A film which deals with a sentimental relationship between two (or more) characters as its basis. Possibly the biggest purveyor of escapism in film, the romance film plays on the viewer's assumption of what romance is like: long stares into a significant other's eyes accompanied by sunsets, birds singing, and the sounds of violins playing in the background (the romance as transcendental bliss). The story inevitably revolves around two lovers who meet, fall in love, and then must deal with the obstacles thrown in their way -- everything from social-class structures, to parental disapproval, to death -- oftentimes with a great sacrifice made on the part of one individual. Early romantic films helped to create personas for many of the first movie stars (the "Latin-lover" image of Rudolph Valentino, the "vamps" known as Gloria Swanson and Theda Bara). As each generation of movies has ushered forth their sex symbols, so too did they produce romance films to capitalize on their personas (The Kiss features John Gilbert and Greta Garbo, Of Human Bondage emphasizes Bette Davis, and the teams of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy and Rock Hudson andDoris Day starred in a multitude of romantic comedies). It has been a hugely popular genre in its many mutations and subgenres including: the romantic comedy (Woman of The Year, Send Me No Flowers), the romantic crisis film (Made For Each Other, Make Way For Tomorrow), the historical romance (War And Peace, The French Lieutenant's Woman) and the "weepie," a romance film based on a love beset by tragedy (Love Story).
Nicholas Sparks is a name brand. In a kind frame of mind, you could even call him reliable. His romances, designed to milk as many tears out of an audience as he can extract, have been consistent box-office successes … More~ Perry Seibert
Tween girls and sexually unsatisfied adult women, gird your loins -- it's time for another epically romantic teen-fantasy franchise, and this one is really good: Beautiful Creatures. If Twilight made your heart go … More~ Cammila Collar