25 Films of Christmas

So last year I tried to do 12 Posts of Christmas, unfortunately that didn’t work out as I got sick and involved in Christmas-y activities. However, this year I decided to do some thing in the vein of the Chinese New Year and Saint Patrick’s Day posts. Instead of posting everyday, a countdown of 25 of my fav Christmas Films. Now these aren’t my top 25, but I randomly picked them and then rearranged them in the order of how I love them.

Holly

25) Love, Actually (2003)

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This has a complex storyline as the film has multiple paths. There is Billy Mack, aging rock star trying to get back in the limelight, redoing Christmas songs.  Mark is secretly in love with his best friend’s girl Juliet but says nothing to honor his friend. Jamie flees to France after his last girlfriend cheats on him with his brother, there  he falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper. Harry, the direcctor of a design studio, contemplates having an affair with his assistant Mia. David has just become Prime Minister and develops feelings for a girl who works for him, Natalie. Daniel has just lost his wife and is raising his stepson.  Sarah has feelings for Karl but her mentally ill brother, Michael, seems to throw a wrench in her plans. Colin is tired of striking out with English women and journeys to America. John and Judy are body doubles for actors who meet at work.

Why it’s Great: It has Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Martin Freeman , etc; need I say more? The Colin Firth storyline is really good, in fact keep an eye open for it’s reappearance this Feb.

Holly

24) Twas’ the Night Before Christmas (1974)

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Santa isn’t coming this year as he has received an hurtful letter. A mouse and the clockmaker try and figure out what is wrong and fix it. The mouse’s son is the one that caused the issue and they are trying to get him to say he is sorry so that all can have Christmas.

Why it’s Great: They used to show this every year on the 25 Days of Christmas on abcFamily. It’s a great spin on a classic tale.

Holly

23) Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the film based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. Frank is a conman who pretends to be a teacher, pilot, doctor, and lawyer all before his 21st birthday. He steals millions of dollars in forged checks. Tom Hanks is the FBI Agent, Carl, that tracks him through the years, finally  catching up with him.

Why it’s Great: While this isn’t your typical Christmas film, Christmas plays a significant part as it is the time that the two intersect throughout the years in the film. DiCaprio and Hanks are amazing in this film as they are such subperb actors. It’s a great thing to watch.

Holly

22) Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

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This film takes place in the midst of Beauty and the BeastThe Beast hates Christmas, because in this version that’s when the Enchantress came and turned him into a Beast. Belle is trying to bring back Christmas to the castle and help heal the Beast’s soul, but has to contend with an evil organ played by Tim Curry. For more Beauty and the Beast posts go here.

Why it’s Great: While the song “As Long As There’s Christmas” is no “Be Our Guest” or “Tale as Old as Time“, it is extremely adorable. Plus Tim Curry as the villian? You just know its going to be awesome. 😀

Holly

22) Frosty the Snowman (1969)

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Short film based on the song about the magic hat that brings a snowman to life and his adventures with the town’s kids.

Why it’s Great: Its Frosty! How can you not love him?

Holly

21) Babes in Toyland (1986)

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Drew Barrymore is a young girl who is not quite in the Christmas’ spirit. There is a huge storm and she gets into an accident waking up in Toyland. Mary Contrary (who looks just like her sis in ‘real life’) is being forced to marry the evil Barnaby Barnacle. She really loves Jack Be Nimble (played by Keanu Reeves and looks like her sis’ bf in ‘real life’.) Barrymore tries to stop the wedding and Barnaby’s atempt to conquer Toyland. They have to find the toymaker and get his help in saving the land.

Why it’s Great: This Wizard of Oz-esque film is adorable as it brings all the nursery rhymes you learned as a child to life.

Holly

20) Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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A young creation, Edward Scissorhands, is discovered by an Avon saleslady, Peg. His creator was going to give him actual hands, but was not able to finish Edward before he died. The Avon saleslady takes him home to her place and has him join the family. Edward falls for the daughter Kim, played by Winona Ryder. Edward quickly becomes liked by all as he uses his scissors to create lawn art and cute hairstyles. After he is caught burglarizing a house, for Kim and her jerk boyfriend, he finds himself ostracized. In the end Edward is able to find love, his place, create more art, and make it snow.

Why it’s Great: First of all it has Vincent Price, in fact this was his last film before he died. It also is a super cute story, even though it has its sad moments. The last section of the film deals with Christmas, as Peg and her family throw a huge Christmas party that no one comes to as they are shunning the fam. I love Winona Ryder’s white dress in this film, I really want one for myself. It’s also really cute at the end when Edward makes the ice sculptures, and snow.

Holly

19) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Our second Tim Burton film on our list. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, and the most popular guy in Halloweentown is disatisfied with his life. He journeys out of town and discovers doors to other holiday towns. When he goes into Christmasland he decides that he will take over Christmas and improve it. Of course nothing turns out quite as he plans.

Why it’s Great: Its an amazing film, the music, characters, etc. Of course best lines, “why does nothing turn out as I plan“. My favorites are “What’s This?” and “Sally’s Song“.

Holly

18) While You Were Sleeping (1995)

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Sandra Bullock works at a toll booth and everyday she watches the distinguished (and my opinion ugly) Peter Gallagher and has developed a crush on him. One day he is attacked and injured and she saves his life. At the hospital she is mistaken for his fiancé and soon brought into the family. She falls in love with them, along with Gallagher’s brother, played by Bill Pullman. Gallagher wakes up to find himself massively confused, and Bullock finds herself engaged to the wrong brother. Everything works out on the end as all is righted.

Why it’s Great: Well first of all it has Bill Pullman :D. Secondly it is a hilarious film, just like all of Bullock’s comedys. I mean the amnesia scene is to die for. The proposal scene with Bill Pullman is so an adorable and romantic!

Holly

17) The Holiday (2006)

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Two women who have  suffered horrible breakups switch homes for the Christmas holiday. Iris, Kate Winslet, in England goes to California, and befriends an elderly neighbor and falls in love with a Hollywood movie theme writer (played by Jack Black). Amanda, Cameron Diaz, in California, moves to England and falls for Iris’ brother, Jude Law, widower with two kids.

