Silver Linings Playbook (2012) Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker
Based on the novel by Matthew Quick, Silver Linings Playbook follows the story of Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper), a man with bipolar disorder who has just been released from a psychiatric hospital. He moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver), and is intent on getting his wife back. Pat meets recently widowed Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who agrees to help him reconnect with his wife if he joins her in a dance competition. The bond that forms as the two deal with their own mental problems is seen through the performances of these talented actors, and Lawrence’s confident yet vulnerable portrayal of Tiffany was strong enough to win her an Oscar for Best Actress.
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Stars: Andre Dussollier, Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Serge Merlin
We’ll be the first to admit that Amélie is not a film suited to everyone’s taste. With its whimsical style and cute-as-a-button leading lady (Audrey Tautou), it’s a Disneyfied version of life in Paris’ Montmartre neighborhood. One where young Amélie works as a waitress on a mission to make life happier for those around her, concocting a number of elaborate schemes in order to manipulate joy from the strangers who surround her. Until she eventually realizes that it is she who is need of a personal pick-me-up.
Though dismissed by some for being too cutesy (it was famously rejected from screening at Cannes when a programmer described it as being “uninteresting”), the film’s fanciful depiction of The City of Light conjured up more than $30 million at the box office, making it the most successful French film to hit American shores.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis
Wes Anderson chooses the nostalgic aura of East Coast scout excursions for this symmetric, eccentric, pubescent rom-com. After breaking free from his weekend troupe trip, cucumber-cool, dweeb Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) goes on a romantic sojourn through the wilderness with his moody lady love (Kara Hayward)—a decision that makes the stacked cast of adults flail desperately to recover the smitten rogues. Anderson contrasts their simple, immediate love with a complex triangle centered around a flustered Frances McDormand who is married to an aloof Bill Murray, but carrying on with a semi-depressed cop, Bruce Willis. Anderson delights in each tiny trifle to create a meticulous fantasy of summer and young love. His quirky, frenetic script earned an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay.
I Am Love (2009) Director: Luca Guadagnino
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini
Tilda Swinton plays, Emma, a Russian who’s married into the family of a wealthy textile merchant in Milan in Italian director luca Guadagnino’s gorgeous I Am Love. After a lavish dinner celebrating the birthday of the aging patriarch, she meets her son’s business partner, Antonio, a chef. But it isn’t his cooking that sends her running from her life-actually, the cooking plays a small part.
Swinton speaks both Italian and Russian in her pet project, which she developed over an 11 year period with director Luca Guadagnino. That this is a labor of love shows in every decadent set and passionate sex scene.
The Princess Bride (1987) Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, and Christopher Guest.
American romantic fantasy adventure comedy film is adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name, it tells the story about a farmhand named Westley, accompanied by befriended companions along the way, who must rescue his true love Princess Buttercup from the odious Prince Humperdinck. The story is presented in the film as a book being read by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his sick grandson (Fred Savage), thus effectively preserving the novel’s narrative style.
Released in the United States on September 25, 1987, the film is number 50 on Bravo’s “100 Funniest Movies”, number 88 on The American Film Institute’s (AFI) “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions” list of the 100 greatest film love stories, and 46 in Channel 4’s 50 Greatest Comedy Films list.