Best romantic adventure movies to watch next
For those of us hoping to hold on to the last vestiges of cinema, any movie that isn’t about a superhero or franchise entry is a win, even if the movie is far from the biggest ever. Last weekend, a totally solid $30.5 million opening for The lost citythe new romantic adventure comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. In many ways, it was an old-fashioned success story. Two big movie stars headlining a solid gender image that hinges on their crackling chemistry. It was once a tried and true formula for box office success, but it has become increasingly rare.
The lost city is far from the best example of this kind of film in history. While the chemistry is there, the laughs aren’t particularly warm and the thrills aren’t that thrilling. However, the film scratches a smoldering itch for some time, as films like this are so rare. If you’re looking to satiate that need even more because you didn’t realize how much you missed this classic romantic adventure story, here are seven movies to quench that thirst after watching. The lost city on the big screen.
The African Queen (1951)
Every cinematic subgenre has its plan, and for romantic adventure it’s the classic 1951 riverboat ride through World War I East Africa with The African Queen. From the director Jean Hustonthis Technicolor quest puts alcoholic skipper Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) and his missionary wife Rose Sayer (Catherine Hepburn) on the titular boat descending the treacherous waters of the Ulanga River with the aim of destroying a German gunboat preventing them from escaping from the war. It features all the tropes: raging rapids, leeches, floods, and seething romantic tension. Bogart won his only Oscar for his performance in The African Queen, and it couldn’t be more deserved, showing a light and jovial side of himself that he rarely got the chance to put on film. Legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff captures the surroundings in bold, striking Technicolor that makes the film gigantic. The African Queen is the romantic adventure that all others try to catch and few rarely match.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
While James Bond films are filled with sex, very few feature straight romance. You have Daniel Craighis first outing with Casino Royale in its relationship with Eva Greenis Vesper Lynd, but given that much of this movie takes place in a hotel and at a poker table, calling it an adventure movie would be a bit of a stretch. However, a real blue romance happened almost 40 years earlier in the franchise with the release of George Lazenby like 007. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service became a favorite among many Bond aficionados precisely because of the love story between Lazenby’s Bond and Tracy di Vicenzo, played by the luminous Diana Rigg. Their courtship during this Bond adventure sets it apart from the pack as a Bond entry with real stakes and emotion, leading to some truly tragic final moments. The score by John Barry alone makes you believe in love. It’s so powerful to play it in no time to die fills in a lot of gaps in the relationship with Léa Seydouxis Madeleine Swann. It may have been rejected at the time, but On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is one of the best James Bond films.
Romancing the Stone (1984)
When we say The lost city is an original movie, that’s not quite right. Frankly, it’s a quasi remake of Romanticize the stone from the director Robert Zemeckis. Here we have an author of romance novels, played wonderfully by Kathleen Turner, caught up in a plot for treasure in Colombia. While The lost city associates her with a man even more unhappy than her, Romanticize the stone is basically if Sandra Bullock had been paired with brad pittthe character for the rest of the film. Turner’s novelist enlists the help of Michael Douglas‘ Jack Colton, a bird smuggler, to help him through the jungle. Zemeckis did this at a time when he just needed success to keep making the movies he wanted to make, so Romanticize the stone works like an absolute clock. It’s not the most remarkable entry in the genre, but it’s still a heartbreaking good time. Plus we get a fun role for Danny DeVito. Who is not in favor of this?
The Princess Bride (1987)
Each of us has seen The princess to be married a thousand times, but what’s wrong with a thousand and one? The basic love story between Robin WrightButtercup and Cary Elwes‘A Farm Boy Turned Sword Thief may not be the most developed romance ever filmed, but their archetypal characters make a perfect central couple for this take on the classic tale of rescuing a damsel from the clutches of kidnappers and an upcoming marriage that she does not want. What Rob ReinerThe swashbuckling romantic comedy is most concerned with comedy, and it continues to be a seminal picture because people can recite almost every line of dialogue from it. Lines ranging from “As you wish” to “Have fun storming the castle”, almost every second of The princess to be married has seeped into popular consciousness thanks to so many people who constantly praise it in video stores or watch it on television as children. The way you know it’s a wonderful movie is that even after all this time, you still laugh at every joke. At some point, the laughs should dry up, and they never do. Every time I see Peter Falk burst into little Fred Savagebedroom, I know I’m going to have a great time. It may be a few years since you last saw The princess to be married. Throw it!
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
We have another swordsman here, but not as comical in appearance as The princess to be married. But it’s much sexier. The Mask of Zorro put wisely Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones together and absolutely let them burn the screen. Their chemistry in Martin Campbellrendition of the folk hero’s classic story helps render The Mask of Zorro one of the most thrilling action-adventure movies of the 1990s. Everything is set up for maximum impact, whether it’s the swordplay or just the smoldering sex between the two protagonists. The film’s climax is in the blending of the two, creating a sword fight that essentially plays out like a sex scene. The Mask of Zorro is a hoot and a half and should have a higher cultural reputation than it does.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Now we have the great evolution of The Mask of Zorro. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was a seismic event when it debuted in July 2003. Everyone thought a movie based on a theme park attraction would be a disaster, but it became a phenomenon. A well-deserved phenomenon. Most of the attention was on Johnny Deppis Captain Jack Sparrow, but the real heart of this movie and the two (incredibly underrated) sequels to Gore Verbinski is the love story between Keira Knightleyby Elizabeth Swann and Orlando Bloomis Will Turner. The third film’s giant finale even features their marriage as they battle enemies from all sides. But he is the curse of the black pearl who sets the stage for their love and motivates everything they do. the pirate the series has unfolded, but those first three movies are still real gems, especially the first one.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
It drifts away from what you would consider a classic adventure story. Not much in terms of danger, action or swashbuckling in Moonrise Kingdom, but we are talking about children here. Adventure movies with children often play to fantasies they would have while playing games with friends on the playground, but Moonrise Kingdom allows them to live a credible adventure. Wes AndersonThe story of two loving children who run away together to start their own lives is by far the director’s sweetest film. Shot in Super 16mm, it’s a warm and charming film where the love feels more real than almost any other film on this list. Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman are an absolute delight together, backed by a phenomenal adult cast that includes Anderson regulars like Bill Murray and Edward Nortonas well as Bruce Willis (which I wish I could have done a lot more with the filmmaker). Moonrise Kingdom might be considered a sleight of hand for many Wes Anderson fans, but for me it’s my favorite.
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