Top 25 Romance Movies
American Graffiti (1973) dir. by George Lucas
Boss cars, great tunes, parking lot brawls... this one's got it all. Four boys try to live it up on the last night of summer before they go away to college, and each one gets paired off with a girl in one way or another. But none of the stupid "raunch comedy" formula stuff that modern directors are so sweet on. Here the jokes are actually funny and the relationships are believable, and the girls get just as much screen time and are just as interesting as the boys. Despite the different decade, this film probably comes closest to what it was like for my friends and I growing up in Utah in the 90's.
American Graffiti is very different from everything George Lucas did before or after. His later work makes you suspicious about how much of the writing George Lucas really did on this one. The dialogue is funny and sweet and rings true. So we probably have Gloria Katz and Willar Hyuck to thank for that.
Harold and Maude (1973) dir. by Hal Ashby
Is this the film that pioneered the idea of "depressive loner meets manic pixie dreamgirl and she teaches him to find joy in life?" I'm going to say yes. Except in this case, said manic pixie dreamgirl is the 79 year old Maude, played by the incomparable Ruth Gordon.
I thought this film was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen when I was 16. And it still holds up just as well. That scene when "Trouble" by Cat Stevens comes on... cinematic perfection.