Why it’s Great: Its an absolutely adorable idea and the couples match up are perfect. Of course the most points go to the sexy dad, Jude Law. 😀

Holly

16) Nestor: The Long- Eared Donkey  (1977)

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Nestor is a donkey born with extremely long ears. In the vein of Dumbo, Nestor is constantly picked on and bullied for being so different. An angel encourages him that he was born that way for a reason and has a special purpose in life. Eventually, Nestor finds himself being the donkey that Mary rides in to Bethlehem, protecting her and the unborn Baby Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is such a cute movie!!!

Holly

15) The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

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This film is based on the song, “Carol of the Drum” or “The Little Drummer Boy“. A little boy and his animals end up becoming slaves to a circus, being treated cruelly by all. He escapes and one of his animals is injured. He meets up with the Three Magi’s caravan and goes with them to see Baby Jesus. His animal is healed and he plays his drum as thank you to Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is one of the most adorable classic cartoons that they used to show every year on abcFam.

Holly

14) Jack Frost (1979)

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Jack Frost has fallen for a human girl and makes a deal that will allow him be human. He is until Spring to win her over and must also gain a horse and bag of gold in order to remain human. Being a human is harder than he thought as he has no idea the social niceties and has to contend with Kubla Khan, the evil dictator.

Why it’s Great: Jack is amazing, much better than the gold knight the girl end sup with ;(. Makes you knida wish he was real. This cartoon also has great musical numbers as “Jack Frost” and “Just What I Always Wanted“. I also loves Kubla Khan’s little dummy that he talks to.

Holly

13) The Godfather (1972)

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Such an awesome film! The Godfather is a story about the Italian mafia in the 1940s. This specific sect is overseen by Don Corleone. He has three sons; Alfredo (played by John Cazale), Santino (James Caan), and Michael (Al Pacino); and one daughter, Connie (Talia Shire). Santino is next in line to be godfather, skipping over his brother Fredo. Unlike his siblings, Michael wants nothing to do with his father’s  business, instead wanting to live a “legal” life. When Don Corleone is shot by a rival, it changes everyone’s plans as they are all spiraled down a new path.

Why it’s Great: Two words, The Godfather. There is no way to describe how amazing this film is, well actually You’ve Got Mail does a pretty good job.  You just have to check it out for yourself. This film isn’t a Christmas movie really, but does have a Christmas scene, so it counts. It’s funny, but even though this doesn’t have Thanksgiving, we usually watch it then in my family.

Holly

12) The Nativity Story (2006)

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A retelling of the birth of Christ from Mary and Joseph’s point of view. It shows the struggle that Joseph goes through, contemplating what to do about pregnant Mary. Then the two have to travel far and long to Bethlehem.

Why it’s Great: They tried to keep the story as historical accurate as possible and do such a great job. It really tries to bring the biblical text to life and get you to empathize with the two and the situations they are going through.

Holly

11) The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

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A mini-series based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved books. Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, enter a wardrobe and a magical world. The four find themselves caught in a battle between the evil White Witch and the Godly Lion, Aslan.

Why it’s Great: C.S. Lewis’ great book = Great movie. Enough said! While Christmas isn’t the biggest part of the plot, the group do run into Father Christmas who gives them gifts they need to win the fight against the White Witch. Peter gets a sword and shield, Susan a bow and horn that will always bring help, and Lucy a dagger and a healing substance to help the wounded. While this movie was remade by Disney, it doesn’t hold a candle to this mini-series, as the series while not having the great special effects, is almost exactly the book.

Holly

10) White Christmas (1954)

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Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are WWII veterans who became a song and dance duo. The two meet up with a pair of singing sisters and both head off to the same ski lodge. There they discover their old general is the owner, and may lose the place from lack of buisness and snow. The two come up with an idea to house a show there with the sisters. Bing Crosby starts a romance but the two break it off due to some misunderstandings. In the end they are all reunited and have a great number honoring the General and singing the title, White Christmas.

Why it’s Great: First of all Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye! Secondly this has some truly great musical numbers; such as “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army“, “Sisters“, along with the title song. It’s a silly and zany film, you’ll love it.

Holly

8) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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The Peanut gang try to figure out the true meaning of Christmas amid all the insanities of the holiday.

Why it’s Great: It’s Peanuts! Snoopy is adorable as ever and Linus gives a great true meaning of Christmas speech.

Holly

9) A Garfield Christmas (1987)

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Garfield and the gang head out to the Arbuckle farm for some old fashioned country Christmas

Why it’s Great: Its from the good Garfield cartoons I grew up watching as a kid. That hilarious fat cat always makes the season brighter. Go here to watch.

Holly

7) A Christmas Story (1983)

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Adult Ralphie narrates the time when his nine-year-old self desired a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas and all the trouble he went through to try and get it. Throughout the time leading up to Christmas, he, his family, and friends are involved in all kinds of crazy antics. The father wins a female leg lamp, Ralphie’s friend Flick gets his tongue stuck to a pole, his brother won’t eat unless pretending to be a pig, Ralphie gets a pink-footed bunny pajamas, etc. It all leads up to one crazy Christmas.

Why it’s Great: This movie is extremely hilarious. Pretty much every scene I mentioned there and more. It is  is truly a classic piece. You gotta add it to your Christmas countdown. 😀

Holly

6) The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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The Bishop is trying to get a new cathedral built along with all his other duities. Feeling stressed out, he calls out to God for help, and is answered by angel Dudley, Cary Grant. Dudley helps out, that is by spending all his time with the Bishop’s wife. Through this the Bishop is finally able to see what really matters in his life and the true meaning of Christmas.

Why it’s Great: Uh…Cary Grant! It also has such funny actics as when we see Grant’s angel powers. I mean I wish I had his tree decorating skills. This film also proves the old adage, “be careful what you wish for” is something that one should think on. 😀 For more thoughts on this film go here.

