Monday, February 11, 2013

Love & Writing on the Big Screen

I’m a sucker for a good love story. And also, of course, for books and writing. So, on this week of Valentine’s, I’ve decided to focus on love stories where books or writing play a significant role in some way.

Today, I present my top ten movies (in the order they were released):

  1. It Happened One Night (1934)
They would have just been strangers on the night bus. But, reporter Peter Warne needs a great story to get him back in the game and runaway heiress Ellie Andrews is the perfect subject. I go back and forth between whether my favorite scene is the Wall of Jericho or the one where Ellie illustrates the most effective way to hitchhike. Mostly though, I just smile the whole time I’m watching.

  1. The Desk Set (1957)
A reference librarian clashes with businessman looking to cut costs through automation. An early contender in the battle between paper and electronic formats. Plus Hepburn and Tracey! Always a solid bet.

  1. The Music Man (1962)
Marion (the Librarian) gets wooed by traveling salesman (read: con artist) Harold Hill. Cue dancing in the stacks.

  1. Romancing the Stone (1984)
A romance novelist finds herself in a little bit of trouble when she goes to rescue her kidnapped sister. She finds some help (not to mention inspiration for her next book) in a bird exporter/treasure hunter/aspiring sailor. Can’t watch this movie without thinking of my dad, who, without fail, starts laughing in anticipation about five seconds before Danny DeVito comes on screen.

  1. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
He gave her a library. An enormous library. Now, I’m a big fan of flowers. But a library? Yeah, that kind of edges out the normal Valentine’s Day gifts.

  1. Little Women (1994)
While the story pulls in all the March sisters, it is truly the tale of Joe, the writer. Her love life is not the overriding theme of this, but it certainly plays its part. And it is ultimately through her written work that she is truly able to open up about her life and connect with the person she wants to be with. Cut to me and my sister sitting on the couch with a couple boxes of tissues.

  1. Just Write (1997)
Hollywood tour bus driver gets mistaken for screenplay writer by up-and-coming actress. In his smitten state, he fails to correct the mistake and ends up agreeing to rewrite a movie for her. Very sweet movie. And Sherilyn Fenn and Jeremy Piven are lovely.

  1. Moulin Rouge (2001)
Christian came to Paris to write “about truth, beauty, freedom, and that which I believed about all things, love.” About two minutes into the movie, we know that his story doesn’t have a happy ending. But that didn’t stop me from spending the majority of the movie quite happily. Who can resist the struggling writer wooing the courtesan? Particularly when Ewan McGregor starts singing. Swoon.

  1. The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)
Not only does this movie deal with its fair amount of couples, but it is all about coming together over the love of books. Nothing more romantic than that.

  1. Definitely, Maybe (2008)
A man tells his daughter the story of the three loves of his life. Along the way, she helps him figure out who he should be with. One of the most important clues? A copy of Jane Eyre.

What love stories about writers and books do you like watching?


  1. Every man should give his girl a library. So much better then flowers and chocolate.

    The Music Man and Little Women are good movies too.

    1. A library of my very own that I can sing, dance and write in? It's the dream.