Vintage Date Night – 3 Classic Film Ideas for Old-Timey Romance

23 Jan

We’ve gotta be honest.  Ever since snagging that photo of Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca for last week’s blog post, we’ve been really feeling some classic cinema – which has presented us with a healthy selection of true love as Hollywood’s Golden Era saw it.

Depending on the tolerance of your sweetheart for a.) sappy lovey dovey storylines and b.) black and white film, it’s easy to stick to new releases and the less saccharine story-lines to keep everyone happy.

Here are three films (from a variety of eras) that will provide you and your honey genuine entertainment and a sweet underlying message (without putting either of you to sleep):

Roman Holiday (1953) 

There’s something about this film that makes it watchable over and over and over again.  Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn in her Hollywood debut) gets a little drunk on a sedative on a goodwill trip to Rome and decides in her intoxication to climb out the castle window and stumble happily out onto the street, spouting poetry, jumping in vans, and eventually falling asleep on a public fountain.

She’s stumbled upon by a down-on-his-luck American reporter (A very studly Gregory Peck) who takes her in before realizing who she is.  As he records all the wacky binds she gets herself in while playing hooky from her job as the Princess, he plans on building the story of his career.

Fun, entendre-laced dialogue and the cheeky fact that this is based on something Princess Margaret of England actually did in the 50s should keep you both fairly entertained, even when you know that these two have little hope of riding off into the sunset together.

At the very least, the quirky and clever Ann will annoy both of you a lot less than whoever Katherine Heigel is playing this season.

Modern Times (1936)

Okay, yes, this is kind of a silent film (but not really), and we imagine that’s already turned some of you off to the idea of watching it, but hear us out!

Firstly, for you film buffs out there, this is the first film in which the world heard the voice of The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin).

Pretty much everyone in the film aside from Chaplin and his ladylove (real-life wife Paulette Goddard) talks regularly, so go ahead and shirk that concern.

Secondly, the premise of this film is a political attack on the giants of the industrial era (namely Henry Ford), and damn was Chaplin a cheeky bastard when it came to calling out people he found politically distasteful (see The Great Dictator, in which he stood up to Hitler before the United States had decided how they felt about him).

You might think the humor is going to be ridiculous slapstick in the vein of the Three Stooges, but trust us, Chaplin’s comedic technique is more sophisticated than that, and it has aged incredibly well.  His comedic timing is still superb and incredibly fun to watch, even today.

Give it a shot, and be sure to tell us what you thought.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

No, we’re not cheating.  Here’s the deal.  If one (or both) of you is just inherently adverse to the idea of watching an “old” film, here’s one that came out last year that has all the makings of a great romantic story without the gushy discomfort of a rom-com (even though that’s what imdb insists on calling it).

Woody Allen’s return to form last year starring Owen Wilson, Marion Cotilliard, Rachel McAdams, and Kathy Bates takes viewers to some seriously unexpected places when Gil (a less-obnoxious-than-usual Owen Wilson) accidentally finds a way to escape his touristic vacation with his insufferable fiancee by jumping back into 1920s era Paris every night.

With hilarious interludes with some of the era’s most famous figures and a healthy handful of personal revelations for Gil, this one stays safely enough out of the traditional romance category to keep even those most cynical, black-and -white-haters amused and entertained.

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