Holly

5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

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The Grinch hates Christmas and decides to destroy and end the holiday, ruining the holiday for all the Whos. However, the Grinch finds out what the true spirit of christmas is, whether he wants to or not.

Why it’s Great: The Grinch was always my fav Dr. Seuss book. I just love the story so much! I remember that one year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal and sent away for a special Grinch keychain. I lost it though in one of our moves.  This film is also awesome because it has the amazing Boris Karloff narrating, and has one of the all-time best songs, You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.

Holly

4) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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A Macy’s department store Santa believes himself to be the “real” Santa Claus. His insistence lands him in jail and then in a huge court case to determine whether or not Santa is real

Why it’s Great: It’s an amazing film about faith, believing in the intangible, and the true meaning of Christmas.  Edmund Gwenn is a perfect Santa, Maureen O’Hara is lovely as always, and it stars a young Natalie Wood.  It has amazing scenes as Santa turns Macy’s into a store of goodwill, taking down the psychologist, and pretty much just being adorable. Best scene ever is the court scenes when they prove Santa’s real. 😀

Holly

3) Holiday Inn (1942)

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Bing Crosby plays a burnt out singer and moves to Connecticut to buy a country home and live a simple life. It soon becomes too much for him and he turns it into a hotel, open only on holidays. (Sounds like my type of place) Wannabe star Linda Mason starts to work for him and the two fall in love. Unfortunately, Crosby’s old partner and womanizer, played by Fred Astaire, comes back into the picture and tries to break up the two. It involves a lot of zany romance and comical moments.

Why it’s Great: The holiday songs are amazing; White Christmas, Happy Holidays, (Come to) Holiday Inn, Be Careful It’s My Heart, I Can’t Tell a Lie, etc. The wonderful partnership of Bing and Fred make this movie really great! 😀 A great watch. Now for some fun facts. This is the first time “White Christmas” was performed in a film.  The same set was used for the film White Christmas which also stars Bing. The hotel chain Holiday Inn got their name from this movie.

Holly

2) The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

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Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan work together in a shop in Budapest and can’t stand each other. Unbeknownst to them they are actually the pen pals that they are falling in love with. Stewart realizes this and does everything he can to show Sullivan that he is the man she loves and the two end up happily ever after. It was later remade as You’ve Got Mail.

Why it’s Great: JIMMY STEWART! That pretty much says it all. I love this film so, so, so, much, there are no words to describe how great it is. So romantic! ❤

Holly

1) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a troubled man. An angel, Clarence, is given the story of George’s life and sent down from heaven to help him. George has always dreamed of leaving his hometown and traveling the world. Unfortunately, no matter what he does he continues to be stuck there. He marries and helps the town in many ways, but doesn’t realize all the good he does. However, when a large sum of money goes missing and everything in his life seems to be going wrong he wishes he was never born at all. Clarence helps him by granting his wish and showing him how ugly Bedford Falls would be without him.

Why it’s Great: This is one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart films. There’s a reason why this film is played every year, besides the fact that it is JIMMY STEWART! It is a great movie that really shows you how even the smallest acts can make a difference in people’s life. If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on this film go here. This film always makes me think of my dad. He has done so much for people and can get frustrated as he doesn’t feel like his has accomplished much. “Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

So Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a great day full of family, friends, and fun. 😀

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In Rhapsody Over Clint Eastwood

How can you not be in rhapsody over him?

How can you not be in rhapsody over him?

So as I have mentioned before I love Queen. I think they are such an awesome band with some of the greatest songs. I mean who doesn’t love  Under Pressure, Another One Bites the Dust, I Want it All, We Are the Champions, Radio Gaga, or Bohemian Rhapsody to name a few.

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Well to understand this story you have to realize my iPod has an obsession with Queen, and not just any Queen song, a specific one; Bohemian Rhapsody. I don’t know why, but it just loves to play that tune over and over and over again. (That and Maria from The Sound of Music).

I love everything

What I can’t remember if I have mentioned before is my love of Clint Eastwood. It goes much deeper than fan appreciation, I mean I wanted to marry this man. Now I know several of you out there probably just thought to yourself, “but he is so old”; but you know what age doesn’t matter if you are truly in love.

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Now I better bring this post back to reality, before I convince you all that I am completely crazy (I might have already done that…oops!). Clint Eastwood is dear to my heart. When I was six I saw Bronco Billy for the first time and was convinced that was the man for me. I wanted to be a cowgirl and everything about Clint’s character was exactly what I wanted in a man. Anyways, after that I saw all his films (with parental supervision or on TV), I was convinced we would get married in the future.

I mean look at this man! Can you blame me for being crazy about him?

I mean look at this man! Can you blame me for being crazy about him?

Eventually I realized that was a pipe dream as I was too young for him and he was married. I had to give up that dream (although I’m older now so it could still happen). Anyways I still love him and his films.

Just a few of his films.

Now I know you are probably wondering to yourself what do Queen and Clint Eastwood have in common, well I am just getting to that.

So the other day I went to the gym, and when I got there one of the TVs had Hang ‘Em High on. I was so ecstatic-usually all they have are some garbage reality TV shows and I spend the night bored out of my skull.

So Hang ‘Em High?

Finally something GOOD!

Finally something GOOD!

Everything was going as normal when the funniest thing started happening, Bohemian Rhapsody kept coming on and playing perfectly in sync with Hang ‘Em High.

Yes!

For those of you who have never seen or heard of Hang ‘Em High it is a western staring Clint Eastwood (obviously). He plays the part of Jed Cooper, ordinary rancher taking his newly bought cattle home. On the way he is stopped by a posse claiming he stole the cowherd. He tries to show them his bill of sale and prove his innocence, but the men won;t listen. They string him up, steal all his belongings and leave him to die. However, he does not die, (it’s Clint after all), but gets saved by a sheriff passing through. He is taken in, tried, found innocent, and becomes a marshall. He then goes after the men who tried to kill him, in true handsome Clint Eastwood style.

The law never looked so good

The law never looked so good

So like I said the song started playing perfectly with the film. This was playing when the guys string him and leave him to die (start at around 10:00). I thought it was perfect with the song.

“Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body’s aching all the time
Goodbye everybody – I’ve got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo – (anyway the wind blows)
I don’t want to die
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all”

Later when he is Marshall, he finds one of the guys who had strung him up. By this time it got to one of the most famous parts, and one of my favorites, when Clint confront the guy and says, “when you hang a man, you better look at him“(start about 7:50ish), this was :

“So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die”

Kinda describes that part perfectly.

So then he gets derailed by having to go after these cattle rustlers and murderers. He is taking them in when one asks to be let go (about 2:30). At that point my iPod was playing the song again and it was right at this part:

“Will you let me go?
Bismillah! No – we will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go – let me go
Will not let you go – let me go (never)
Never let you go – let me go
Never let me go”

I thought to myself, “no one is going to believe that this happened”. I mean it was too perfect.

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Well it did, and I wish I could have stayed to see the rest, but unfortunately it was getting really late and I still needed to walk home.

But I have to say that was one of the most amazing things to happen to me. It was too perfect.

Too cool

Boom, that’s how I roll.

For more Clint Eastwood, go to Here I Go

For more on Bohemian Rhapsody, go to Bohemian Rhapsody

For more of my favorite songs, go to Eye of the Tiger

Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year

So Sunday the 10th was the start of the Chinese New Year, which is the year of the snake.

Hissssss

Hissssss

Since posting on the 10th would interfere with my Valentine’s Day posts, Romance is in the Air, I decided to save the Chinese New Year posts until after I finished it by posting on the last day of the New year, February 25th.

People born in the Year of the Snake are intelligent and wise; and usually thought of as great thinkers. Snakes are materialistic, prefer to work alone, and are easily stressed. Snakes are best with an Ox or Rooster. They’re worst pairings are with a Tiger, Monkey or Pig. Snakes are those born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001,  and 2013.

Some famous people born in the year of the snake are Ben Stiller, Bob Dylan, Charlie Sheen, Dennis Quaid, Desi Arnaz, Dolores del Rio, Edgar Allen Poe,  Jacqueline Kennedy, Pierce Bronsnan, Abraham Lincoln, Robert Downey Jr., Sarah Jessica Parker, and Tim Allen.

So to celebrate the year of the snake I am going to do my 13 favorite snakes/snake moments in film. For those of you expecting it, sorry to disappoint; I have never seen Snakes on a Plane so that film will not be taking any spot on my list. I just thought that it would be a fun parody title.

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13) Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

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One of the great disney classic films, this film and book are absoltely amazing.

It tells the story of the Robinson family, (they are Swiss), who are traveling to New Guniea but end up getting stuck in a storm, abandoned, and stranded on their broken ship. They pack up every bit of supplies they can and travel to the nearest place, a little island. The family consists of the father, mother, and three boys; Fritz (my fav the cute one), Ernst (the smart one), and Francis (the baby). The family creates a tree house and lives on the island going through many adventures; dealing with wild animals, saving a young teen, fighting pirates, etc.

Best Snake Scene: Fritz Fights an Anaconda

Okay, so Fritz is my favorite brother, as he is super manly and tough. At this point in the film, Fritz and Ernst are traveling through the island trying to see how big it is and what it holds. On the way they encounter pirates and save a young boy from becoming a pirate slave. This boy is super annoying, and they hate having to deal with him, but take him with them because they don’t feel right about leaving him to be traded. They are on their way home, with the boy in tow, when they have to cross a river. As they are crossing, Ernst gets attacked by an anaconda and Fritz acts all manly and cool wrestling with the snake to save Ernst’s life. Such a great brother!

For more on the Swiss Family Robinson, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

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12) Aladdin (1992)

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I loved Aladdin growing up as a kid. I used to watch the first and third one all the time, I remember that when I was in that little kid phase were you don’t want to take a bath, the only way my mom could get me in the tub willingly would be to promise me that I’d be able to watch Aladdin when I was done. I love all the songs in this film and committed them all to memory at an early age.

Aladdin is a retelling of a chinese tale in Arabian Nights or A Thousand and One Nights, tales that Scheherazade told her husband to keep herself alive each night, (for more on that go here).  In the disney story, Aladdin is an orphaned boy living with his monkey friend, Abu. The two are street rats, scrounging about for food and hiding from the castle guards. Every night Aladdin goes home and dreams of being rich and living in the palace, never worrying about anything. Meanwhile, Princess Jasmine is in the palace and has to marry by her sixteenth birthday. She hates every prince that has called on her and she feels they all are after her fortune. Also in the palace lurks Jafar, the evil vizier, who wants to take the throne for himself. He also is trying to get inside the fabled Cave of Wonders to get a lamp, but only a pure-hearted, diamond in the rough can enter. These three stories intersect when Jasmine sneaks out of the palace, only to be helped by Aladdin when she gets into trouble. The two run from guards and are caught, Jasmine revealing herself and going home, while Aladdin is sent to the dungeon. Jafar disguises himself and frees Aladdin convinced he is the perfect person to enter the cave. Aladdin is and does, but Abu brings the whole place toppling down when he tries to take something he is not supposed to touch. Aladdin gets stuck inside the Cave, but there he finds the Genie of the lamp and the adventure to capture the heart of the princess is on.

Best Snake Scene: Jafar is a Cobra

Near the end of the film, Jafar has stolen the lamp from Aladdin and has taken over the kingdom. He has turned the sultan into a puppet and tried to turn Jasmine into a love slave (very Jabba the Hutt-esque), to little success. He had sent Aladdin far away, but with the magic carpet’s help Aladdin has returned to free the sultan, Jasmine, and the Genie from Jafar’s evil grasp. At one point when Aladdin is fighting Jafar, he calls Jafar a cowardly snake. At this insult, Jafar decides to actually become one, in fact a King Cobra. Man, Jafar is so creepy here, I was just begging for Rikki-Tikki-Tavi to come save everybody.

