The top 10 romantic gestures

The top 10 romantic gestures. By Simon Miraudo.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and you know what that means… it’s time for everyone’s cinematically-raised expectations of love and romance to be crushed spectacularly! Kidding, kidding. Sure, Hollywood might like to exaggerate about the experience of falling for someone, but there are plenty of flicks that have captured that exhilarating and intangible sensation of L.O.V.E. Sometimes, to achieve that, filmmakers need to depict it in larger-than-life fashion. Thus, this week we’re sharing our 10 favourite romantic gestures in film. Boys and girls, you may not be able to pull off these same feats for your paramour by February 14th, but let these ten examples encourage you to up your game and prove your love at any time of the year. They deserve it!

NB: It was nigh on impossible to find examples where a woman went to great lengths to win over a man (short of Young Adultand that is no romance). We suspect it’s because guys are usually the ones to screw up and have to apologise / make grand declarations. So, look alive fellas!

10. Before Sunrise / Before Sunset

Gesture: Letting a single – admittedly amazing – date define the rest of your existence.

In Before Sunrise, twenty-somethings Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) meet on a train and spend an evening wandering round Vienna discussing their hopes and dreams, before parting ways the next morning. When we next meet them almost ten years later in Before Sunset, Jesse has written a best-selling novel about their encounter, and both wonder whether they should abandon their established lives and finally get together. Looking forward to that long-rumoured sequel to see where they ended up.

9. When Harry Met Sally

Gesture: Running across New York and crashing a NYE party.

New Year’s Eve parties are the worst. Still, Harry (Billy Crystal) abandons his plans for a stay-at-home NYE celebration in his sweat pants (which sounds amazing), and ventures into the heart of New York to win back Sally (Meg Ryan). Bold.

8. The Apartment

Gesture: Foiling a suicide attempt.

Snivelling company-man C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) rents out his apartment to the higher-ups for their extra-marital affairs. When elevator girl Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) tries to kill herself in his bed after being abandoned by Baxter’s boss, our lovesick hero is shaken from his stupor and helps her to recuperate. Hopefully most people would come to the aid of someone who attempted suicide in their home, but Baxter’s trying to be a “mensch” and we’re all really rooting for him.

7. Bonnie and Clyde

Gesture: Dying together.

The couple that robs together…

6. Casablanca

Gesture: Letting her fight the Nazis.

Club owner Rick (Humphrey Bogart) loves Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), but even a fellow as selfish as he knows that fighting the Nazis is slightly more important than keeping him and piano man Sam company in Casablanca.

5. Ghost

Gesture: Crossing spectral dimensions, and possessing Whoopi Goldberg, for one last kiss.

Or perhaps the romantic gesture here is believing Whoopi Goldberg when she says she is being possessed by your dead husband.

4. I Love You Phillip Morris

Gesture: Breaking out of jail… four times.

This pic tells the true story of Steven Jay Russell (Jim Carrey) a conman who escaped prison on four separate occasions to reunite with former cell-mate (and soul-mate) Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). Russell is currently incarcerated, and because of his frequent break-outs, won’t be released until 2140. That’s not a typo. So this is what Beyonce meant about being Crazy in Love.

3. City Lights

Gesture: Paying for an eye operation, despite being horrendously poor.

Charlie Chaplin‘s tramp is so enamoured by a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill), he subjects himself to a whole lot of shameful, slapstick-heavy, money-making schemes in the hopes of paying for her eye operation. If you do not cry at the end of this movie, Valentine’s Day is not the holiday for you.


Gesture: Saving the planet.

No biggie.

1. Roman Holiday

Gesture: Letting go.

In this age, it’s hard to fathom that someone would spend a whirlwind day of romance with a Princess (Audrey Hepburn) and not tell the press. But that’s exactly the sacrifice journalist Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) makes for Princess Ann. They love one another, but her royal duty calls, and the two respectfully part ways with the memory of their one, wonderful day forever in mind. Roman Holiday has one of the best bittersweet endings of all time – and in our opinion, features the most romantic gesture of all. What’s that saying? If you love something…

Discuss: OK, what did we miss, lovebirds?

One Response to “The top 10 romantic gestures”

  1. You forgot The Crying Game. Like Dil says “no greater sacrifice” than doing time for the one you love.

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