Valentine’s Day is often perceived as being a great day to cuddle up with your significant other and indulge yourself in tragic love tales. Movies such as The Notebook, Titanic have been staple romance movies to watch on Valentine’s Day. But seeing as these films may in actual fact be sickly sweet, this Valentine’s, we at August Man Malaysia switch things up a little by offering you a different kind of Valentine’s Day, giving you our take on the greatest romance movies… that aren’t (strictly) romance films.


CASINO ROYALE


James Bond remains and will always be an icon, hence it should come as no surprise that the hype for a Bond film is always there. In 2006, Eon Productions decided to reboot the franchise with director Martin Campbell taking a fresh approach towards Bond, by going back to its origins. Despite initial negative reactions towards the casting of Daniel Craig as the new Bond, Casino Royale is one of the character’s greatest cinematic outings. Sharing the screen with Craig was Eva Green who brilliantly portrayed the elusive Vesper Lynd, resulting in an ‘off-the-charts’ chemistry between the leads. One of the film’s highlights was a scene where Bond comforts Vesper with both of them sitting under a shower head. The climax of the film also relies on its romance, which eventually leads to Bond’s transformation into the 007 moviegoers have come to adore.


THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK


Often regarded as one of the greatest movie sequels of all time, The Empire Strikes Back continues the Star Wars saga in a different, darker direction, giving us one of the most memorable plot twists in modern cinema history (à la ‘I am your father”). However, what can be easily overlooked is that The Empire Strikes Back isn’t just a great film about lightsabers and daddy issues, it delivered sci-fi’s most celebrated couple—Han Solo (Harrison Ford) & Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). The chemistry between Ford and Fisher electrifies in a galaxy far, far away. The spark between them is instantaneous. Their relationship started in the original Star Wars with excessive denials—even carrying into the first act of The Empire Strikes Back. Their relationship develops over the course of the film, with the headstrong princess starting to reciprocate feelings for the Galactic’s coolest scoundrel. However, in an unexpected turn of events, Solo, Leia, along with the rest of the group are captured by Darth Vader. Moments before Solo is frozen alive in carbonite by Vader, Leia finally confesses her feeling and says that she loves him, to which he replies the now iconic line “I know”. The relationship between Solo and Leia expands and deepens in The Empire Strikes Back as they face adversity together, which makes for a romance that is timeless and often celebrated. May the romance be with you.


THE TERMINATOR


Ground-breaking. Thrilling. Amazing. Words that are often brought up while mentioning The Terminator. At first glance, The Terminator is a film about a waitress who’s targeted by a futuristic cyborg set to destroy her and eliminate the existence of her yet unborn son and future leader of the resistance, John Connor. But take a closer look at the story of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her time-travelling guardian Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) and you’ll find an amazingly romantic tale about a man’s one-way quest to the past to protect the mother of his idol. To Reese, Sarah is a legend beyond his reach. She’s the woman who raised John to become the man Reese knows from the future. However, as the story unfolds, she’s also the woman he has loved from afar, admiring her in the photo that was given by his leader from the future, John. One of the aspects of what makes The Terminator such a timeless classic is the connection that Sarah and Reese shared. Reese travelled through time to protect Sarah, knowing in his heart that he loved her even before they met and is willing to die for her as he would for the son she’ll eventually have. Sarah and Reese’s story is not only crucial to The Terminator saga, it’s also a good old-fashioned love story, amidst the destruction and cyborg madness.


DEADPOOL


Did you know that Deadpool took more than a decade to develop? The first standalone cinematic outing for the Merc with the Mouth shattered multiple box office records including the highest grossing R-rated film of all time. With an opening date coinciding with Valentine’s Day, the production team saw the opportunity and embraced it, which in turn, resulted in a hilarious marketing campaign for the film. Several posters and billboard were designed to make Deadpool seem like it would be the romance movie experience of the year. Furthermore, Deadpool even went to great lengths to referring his cinematic debut as ‘a love story’ on various television spot. Technically, Deadpool is somewhat a love story, albeit a very violent one. The entire motivation behind Wade Wilson’s (Ryan Reynolds) quest to cure himself from a fatal disease is his love for Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). The romance between the two serve as a catalyst for the final act of the film, as well as being an important factor in the titular character’s origin. Forget Cupid, someone ring up Captain D—eadpool!


THE LION KING


“Can you feel the love tonight?” Funny, majestic, heartbreaking, The Lion King is often hailed as one of the greatest animated films of all time. Of the many great musical cues that The Lion King delivered, the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” went on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The track of course depicts the relationship of Nala and Simba. Nala and Simba are betrothed, which disgusts them when they are just young cubs. However, the two immediately fall in love with each other when they are reunited years later as adults. In The Lion King, we see Simba retaking his place in the circle of life, but kudos to Nala for being a brave and persuasive lioness, she bosses Simba around ever since they were cubs, and he actually listens to her. Simba eventually takes the throne back rightfully, but he couldn’t have done it without his queen.

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