For more on the Aladdin, go to Diamond in the Rough

16741-Slimy_Stretch_Mini_Schlange-Halloween_Dekoration-Snake11) Hercules (1997)

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In Hercules, Hercules is born to the gods Zeus and Hera. Hades wants Hercules killed so he send his two minions to first turn Hercules mortal and to then kill him. With Hercules dead,  Hades’ plan to rule Olympus will be complete. The only problem is, Hades’ minions are very incompetent and fail to complete their mission. Hercules is turned mortal, but still retains his super strength. He is adopted and raised by mortal parents, but eventually journeys to the temple of Zeus to figure out who he is as he knows he doesn’t belong with the others. He finds out he is the son of Zeus and the only way to take back his rightful spot on Olympus and become a god is if he becomes a “true hero”. From the temple he travels to see the satyr Philoctetes and train to be a hero. From that point on Hercule is involved in all kinds of monster fights as he is eager to prove himself a hero and Hades is eager to be rid of him.

Best Snake Scene: Hercules destroys the snakes

When the minions are going to kill Hercules they first give him mortal juice, but fail to give him every last drop. Therefore Hercules keeps his super strength. The minions change into snakes and attack Hercules, but the little cute baby is able to completely trounce them. He is so cute when he does it too! A sweet lil’ bouncing baby knotting up the snakes and throwing them far away.

(Start at 10:33)

For more on the Hercules, go to Love Makes You Do Crazy Things: Hercules (1997)

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10)The Odyssey (1997)

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The Odyssey tells the story of Odysseus, from his fighting in Troy, and all his adventures as he tries to get home. It was a very big cast with Isabella Rosallini, Bernadette Peters, Vanessa Williams, and Armand Assante.

Best Snake Scene: When Laocoön gets killed

So Odysseus comes up with the idea to create a huge wooden horse and hide all the soldiers in it; pretending that the Greeks have left and given a surrender gift, aka the Trojan Horse. Only one person doesn’t trust that this “horse” is a “gift”, Laocoön. Laocoön is an adviser for King Priam, and he tells everyone that the horse is probably a trick and they should destroy it. Right after he declares this, a giant sea serpent comes out of the ocean and kills him and his family. Immediately everyone believes that since Laocoön was killed by a creature sent by the gods, everything he said should not be trusted and take the horse into Troy, ultimately sealing their doom.

I know it is another language and I’m sorry it was the only way I could find a clip. Start watching from 4:21

16741-Slimy_Stretch_Mini_Schlange-Halloween_Dekoration-Snake9) Cleopatra (1934)MPW-32754

Now when most people think of Cleopatra they instantly think of Elizabeth Taylor in the famous 1963 film. But before that movie came out Cecil B. DeMille (one of my fav directors) did a version with Claudette Colbert.

This film tells the same story of the last Egyptian Pharaoh and everything she did to try and keep her power. She tries to get Julius Caesar to help her, by seducing him, and after he is killed; switches her affections to Mark Anthony. But with Anthony and Octavius (Julius’ adopted son and also known as Augustus) fighting for control of Rome, all does not go well for the star-crossed lovers.

Best Snake Scene: Suicide by Asps

Now I’m not one to encourage suicide, but it was probably the best option she could have taken. There was no way for her to escape and if she was taken to Rome, she’d be tortured, raped, or killed. When they have Cleopatra commit her final act, Colbert does it so well. She is so stately, all the way up to the end; a true Queen of Egypt.

Start at 2:43

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8) The Jungle Book (1967)

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This is the original Disney version and based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling. In the story Mowgli is a man cub raised by wolves. Ten years pass by and when news of Shere Khan, the great tiger, has returned to the jungle they decide to send Mowgli back to the Man village. Bagheera, the panther, tries to take him back but they get interrupted by Kaa, the snake who tries to eat him, and Baloo a slothy bear who discourages Mowgli from returning to the world of men. Mowgli meets other crazy characters such as King Louie the Orangutan, Colonel Hathi the Elephant, and a group of Vultures who act like The Beatles.

Best Snake Scene: Kaa & Hypnosis

Kaa is pretty scary, being a python, but the creepiest thing about him is the way he hypnotizes people. He uses his power to attempt to not only eat Mowgli, but Bagheera as well.

For more on the The Jungle Book, go to A Little Monkey Business: Chinese New Year

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7) Fools Rush In (1997)

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Straight-laced Alex (Matthew Perry) is visiting Las Vegas to oversee a construction project and has a one night stand with free-spirited, Mexican-American Isabel Fuentes (Selma Hayek). Alex figures he would never see her again, but three months later she comes back into his life letting him know that she is pregnant. The two decide to do “the right thing”, and get married. But can they overcome their cultural differences?

Best Snake Scene: When Alex gets a snake bite.

So Alex goes out hunting with Isabella’s brothers to bond with them, but unfortunately things don’t quite as he had planned. As Alex is running about trying to connect with Isabel’s family, he gets caught in a rattlesnake nest. The brothers shoot to kill the snake, and Alex gets so scared he runs, right into some cacti. To combat the pain, Isabel’s brothers give him a LOT of tequila. This was always one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

 

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6)Clash of the Titans (1981)

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This version is nothing like the true story of Perseus in mythology but much better than the remake recently made in 2010.

In Clash of the Titansthere are two demigods that are the strong crucial characters. One of them is Calibos, son of Thetis, who is engaged to marry the Princess Andromeda. However, Calibos has killed all of the winged pegasi and this is just the last thing in Zeus’ list of grievances that Calibos has committed. To punish him, Zeus turns him into a hideous monster. Thetis is very angry, and in revenge has Perseus, Zeus’ son of a mortal woman, sent to Joppa. There Perseus sees Andromeda and falls in love with her; but unfortunately she is now under a curse, and if her riddle is answered falsely than the suitor is burned at the stake. (Her predicament resembles the princess in The Traveling Companion by Hans Christian Anderson). Perseus is able to solve the riddle, but unfortunately Andromeda’s life is once again threatened, this time by the Kraken, and he has to go on an adventure to find something to defeat it.

