5 Movie Romances That Intrinsically Impacted My Childhood

I had a lot of ideas for a Valentine’s Day theme — after all, I am in a relationship, a happy, long-term one! There’s much to be said about that. There’s also much to be said about the fact that, while I’m straight, it’s not a cis-normative relationship, so I could take this article in a more serious, educational route. As a hopeless romantic, I could even talk about ideal Valentine’s dates and outings and gifts!

But no. I realized very quickly what must be discussed. I’ve forced my boyfriend to watch far too many movies to make my childhood come full circle. There are some movie relationships that simply… developed me. And credit must be given where it is due (in no particular order).


  1. 1. Pride and Prejudice (2005)  

    Oh, man. I watched this — and the 1995 mini-series — from a very young age. In fact, one of my earliest vivid memories consists of curling up on the couch next to my mom and staying up past my bedtime in order to finish the movie in the first or second grade. As a girl with a particularly large mouth, sharp wit and high standards, Elizabeth Bennet was an easy projection. And the subtext! The cold, awkward Darcy, played by Matthew Macfadyen, starting to melt! The whole scene at Pemberley in which the two of them start to recognize their feelings for each other, and the hand clench after Darcy helped Elizabeth into the carriage? God. Swoon.

  2. 2. Xanadu (1980)

    Yes, I understand this is an objectively sh!tty film. It’s been ranked one of the worst movies ever made by some considerations, but [email protected], it’s a good one. As a child who frequented a roller rink, this was a match made in heaven -- how badly I wished for a flowing white dress like Olivia Newton-John’s Kira had, at the start of the film, and a dreamy man who I could assist in making the best creative work he could make. And the flashback dance sequences with Gene Kelly, my history-loving heart began to break! I understand the plot is poor. I understand the acting likely isn’t the greatest. But the music, the romance and the soul! (B, if you’re reading this, this is your sign to take me on a rollerskating date. Xo.)

  3. 3. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

    I don’t know if this one counts, simply because it’s a newer watch. The first (and only) time I watched it was about a month and a half ago, but John Cusack is a long-time swoony crush of mine, which is further elaborated upon in the next addition to this list. This movie follows another strong-willed woman with a massive head of untamable hair, something I can relate to, but she’s a music lover, and she probably airs more on her radio show than she should, a quality that Martin finds endearing. And when, a week later, the UNC radio station announced it was hiring, I took the plunge because of this film. Now, I have my own show, and B has to deal with me saying the dumbest things on air. Everything comes around.

  4. 4. Anastasia (1997)

    John Cusack was really hitting different in 1997, I’ll tell you that. I had heard all of the praise about Anastasia, but in high school, I was sort of distanced from the allure of animated films. And then I got the flu as a sophomore, and it kept me out of school for a week. I remember having a 100-degree fever and it being rather late at night — my mom thought I was asleep, but I turned on Anastasia, back when it was on Netflix. It rattled me to the core. It could have been the artful soundtrack, by the same producers of Ragtime, another favorite musical of mine, but the banter and riposte between Anastasia and Dimitri really struck me to my core. My feverish a$$ really ended up shedding a tear by the end of the movie. And, yes, trust me; I noticed when I befriended the guy that would later be my boyfriend that he had eerily similar features to Dimitri. I point that out frequently.

  5. 5. Much Ado About Nothing

    By the end of this list, it looks like I have a thing for wit and snarky comments, and that’s pretty true. David Tennant has fantastic hair, sharp comebacks and his natural Scottish accent in this adaptation of my favorite play by William Shakespeare, and Catherine Tate is not a size zero (something I can relate to) and is also a b!tch, but not the stereotypical sort of b!tch (something I can also relate to). Their depiction of two anti-love people falling head-over-heels is exactly what King Charles I would have wanted; the king of England crossed out the title on his prized copy and rewrote “Beatrice and Benedick” instead. When I watch the two of them battle love and stupidity on stage, I must say I agree.

Happy Valentine's Day! The best gift is one you can get for yourself: complete and total psychoanalyzation of your romantic ideals.