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What’s your favorite romantic movie? February 14, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. With Valentine’s Day upon us, I can’t help but think of all the great romantic films—films that celebrate love, be it love lost (“Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” “Gladiator,” “Titanic”), love lost and regained (Jane Austen’s “Persuasion,” “Jane Eyre,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “The Return of Martin Guerre”), love unexpectedly discovered (“Pride and Prejudice,” “The Crying Game,” “Stage Beauty,” “Avatar,” “Somewhere in Time”), or simply love enduring (the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Tony Hillerman triad, the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency films).

But, much as I love these films, my favorite is none of them. It’s an incredibly obscure film, set, like Jane Austen’s work, in the Regency Period in England, after King George III was deemed too mad to rule and before he died so that his son, the Prince Regent, could take the throne as king.But unlike Jane Austen’s novels, this film was based on a true story, about a housemaid with a wonderful, exotic imagination who created a new life for herself and in the process even met and danced with the Prince himself, bowled over upper-class British society, and ultimately got away with it.

The film, “Princess Caraboo,” stars Phoebe Cates as the maid/princess, her real-life husband, Kevin Kline, in a marvelous role as the supercilious Greek butler to a wealthy family, and Stephen Rea (whose moving performance lit up “The Crying Game”) as the dogged journalist who falls in love, not with the princess, but with the maid who created her. Strong supporting performances, including Jim Broadbent and John Lithgow, incredible sets and costuming, and the richness of the story weave a magic spell that I find completely captivating.

If you enjoy nuanced romance, Jane Austen, the Regency Period, or simply fine acting, I hope you’re able to find “Princess Caraboo.” I was able to get it on DVD, so I haven’t checked to see if it’s on Netflix and etc. Good luck! It’s worth looking for.

What are your favorite romance films?

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Silence

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