Fantasy Romance

by Alan Rapp on February 8, 2011

in Theme Week, Top Tens & Lists

For you guys out there trying to find something romantic to watch without falling into the hell known as Kate Hudson’s career here’s a few romances from the Sci-fi/Fantasy genre you might be able to sneak into the DVD stack.

If you’re one of those people that think Sci-fi should never be grouped with Fantasy go whine someplace else.  For the rest of you here’s a short list of romantic themed sci-fi/fantasy films that may stop us guys from going into shock from too many chick flicks this Valentine’s Day.

Ladyhawke

ladyhawke-picRichard Donner has given us Superman and the highly profitable Lethal Weapon franchise, but my favorite film of his is a love story about knights, magic, a curse, and true love.  Ladyhawke tells the tale of two lovers cursed by the Bishop of Aquila (John Wood) who wants Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer who never looked soooo good!) for himself and if he can’t have her no man shall.  The curse keeps the couple always together but forever apart.  A thief who escapes the dungeons of Aquila (Matthew Broderick) and a defrocked priest (Leo McKern) try to council Captain Etienne Navarre (Rutger Hauer) from killing the bishop before they can find a way to break the curse.  Deeply romantic and tortured love story mixed with Broderick’s comic antics and plenty of sword fightin’ make this a great film for all.

The Matrix Reloaded

matrix-reloaded-picYeah so it’s not as good as the original, but this one does develop the romantic relationship of Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) in a love can conquer even death storyline.  Plus there’s the romantic tension between Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith), the depraved relationship of the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) and Persephone (Monica Bellucci), and the marital troubles of Link (Harold Perrineau) and Zee (Nona Gaye).  That’s romantic subplots aplenty for a film about computers trying to wipe out the last rebelling humans so they can keep them as batteries in the Matrix.  That and some really cool fight sequences allow this less than perfect sequel a place on our list.

Contact

contact-foster-mcconaugheyThe film’s main focus is on Dr. Ellie Arroway’s (Jodie Foster) life long search and finally being the one who makes first contact with UFO’s.  At the heart of the movie however are two important love stories.  The first is the story of a daughter who loses her father (David Morse) as a child and whose search for extraterrestrial life has at least some basis in the idea that there is something more out there than just death.  The second love story involves the atheist Ellie’s relationship with religious icon Palmer Joss (Matthew McConaughey).  At its core the film is about love and faith and believing and accepting and understanding issues that are so much larger than any of us individually.  If not then the universe is after all just an awful waste of space.

City of Angels

city-of-angels-cage-ryanOkay, some may object to me putting this movie on the fantasy list but c’mon folks it’s about angels for cris’sake!  The film follows the tale of an angel (Nicolas Cage) who falls in love with a doctor (Meg Ryan) and begins to wonder what it would be like to live as human and experience love as a mortal.  Can he really give up the wonder of his life and take a chance on love?  Only if he forfeits all he is and chooses to fall and become human.  A touching remake of Wings of Desire even if it is a bit too much Hollywood in places (though it does have a killer soundtrack).  Cage and Ryan play the relationship well and Dennis Franz gives a nice supporting performance.

Excalibur

excalibur-lancelot-guinevereKing Arthur’s tale has never been so well done.  The classic love triangle that brought about the end of Arthur’s (Nigel Terry) reign and the downfall Camelot is beautifully told here by director John Boorman.  The movie tells the tale of Arthur’s origins and birth including Uther’s (Gabriel Byrne) mad lust for Igrayne (Katrine Boorman) that leads to his death and the birth of Arthur.  The movie’s main focus is on Arthur’s Camelot, his wife Guenevere (Cherie Lunghi) and his best knight and stalwart friend Lancelot (Nicholas Clay).  The consumation of Lancelot and Guenevere’s love along with the scheming of Arthur’s half-sister Morgana (Helen Mirren) bring Camelot crashing down and lead to Arthur’s death.  Not the happiest of tales but an unbelievably romantic one nonetheless.

The Princess Bride

princess-bride-buttercup-wesleyThe love story of Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) and her Wesley (Cary Elwes) is classic fantasy in all the right ways.  Wesley is the boy who loved the girl but left only to return years later to find his love engaged to a twit who plans to murder her to start a war.  It’s got everything: a swordsman (Mandy Patinkin), a giant (Andre the Giant), a “genius” (Wallace Shawn), a grandfather (Peter Falk) and grandson (Fred Savage), a man of miracles (Billy Crystal), a six-fingered killer (Chrisopher Guest), a cowardly villain (Chris Sarandon), fire swamps and countless quoteable lines.  To not like it is simply “Inconcievable!”

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