Best Snake Scene: Fighting Medusa

Medusa was a gorgan, and once very lovely until she angered Athena and was cursed with not only snake for hair, but if one looked into her eyes they would be turned to stone. Perseus goes after her to get her head so that he can use it to turn the Kraken into stone and save Andromeda. Now I’ve always imagined Medusa as a beautiful woman with snake hair, much like Uma Thurman’s portrayl in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)However, in Clash of the Titans they take it once step further, giving Medusa the whole body of a snake, they even gave her a rattler at the end of her tail. I love her hair the most though, as it is constantly moving and squirming; just as it should be.

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5) The Chipmunk Adventure (1987)

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In The Chipmunk Adventure, the chipmunks and chipettes wish they could take a trip around the world. They are overheard by an eccentric millionaire brother and sister. The two  agree to finance the trip, and include a prize of a $100,000 to the ones who finish first. All the chipmunks and chipettes have to do is take two separate routes by hot air balloon, and make several exchanges of little chipmunk and chipette dolls as proof they traveled to the places they said they would. Who will win? As always music and hijinks ensue.

Best Snake Scene: “Getting Lucky

At one point in the film the chipettes are captured by a pre-pubescent sultan who is determined to make Brittany his wife. The girls split up as Eleanor goes off to take care of some things and Brittany & Jeanette go after the dolls (they were taken from them earlier and are needed to win the contest). When the two girls find their lost dolls, they discover that they are being guarded by snakes. Always quick thinkers, the girls decide to charm them–the only way they know how-through music. I love this song and dance number!

For more on Alvin and the Chipmunksgo to On the 6th,5th,4th,3rd,2nd, & 1st Days ‘Til Christmas: The Music of Christmas

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4) Robin Hood (1973)images

Robin Hood (1973) is the Disney version in which all the characters are cartoon animals. Robin Hood and Maid Marian are foxes, Little John a bear, Prince John a lion, etc. It tells the story of the legendary bandit in abbreviated form. Robin Hood plays tricks on Prince John and the Sheriff, he competes in the archery contest in disguise, dances with Maid Marian, and has to save the day. I love this movie as it is Disney at its best.

Best Snake Scene: Anything With Sir Hiss

How do I describe Sir Hiss? Well he is the Cassandra of the Disney world. He is an advisor to Prince John; has a strong head on his shoulders and good intuition about people. The only problem is no one listens to him. He tries to warn Prince John countless times that those gypsy women are probably bandits trying to rip him off, (they are in fact Robin & Lil’ John) and later that the Duke of Chutney is not a real Duke, (once again right as it is Lil’ John). Sir Hiss is one of the characters you have a love/hate relationship with; but he for sure makes the scenes hilarious. He’s such a brownnoser, but funny all the same. “Mere slip of the forked tongue.” “Snakes don’t walk they slither.”

For more Robin Hood, go to Oh Oh De Lally

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3) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)600full-indiana-jones-and-the-raiders-of-the-lost-ark-poster

In Raiders of the Lost Ark  we are introduced to Indiana Jones; archeologist and total superhero. He travels about and takes down the bad guys that trying to steal treasures for private collections. This film is the first in the series, and has Indiana on a search for the lost Ark. He has an old flame reappear, bouts with a villainous archeologists, and has to deal with a lot of Nazis.

Best Snake Scene: “Why’d It Have to Be Snakes?”

Indiana is afraid of snakes, deathly afraid of them. He just abhors being around them. At this point in the film, Indiana has discovered where the Ark is located and he and his men have completed digging for it. He is just about to climb down into the area when he discovers his worse fear is waiting for him. The line “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?“; has become a universal saying for when everything seems to have just gone down the crapper.

 

For more Indiana Jones, go to And Away We Go

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2) Conan the Barbarian (1982)

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In Conan the BarbarianConan’s family is killed by the evil Thulsa Doom’s warriors. Conan is enslaved and after years of servitude he is finally freed. He goes out on his own, becoming a thief and forming friendships with other thieves/wanderers. He is eventually brought before King Osric and asked by him to rescue his daughter from Thulsa Doom and the Snake Cult. Conan agrees because of his hatred for Thulsa Doom.

Best Snake Scene: James Earl Jones becomes a Snake. 

The evil villian Thulsa Doom is played by James Earl Jones. Thulsa Doom is the leader of the Snake cult and is a sorcerer. One of his powers is the ability to turn into a snake. When he does this during the film it is so cool, but really creepy!

For more on Conan the Barbarian, go to Conan the Librarian

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1) The Jungle Book (1994)

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The Jungle Book is pretty much what Disney used as their basis for the Tarzan film (both being Disney films). The Jungle Book 1994 version is not the cartoon version, this one is a live action film and the animals don’t talk. The film starts out with Mowgli’s father being a guide for some Englishmen who are patrolling India. One night Shere Khan attacks the camp as someone has broken the jungle rules, that is killed for sport instead of food. Mowgli is lost in the confusion and thought to be dead, later raised by animals. He is eventually found by his old compatriots, who attempt to be bring him back into society. He still has feelings for Kitty, a girl he played with as a child, but she is engaged to the hunter/poacher William Boone who wants to use Mowgli as a guide to Monkey City and the rumored King Louie treasure. Adventure ensues

Best Snake Scene: Kaa takes down William Boone. 

In this version of the story, Kaa is the protector of King Louie’s treasure. When a monkey steals Mowgli’s bracelet, (it was given to him by Kitty) Mowgli chases after him to Monkey City to retrieve it. There he has to fight Kaa to win his bracelet back. Later, when William Boone tries to steal all the riches for himself, he too has to fight Kaa. Finally this Will gets his just desserts.

For more on The Jungle Book, go to Redone Done Right

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For more Chinese New Year Posts, go to A Horse’s Tale: Chinese New Year

To go to the previous holiday post, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

Save the Last Dance For Me: Dirty Dancing (1987)

Romantic Moment #13

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Dirty Dancing (1987)

Let’s face it, you all knew this was coming. This one absolutely had to be on the list, I mean how could I not talk about the wonderful film Dirty Dancing?

