Thus another series ends. Wonders of wonders.
Bear in mind that this was written first, before the rest of the series and hasn’t been touched since (sans this intro, natch.)
Not because it’s wonderful, not be cause it’s even good. Just because I’m lazy. And I couldn’t think of anything else to say. Better essay in the days ahead. Hopefully.
I would have to say that my favorite romantic movie, bar none, is Casablanca, followed closely by The Shop Around the Corner. Which is unfortunate because neither film fits this site kind-of sort-of motif of Fantastic stuff.
In fact, I spent more than a few minutes wracking my brain for a decent movie. As a rule, Romance tends to be like an appendix to most genre films. Everyone’s got one but it could be cut out without serious harm. And occasionally it goes bad and kills…
Okay, so it’s a bad metaphor. It happens to the best of us. I’ll just walk it off.
There is one that ranks high with me that does fit the site, and I can’t believe it didn’t just jump out at me at once: Sinnui yauwan/A Chinese Ghost Story. Problem no doubt was that I don’t think of this as a Romance most the time. Just one of THE BEST MOVIES EVER! Guys on wires, undead monsters, stop motion animations, killer tongues, singing swordsmen, descents into Hell, what more could you want? This movie single handedly ruined the action scenes in Big Trouble in Little China for me, I kid you not. Just out of sight.
But driving all the wild and woolly excitement is a sweet little story. Ning Tsai Tsen is a nice enough man, but an utter failure at being a tax collector. While trying to do his job, he encounters the beautiful Nieh Hsiao Tsing, whom he falls for in a major way. When he discovers she is in trouble he does everything he can to help her. It does what few movies can do and makes me forget the Hour Romance (more on this at a later date) that drives the plot.
The version of Sinnui yauwan I have has a really terrible translation which, I’m sad to say, adds to my enjoyment of the film. But that’s neither here nor there. It’s a great film, worth seeing.
I can’t end this portion of the series without mentioning that I came this close to claiming that Ãdishon/Audition was my favorite Romance. Which is a really terrible thing to do, all things considered. Oh, the movie’s great and there is a courtship in it that runs the plot, but it’s not for everyone. Specifically, it’s not for anyone easily grossed out or not into seriously intense situations.
And, knowing me, I’d have sold it as a romance and “forgot” the unpleasant truth of things.
I’d have gotten a good laugh out of it, anyway, but it wouldn’t be nice.
I was also tempted to list King Kong, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that would be stretching things.