and Govinda’s Partner, then that’s because it was lifted from this flick.

The Proposal (2009)

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds

Director: Anne Fletcher

She is the world’s most terrible boss and he is his dutiful subordinate who wants to succeed in life by publishing a novel. However, when the workaholic editor Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is about to be deported to Canada for an expired visa, she bribes her assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) to ‘fake’ marry her so that she can gain US citizenship and he can end up as a published author. However, she forgot to take Andrew’s family into account who host the two for a weekend. Things go from bad to worse as nothing seems to go right in the Paxton household, where all the family members are gathered to celebrate grandmother’s 90th birthday, and everyone has a story to tell to the new bride and the groom!

About the author

Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi is a highly regarded journalist, critic, and commentator, specializing in news, sports, showbiz, film, blogs, articles, drama, reviews, and PTV drama. With extensive experience and a keen eye for storytelling, he captivates audiences with his insightful analysis and compelling presentations. His expertise and contributions have made him a prominent figure in the media and entertainment industry.