CAN YOU SEDUCE PEACHES?
She won't even talk to you if you haven't seen these must-see classic films.
Valentine’s Day may be cheesy, but these love stories are not. Peaches Geldof picks her top five celluloid romances of all time...
This story was published on January 22, 2009.
"Last year, I spent February 14 alone watching Bambi, gorging on a box of milk chocolates given to me by my dad, and weeping loudly. While most of my friends were out with their boyfriends smugly eating celebratory dinners, I was crying over an animated deer escaping a forest fire. But there are also far less tear-jerking movies to keep the lonely company, and I’m not talking despicable, happily-ever-after rom-coms.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
I’m a self-confessed Kubrick geek. 2001: A Space Odyssey is my favorite movie, ever, and Lolita, based on Nabokov’s classic novel, comes in at a close second. Those seeking a blow-by-blow narrative of protagonist Humbert Humbert’s (James Mason) pedophilic relationship with nymphet Lolita (Sue Lyon) will be sorely disappointed. Kubrick plays down this indiscretion, concentrating instead on the darkly comic elements of the pairing. The one-liners from Mason are classic.
Directed by Woody Allen
Allen’s seminal masterpiece is a visual representation of his eternal love affair with New York City. The film takes the viewer on a picturesque, black-and-white tour through the town, presented as a glimmering, cosmopolitan world in which Allen dallies with the affections of two beautiful starlets: the naive 16-year-old Tracy (Mariel Hemingway) and his best friend’s mistress, Mary (Diane Keaton). Allen plays, as he does in many of his movies, himself—a total neurotic head-over-heels for two very different women. Even if you’re not an Allen fan, this movie is worth watching for the opening line alone: “Chapter one. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Beneath his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat.” Oh, Woody, you’re amazing.
SID AND NANCY
Directed by Alex Cox
Ah, Sid and Nancy…punk rock’s very own Romeo and Juliet, only with mohawks and dirty needles. The film tracks the love affair between Sex Pistols’ bassist Vicious (Gary Oldman) and banshee American groupie Spungen (Chloe Webb), from the couple’s first electric moment of attraction in London to their sordid deaths in New York. The actors’ performances unearth the touching from the mess of the doomed couple’s foil-wrapped lives. The movie also perfectly captures the spiked nihilism of punk—reliving the movement’s spitting glory before it overdosed on cynical excess. Look out for Courtney Love’s cameo.
PRETTY IN PINK
Directed by Howard Deutch
The ’80s high-school genre, perfected by John Hughes, has spawned many a classic. In fact I’m spoiled for choice here: Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles—they are all amazing, from the overacting to the ludicrous outfits. Pretty in Pink is particularly notable for Molly Ringwald’s portrayal of Andie Walsh, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who falls in love with wealthy Blane (Andrew McCarthy). The twosome spends the rest of the time trying to overcome their obstacles. Throughout it all Jon Cryer, in one of his best roles, is Andie’s shoulder to cry on. Though it is cliché at times, the film also takes a pretty comprehensive look at class issues, and the Duckie dance scene is not to be missed. The boy can move.
Directed by Vincent Gallo
Gallo is one of those actor-directors who is his own muse. Arrogant? Yes. Beautiful? Without a doubt. Buffalo ’66 is
a semi-autobiographical vanity project and a self-deprecating look at dysfunctional suburban life. It tells the story of Billy (Gallo), who has just been released from prison and is driving back home to Buffalo, New York. He stops to take a leak and ends up kidnapping teenage tap-dancing student Layla (Christina Ricci). An increasingly impulsive and desperate Billy decides that he and Layla are going to visit his parents, and she must pretend to be his doting wife. Needless to say, a very improbable love story unfolds along the way.