Actually this is a film I always associate with Valentine’s Day as my sister and I would always watch it and eat heart-shaped pizzas from Papa Murphy’s, brownies, and candy. Lots of candy.

I miss being able to do that with her. She’s always my perfect valentine.

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Dirty Dancing is my sister’s favorite movie, and I mean what’s not to like? First of all you have the very, very attractive Patrick Swayze y. I mean Patrick Swayze is amazing: he can sing, dance, and is good-looking. A perfect package.

So romantic!

Second, the film has great music; Be My Baby by the Ronettes, Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen (love him), Love is Strange by Mickey & Sylvia, She’s Like the Wind by Patrick Swayze, and (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes.

So the story of Dirty Dancing, (set in the 1960s), is that Baby, (Jennifer Gray), is 18 years old and enjoying a summer trip before joining the Peace Corps. She is staying at a resort with her mother, father, and older sister Lisa. When she gets there, we find out that there is a segregation between the workers.

What?!

The waiters are allowed to mix with the rich guests, but the dancers are looked down on and seen as not worth enough to mingle. Baby attempts to cross the barrier and go over to “their” side. She meets Johnny, (Patrick Swayze), and is completely blown away by his confidence and good looks.

One day Baby sees one the dancers, Penny, upset. She tries to comfort her and discovers that Penny is pregnant. And to make it even worse, the father of Penny’s child is the same guy dating Baby’s sister.

As the guy, Robby, won’t help Penny, she has decided to get an abortion. However, she doesn’t have enough money to pay for the illegal operation. Baby is able to get her the appropriate funds, but it doesn’t solve anything as Penny has an important dance exhibition that she and Johnny do at another hotel, and they can’t find anyone to cover for her. Baby volunteers, and her and Johnny grow very close while practicing for the show; ultimately falling in love.

The two have to hide their love as Baby’s father will disapprove, and Johnny could be fired. Their love is tested when Johnny gets accused of stealing and no one believes his alibi. But if Baby tells the truth will it hurt her family and cause Johnny to lose his job anyway?

Most Romantic Moment: Save the Last Dance for Me

***Spoiler Alert***

Baby has told the truth and saved Johnny as she couldn’t see him fired for nothing. But while she saves him from jail time Johnny is let go, as he “broke” the rules. He receives his summer bonus, but can’t do the last dance of the season and will not be hired again next year.  Baby and Johnny say good-bye, and it is so sad! ;(

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So they have the talent show, ending on a very tame song instead of Johnny’s razzle-dazzle. Baby is just sitting there, fenced in by her parents in the corner; sad, lonely, and bored.

But then, Johnny comes storming on through the room, he goes to Baby and says some of the best lines ever:

Then he takes Baby up onto the stage and the two dance. They dance the best they ever have. Baby even does the dance move, “the Lift”. Before she failed, but now that she isn’t doing it for any other reason than her love for him, they perfect it!

But the most romantic thing is that he CAME BACK for her! He came back so they could do their final dance together. So they could finally express their love out in the open!

So romantic

So romantic

I WANT A JOHNNY!

And the song they use to at the end! It’s so romantic and uplifting. Such a great scene.

Of course being so great of a scene, it gets referenced in other works. In Crazy, Stupid, Love Jacob tells Hannah that his best line to get a girl to sleep with him is that he can recreate the Lift from Dirty Dancing. She insists on him showing her.

And in the TV show Wedding Bands, the band is hired to play at an Adult Prom Party Wedding Renewal. One of the hosts, Bobby has been secretly learning the dance moves, and that night requests the song and surprises his wife by having them dance to it.

To start Romance is in the Air from the beginning, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For the previous post, go to Bringing the World to Your Backyard: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Bringing the World to Your Backyard: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Romantic Moment #12

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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Now this movie holds a special and dear place in my heart. Even though it is now considered a Christmas movie, it is one of my favorites to watch anytime because of the great message. Here is one man who helps and touches so many others, without even realizing the affect he has on everyone. He may not be a famous or a millionaire; but in his kind and quiet way is helping everyone in the town. I also love it because Jimmy Stewart is in it, and he’s my favorite actor. Plus we also have the film directed by the amazing Frank Capra. He is my second favorite director and I simply adore practically every film he has made.

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Now this may come as quite a shock, but I am not choosing the “Lasso the Moon” scene as my romantic moment. I know, I know; it’s a great scene and I absolutely love it, as I do every scene, but I thought I’d move us into a different direction.

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We start off It’s a Wonderful Life, with all these people praying for George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart); for God to please help him in his time of need. God decides to send in an angel to help him. We hear all this from Joseph, an angel overseer, who selects Clarence for the job. Joseph fills Clarence in on George’s backstory so he will know what lead George up to this point in his life.

Flashback

Flashback

From a young age George was a leader and eager to travel the world. When he was 12, he saved his brother from hypothermia, rescuing him when he fell into some icy water and sacrificing his ear. He works at a pharmacy and saves Mr. Gower, the pharmacist, from jail time when he points out that Mr. Gower accidentally messed up the dosage in  draught on account of him being distraught over his own son’s death. We are also introduced to Mary, a girl a few years younger than George, who declares she will marry him and love him forever.

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Fast forward the years and George is now 22, and eager to go off into the world. He was working for his father at the family’s Building, Saving, & Loan; until his brother graduated, and now he is going to use all the money he put aside and go off for college. That night he goes to Harry’s grad party and hijinks ensue. This is where we have the famous pool scene and moon scene. Both are awesome! But unfortunately as George and Mary are getting closer together; George’s father becomes ill and dies. The only way to keep the family business going and save people from evil Mr. Potter is to stay. So George does for another four years.

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Fast forwarding again, and Harry, George’s brother, is back from college. But instead of staying, he is going to work for his wife’s father. George is distraught at having to stay in the town longer, but after finally admitting his feelings for Mary, is happily ready to start a life together.

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Yes every time George tries to leave the town forever, he is just sucked back in. He doesn’t even get to go off in WWII on account of his ear. But he enjoys his life with his growing family. However, everything goes sour when an account of money is misplaced. If George doesn’t have it soon, then he will go to jail and they will lose everything. As he starts contemplating suicide, Clarence comes and stops him.

