New York City is a great city to fall in love with and in. At least, according to the movies. But New York City is truly special and whether it’s falling in love or out of love, nothing serves as the perfect backdrop like New York City.
As a tribute to the city that never sleeps, here are my picks for a New York love film marathon, something I usually do when I’m terribly blocked like now:
Always start with Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The movie is iconic for a reason. And the opening credits alone, with Audrey Hepburn in her Givenchy gown, having a Danish and drinking coffee from a paper cup in front of Tiffany’s, gives me such a warm sensation just like being in love.
Me: “I think I’m a lot like Holly Golightly.”
The Brit: “What, superficial, materialistic and prone to grandeur illusions about yourself?”
Nothing beats Woody Allen when it comes to New York love stories, so I recommend continuing on with Annie Hall.
No other movie ever made can truly capture that neurotic, dysfunctional relationship quite like Annie Hall. And with funny lines like,
“Hey, don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone I love.”
How can you not love this one?
Creepy McCreepster: “I think you were supposed to be born as a New York Jew.”
Me: “Why is that?”
Creepy McCreepster: “Well, you’re extremely neurotic, you hate nature and you make complaining sounds like zany one-liners.”
Of course when talking about falling in love in New York, you have to include this one movie, so after wiping your tears of laughter from watching Annie Hall, learn how to fake an orgasm with Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.
This movie catapulted Meg Ryan into super stardom and made her the romantic comedy queen that she was, and it’s a truly fun watch, and I’m not just talking about the fake orgasm at a deli scene. The banter between Harry and Sally, the obvious sexual tension and the transition from platonic friendship to falling in love – all make for a sweet but not saccharine romantic comedy.
My ‘Android’ Friend: “You’ve seen When Harry Met Sally. Men and women can’t be friends. The sex always gets in the way.”
Me: “It never does with me. You know me, I can have a purely platonic friendship with straight men.”
My ‘Android’ Friend: “That’s because you’re not really a woman.”
After you’ve had your fill of romantic comedies, it’s always a good idea to turn to something deep yet quirky, like Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.
Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind is probably my favorite quirky movies ever. The performances of Jim Carey and Kate Winslet were phenomenal and there’s no other story like it. The idea of wiping out heartbreaking memories, and the reality that even if you could do something like that, chances are you’re bound to repeat whatever you’ve tried to erase – that’s just profound and beautiful.
Me: “You know, sometimes I wish I could really erase some bad memories from my mind, like in Eternal Sunshine.”
The Man: “You don’t want to do that. Trust me. I forget easily and I wish I could remember some things I’ve forgotten. I think I would’ve learned a lot from those memories, had I remembered them.”
And finally, something light to end the marathon with, like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
I know, it’s a teen movie but it’s so cute and charming that I bet you’ll love it just as much. Michael Cera is always adorable in everything, but especially in this one – and plus there are so many laugh out loud moments courtesy of supporting actress Ari Graynor and cameos from Jay Baruchel and SNL’s Andy Samberg.
Me: “That’s it. When I finally make it to New York, I want to have a Nick and Norah’s style first date.”
The Man: “Sure. I’d love to see you putting that gum that has gone in the toilet in your mouth.”
There are a few other New York love stories that I love, despite their obvious cheesiness.
Like Serendipity, for example.
I think Kate Beckinsale is adorable in the movie and of course John Cusack plays romantic leading man so well – Lloyd Dobler anyone? But the best line from the movie comes from SNL alumn Molly Shannon:
“You know who plays golf? Men who are too fat to play tennis.”
Look out for Jeremy Piven, aka Ari Gold in Entourage, as John Cusack’s character’s best friend.
Definitely, Maybe is also a cute one to watch.
Ryan Reynolds, aka Mr. Scarlett Johannson has that unique combination of being extremely hot and funny at the same time, and I love that he plays a devoted dad in this movie. Plus you gotta love Abigail Breslin.
Fun fact: Rachel Weisz sings “I’ve Got A Crush On You” in this movie, and her voice is pretty phenomenal.
Another one that deserves a mention is Ed Burns’ Sidewalks of New York.
Ed Burns may fall short from becoming the next Woody Allen (probably because he’s tall and dashing, which makes him as a neurotic a bit of a stretch), but I actually really like this one. It’s sweet, thoughtful and quite funny. Plus, stars like Rosario Dawson, Brittany Murphy and Heather Graham all gave such good performances here.
And finally, I can’t talk about movies of love in New York without mentioning Sex and The City.
Even though I thought the movie version wasn’t as good as the series, it was still good to see these four fab New Yorkers together again, doing what they do best: donning designer duds and lamenting about men.
Besides, Samantha Jones still churns out lines like this one:
“Oh, honey, you know I don’t believe in marriage. Botox on the other hand…”
I love her. I’m not so sure the sequel is such a good idea, but I’ll keep my mind open for now.
There’s one New York movie that I’m waiting with bated breath: New York, I Love You.
It’s a sequel to Paris, Jet’aime, where it’s not really one movie per se, but a compilation of a few short movies all in the same theme: love in Paris, directed by famous international directors. New York, I Love You is basically the same thing, only it’s set in New York – and the project involves a lot of stars we all love like Anton Yelchin and Olivia Thirlby:
Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson:
Justin Bartha and Eva Amurri:
And many others. Despite receiving mixed reviews, I still want to give this one a try just because. It’s New York. How bad can it be?
“New York, New York, big city of dreams. But everything in New York, ain’t always what it seems.” – GrandMaster Flash.