Go-karting, beach dates, dancing down the street: this might just be the perfect day for this crazy-in-love couple. Felicity Jones is the British student who falls for Anton Yelchin’s American in Drake Doremus’ 2011 romantic drama. Though Jake and Anna face much hardship throughout the film (not least when the latter is banned from the US after outstaying her visa), the moments where they’re not separated by thousands of miles and stretches of ocean are simple and undeniably beautiful.
Few late ’90s VHS collections went without this landmark teen favourite, which presented an alt-romance to the usual prom kings and queens of high school movies. The courtship of Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles is an unconventional one: scrappy, antagonistic, predicated on a bet, and this date is as likeably messy as the rest of the movie – even if it ends, like a couple of Jane Austen lovers, with the two of them rolling around in the hay.
She’s fun, she’s musical, but she hasn’t seen seminal ’80s classic The Breakfast Club. Unforgivable? Maybe. But this does give the very smitten Jesse (Skylar Astin) an opportunity to introduce Beca (Anna Kendrick) to said seminal ’80s classic. The zingy dialogue and relaxed atmosphere – until Beca’s roommate barges in – combine to make the perfect low-key date for this particular, chilled-out Barden Bella. (Even if the two are definitely-still-only-friends-promise at the time of Judd Nelson’s airpunch.)
Derek Cianfrance’s first rodeo with Ryan Gosling is a bona fide heartbreaker; and not just because of the smooth moves Baby Goose pulls on Michelle Williams at the start. Before proceedings get messy, the pair wander the New York streets together (Gosling and Williams went unscripted), falling in love and fooling around – the highlight of which has to be this infectious little ukelele number. Blue Valentineisn’t exactly date movie material, but its hopelessly romantic, optimistic parts are just as honest and touching as the segments that track this pair’s doomed marriage.
The Naked Gun series is bursting with parodic romance (choice quote: “she had breasts that seemed to say, ‘Hey, look at these!’”), but the date montage in the first film might be its most brilliant example. Frank (Leslie Nielsen) and Jane (Priscilla Presley), having practiced safe sex with man-size condoms, embark on the date montage of all date montages: running in slow-motion on a beach; eating candy floss; getting matching tattoos; having a ketchup fight with a hotdog vendor; having a good old chuckle at Platoon – all, as we eventually learn, in the space of a day. Something tells us we’re into something good here.
Even though Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) can’t see her, she makes him very, very happy. The ‘her’ in question is Theodore’s OS system, ‘Samantha’ (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). This scene may be about Theo’s ex-wife for the most part, but the pair’s openness (again, this whole film could be viewed as one long affair) is what makes this so intimate. The most romantic part? It’s a tie between Samantha writing Theodore a song, and the way he lets Samantha’s camera peep out of his pocket so she can appreciate the view. Bless.