No killing yourself on my watch

No killing yourself on my watch

George then wishes he was never born, and sets off to see what the town and people would look like without him. Will they be better? Or worse?

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Most Romantic Moment: I Want You to “See” the World

It is after George and Mary’s wedding, and the two are excited to leave the town for their honeymoon. Once again as George is preparing to leave the town, something happens to get him to stay. (The man just can’t get a break.) There is a run on the bank and to calm everyone down, George and Mary sacrifice all of their honeymoon trip money.

Here’s the romantic part!

George was so busy trying to help everyone that he hasn’t even realized Mary left the building. He gets a call from Mrs. Bailey (Mary)  who asks him to come home. George doesn’t know what home she is speaking of, but heads off to the address she provided him. When he gets there, it turns out to be the old house on the block, the one that everyone throws rocks at to “get wishes”. Mary has fixed up the whole place with posters of far away places, she has a record playing tropical music, and a chicken rotissering over the fire.

It’s so romantic because Mary knows how much George has longed to leave Bedford Falls, and how many chances he has sacrificed for others. While she can’t take him around the world, she decides to bring those far off places he loves and dreams of, here. She even has Bert and Ernie, the cop and cabdriver (not muppets), serenade them. How romantic is that?

 

So romantic

So romantic

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To start Romance is in the Air from the beginning, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For the previous post, go to I’m Sorry Sounds Better in a Song: Music and Lyrics (2007)

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For more on It’s A Wonderful Life, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more on Mary Bailey, go to I’ll Give You the Moon: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

For more George Bailey, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to Hunk-a-Thon

I Wouldn’t Change You, Darling: Shrek 2 (2004)

Romantic Moment #6

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Shrek 2 (2004)

I know what you’re thinking. Shrek? Really? She’s picking Shrek to write about? Shrek has romantic moments? The first animated romantic moment, and she chooses Shrek?

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Now I know, it does sound strange, but bare with me. This movie has strong romantic qualities. Trust me.

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Now I absolutely loved this movie as a kid; I remember going to see it for my birthday when I turned 12. I absolutely had to see this film because 1) had Puss in boots and 2) I loved the original film. I really liked this one too, and ended up memorizing all the songs.

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So Shrek 2 picks up where the first one left off. Shrek and Fiona are honeymooning, and later return home only to be greeted by a convoy sent by Fiona’s parents inviting them to visit. Shrek and Fiona are on the outs about going, but Fiona ultimately convinces Shrek to go.

Seriously

The pair are accompanied by Donkey, and arrive in a Hollywoodish kingdom; Far, Far, Away. [I still remember the go-gurt commercials for this movie]

Not everything goes swimmingly as Fiona’s parents are shocked at her appearance and choice of husband. We also find out that there is an Evil Fairy Godmother who wants Fiona to get with her son Prince Charming so he can rule after the king croaks (punny right?). [I’ve never really understood that plot point. If Fairy Godmother has so much power and magic couldn’t she just create a kingdom for her son? There must be some kind of magic law against it. Whatever.]

She'll get what's coming to her.

The fights between Shrek and Fiona’s father escalate and it starts to bring up issues between Shrek and Fiona. Fiona tells Shrek that she made a lot of changes for him, he could try and do something for her.

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Shrek goes out to the fairy godmother to try and get happiness for him and Fiona; joined now by Puss in Boots. Shrek takes a potion that changes him and Fiona into “beauty divine” human forms. [Well, Fiona back into her old form]

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There is adventuring, previous characters from the first film are brought back, betrayal, mistaken identity; will Shrek be able to get his own happily ever after?

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Most Romantic Moment: I Want You to Be You

Shrek has defeated Evil Fairy Godmother and has finally been reunited with Fiona. He tells her that if they hurry and  kiss before Midnight they can stay like this forever. After midnight they will be ogres forever.

Shrek: Fiona. ls this what you want? To be this way forever?
Princess Fiona: What? 
Shrek: Because if you kiss me now…we can stay like this. 
Princess Fiona: You’d do that? For me? 
Shrek: Yes.

So romantic

So romantic

The fact that Shrek is willing to give up everything he loves about being an ogre is so sweet and romantic:

Donkey: Shrek? You drink that, there’s no going back. 
Shrek: l know.
Donkey: No more wallowing in the mud? 
Shrek: l know. 
Donkey: No more itchy butt crack?
Shrek: l know!
Donkey: But you love being an ogre
Shrek:  l know! But I love Fiona more.

He’s willing to sacrifice what makes him happy to make the one he loves happy, to give her everything. But the romantic moment is not over. It gets even better:

Fiona: I want what any princess wants. To live happily ever after…with the ogre l married.

So romantic

So romantic

Even sweeter, She doesn’t want him to have to change for her, as she knows that he would never be the same, just a shadow of his formal self. The fact that he was willing to change and give up all his old ways was good enough for her. Plus Fiona is happy and comfortable in what she is.

Together again!

Together again!

I would have posted a video on this moment, but unfortunately I couldn’t find one. Sorry! You’re just going to have to watch it on your own!

And Shrek 2

And Shrek 2

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To start Romance is in the Air from the beginning, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For the previous post, go to Wanna Grow Old With You: The Wedding Singer (1998)

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For more fairy tales, go to You Should Write A Book

For more animated films, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper: The Black Cauldron (1985)

I Only Want To Be With You: Romance is in the Air

So like I celebrated Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day; I’m also going to do a series of posts in honor of Valentine’s Day. (Like I mentioned before, I love holidays!)

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At first I was going to do 14 posts on romantic movies, but I thought that would be too hard, (too difficult of decisions to make). Then I thought I would do 14 posts on love songs, but I wasn’t sure about doing that either.

Hmm...

Hmm…

Finally I decided that I would do 14 of the most romantic moments in film and TV. And in doing so, just pick the first 14 that come to mind.

Hope you all enjoy.

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For more holiday posts, go to Looking Back, Moving Forward