Still feelin’ the love?

Valentine’s Day is behind us, but the light sweet romances of the movies are always here. In most cases, just a click away, although admittedly, the batch I suggest in this post will require a little more searching than yesterday’s contemporary lists.

The Lady Eve in which Barbara Stanwyk casts her spell on Henry Fonda

While candy, even the box of chocolates, are sugary, and consummable, and flowers fade, Cary Grant has proven to endure. As have Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable. So we are on to a new curation of the romantic in film:

  • Bringing Up Baby with Grant and Katherine Hepburn is a classic meet-cute, which was kind of remade by Madonna as
  • Who’s That Girl and by Barbra Streisand as 
  • What’s Up Doc with Ryan O’Neill in the Grant role

These are all very zany and enjoyable, but have taken me off point. Here is my number ONE pick:

  • Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert created the best in It Happened One Night! This is a brilliant and buoyant work by the great Frank Capra.
  • Improbably, the sparks, flirty, funny, ironic, between Myrna Loy and William Powell in all The Thin Man movies are very very sexy. That places this series as number TWO on my list of romance titles.
  • there will be more…. And here we go…:
  • Carole Lombard gave us her share of films in which the lovers-to-be spar and then find common ground and true love. My Man Godfrey, in which she plays opposite William Powell (see above), is one of my favorites in her panicle of screwball gems.
  • Preston Sturges helmed many a funny, fun-filled and farcical romance. Lady Eve, with Barbara Stanwyk and Henry Fonda, is just one such.
  • Remember the Night, which sounds more like a potboiler, is actually a charming romance between Stanwyk and Fred MacMurray. Also directed by Sturges, this one is a far cry from the stormy Billy Wilder vehicle Double Indemnity in which the two embark upon murder.
  • If mix-ups and mistaken identity is a basis for madcap romance, add Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot to this list now. The movie has spawned many a re-imagining, and our personal favorite is
  • Connie and Carla, featuring Toni Collette and Nia Vardalos, who also wrote. The film is an out and out tribute to the …Hot original.
  • The Apartment, another Wilder masterpiece, gives Shirley MacLaine and Lemmon the love light.

The 1930s and 40s were the high-water mark in Hollywood for kooky, quirky and light-hearted love stories. They created the template from which later work could evolve and develop more diverting, daft and waggish comedies in which love blossoms among couples who seem mismatched, but so clearly belong together.


It’s in the air….

What could possibly make me think of romantic comedies today?

I’m thinking perhaps it has something to do with it being Valentine’s Day, the holiday of romance and chocolates, flowers and cute cupid notes.

Vegan meal “selfie” by our granddaughter

So, is this a good time to begin making lists? Of course, it is. For me, most days are a good time to create curations of films, or theater, and such.

Today is a great day to appreciate the rom-coms. So here we go:

  • Anyone of a number of sometimes very moving Hallmark, yes that Hallmark, Channel films. Of particular note, 
  • Elevator Girl. although many others have elicited tears and joy.
  • Serendipity is underrated by most, but very appealing, and perfect for this category.
  • Bull Durham has always been the top choice for most romantic film story of all-time for me.
  • Like the Drew Barrymore rom-com, Fever Pitch, Bull Durham has both hearts and baseball in its corner.
  • Barefoot in the Park has recently become an obsession. It has the advantage of pairing Jane Fonda at her most charming and the droll and handsome Robert Redford.
  • Speaking of Redford, he also stars opposite Barbra Streisand in the most delightfully sad-lovely tale The Way We Were.
Celebrate Valentine's Day with a movie and roses.
Blossoms in a teapot (c) Tamara Beck

Lists like these are fraught with the dilemmas that choosing always brings us. They are also patently absurd, and ever so restrictive. And of course, totally incomplete. It is also nearly impossible to truly pick a favorite. The very process of creating an archive like this is exhausting!

  • Moonstruck is definitely a love story that makes the list for V’Day viewing.
  • Diane Keaton is still churning out romantic comedies, including the current Book Club
  • but her preeminent role was as Annie Hall.
  • Something’s Gotta Give makes this list, as well, in another Keaton led romance.
  • Her co-star in that lovely little love story, Jack Nicholson is truly romantic in Anything Goes and also in
  • Terms of Endearment, with Shirley MacLaine, a bitter-sweet story that pleases and pains.
  • Waiting to Exhale is very romantic and one of my hubby’s favorites, as is it’s star, Whitney Houston.
  • Angela Bassett can be found there as well as in How Stella Got Her Groove On
  • Bassett also appears in an anti-Valentine, as it were, the classic What’s Love Got to Do With It, (it makes the list for its portrayal of resilience
  • Let’s not make an unValentine list just now!
  • Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan made their contribution to the genre with Sleepless in Seattle and
  • You’ve Got Mail, a remake of
  • The Shop Around the Corner, remade as
  • In the Good Old Summertime, a musical vehicle for Judy Garland, Van Johnson and SZ Sakall.
  • Deliver Us From Eva is a romance of empowerment and love
  • along the lines of Kiss Me Kate and let’s add another 
  • Gabrielle Union picture Two Can Play That Game

It’s Valentine’s Day, so I will now retire with a cup of hot, rich coffee and admire the roses my husband put in my window!

I will not

d3693-1-hesaidshesaidI will not lie and suggest it doesn’t shock

Change is so subtle that it goes almost

Unnoticed in the familiar, your  body to

Which I am as accustomed as to my own

Moves around me, its faultlines evident and

Marked just as the wrinkles that drag on

Mine mock my mortality so that it can no longer

Be denied or ignored, your frailty comes as a

Sudden surprise, my darling, change so subtle

That it has gone almost unnoticed, time has

An astonishing effect, its outcomes, not always

Welcome, or received as happy news. We are

Old, my darling. It is a consequence of time

And its subtle, almost unnoticed changes

I will not lie or suggest it does not shock



Quiet waters © 2015 Tamara Beck

via Daily Prompt: Cherish

Cherish life, appreciate love,

Worship, if you must, all that

Lies before you, the golden

Treasures of each lovely day

Cherish memories, appreciate

Everything you are given,

The moon, the river, time as it

Passes, like the waves from

Shore to shore, all this is

Precious, hold it close to

Your heart where all that

Is dear belongs, cherish the

Life you have, appreciate

Your love and hold it close



Opaque or transparent? …Lest I Forget

Some six months ago, I shut down one of my many blogs, Observations: Lest I Forget  and transferred much of its content to this one. I fully intended to put new content here and leave the …Lest I Forget site to history.

Truth is, I have a lot about which I wish to opine, and enjoy doing so in different fora and diverse platforms. So  Observations: Lest I Forget is being revived today, with fresh content all its own.


Stalwart hearts

aheartStrident hearts, stalwart hearts,

Hearts as flighty as a deck of cards, capricious

And whimsical, or hearts as devoted as the proverbial

Doves, sincere as life-long fidelity, sentimental but not

Lost to sentimentality. The heart, a muscle, often stands in

For love. It is represented as an organ of desire, subject

To the arrows that Cupid throws our way, recognizing

The object of our devotion. There is much to be said of

The heart, stalwart or strident, fickle or loyal.

Hearts and flowers

aheartCan it be that the heart, a muscle, is an

Organ of desire? When it stands in for love, does it help

Us recognize our best selves, and find a soul mate?

Does the heart understand that love is better than

Lust? Are there hearts less choosy, easier to seduce?

Are some more finicky, like Shakespeare’s shrew,

Unwilling to submit without a struggle, and proofs

Of sincerity, and like-to-likemindedness