Whether you’re looking for an epic love story, a sidesplitting rom-com, a romantic tearjerker or more, we’ve got you covered. Spend February 14th with AFI as we celebrate 14 festive films on Valentine’s Day that have been named to AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions list, honored with AFI AWARDS and selected for AFI Movie Club.
Valentine’s Day Movie Guide
AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER
Starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, the classic romance AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957) is ranked #5 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions list of the greatest love stories of all time. The film was also honored with Academy Award® nominations for Music (Song), Music (Scoring), Cinematography and Costume Design, marking costume designer Charles LeMaire’s fourteenth of 16 Oscar® nominations over the short span of only nine years which included multiple nominations per year. Watch Cameron Crowe in this exclusive AFI Archive video talk about AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER. Learn more about AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER in the AFI Catalog.
CAROL (2015), a romantic period drama starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, was honored with a 2015 AFI AWARD, recognizing it as one of the year’s most outstanding achievements in the art of the moving image. The film, adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s groundbreaking novel “The Price of Salt,” was written by acclaimed playwright Phyllis Nagy, who went on to earn an Academy Award® nomination for the script, and was directed by Emmy® and Academy Award® nominee Todd Haynes. Watch an exclusive conversation at AFI with Haynes and star Rooney Mara. Learn more about CAROL in the AFI Catalog.
One of the American Film Institute’s most celebrated films, CASABLANCA (1942) first appeared at #2 on the original list of America’s greatest movies, remaining within the top three for the 10th anniversary edition a decade later. It’s also ranked #1 among cinema’s greatest love stories and has six quotes named by AFI as the most memorable of all time, including the unforgettable line “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick Blaine was ranked #4 on AFI’s list of the greatest screen heroes – and Bogart himself was named the #1 screen legend of all time on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars. Learn more about CASABLANCA in the AFI Catalog.
LOVE & BASKETBALL
Starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, the groundbreaking sports drama LOVE & BASKETBALL (2000) marked the feature directorial debut of Gina Prince-Bythewood. Prince-Bythewood, who also wrote the film, spoke with AFI Fellows at the Conservatory about making the film and how the love story was central to the success of the movie. This past year, Prince-Bythewood also received critical acclaim for her most recent film, THE WOMAN KING, an AFI AWARD honoree. Learn more about Gina Prince-Bythewood’s films, including LOVE & BASKETBALL, in the AFI Catalog.
MOONLIGHT (2016), a poetic tour de force, was one of the 2016 AFI AWARD honorees and “illuminates the peerless power of cinema to inspire empathy for others and embrace a greater understanding of ourselves.” Based on an unpublished play written by Tarell Alvin McCraney called “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” and written and directed by Academy Award® winner Barry Jenkins, the film received eight Academy Award® nominations and won for Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. Watch Barry Jenkins talk about the swimming scene during a seminar at the AFI Conservatory.
A magical romance starring Cher, Nicolas Cage, Danny Aiello and the legendary Olympia Dukakis, MOONSTRUCK (1987) appears among AFI’s list of 100 Movies…100 Passions, as well as on AFI’s list of the funniest comedies of all time, with Cher’s iconic line – “Snap out of it!” – counted as one of the art form’s best movie quotes. Watch this exclusive AFI video in which Cher talks about receiving an Academy Award® for her performance and meeting one of her idols – Audrey Hepburn. Learn more about MOONSTRUCK in the AFI Catalog.
MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO
An independent masterpiece from writer/director and New Queer Cinema icon Gus Van Sant, MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO (1991) – starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves – was a breakthrough feature for LGBTQ+ stories in mainstream culture. Van Sant received several offers to direct big-budget Hollywood films after the success of DRUGSTORE COWBOY (1989), but instead decided to make this independent feature project in his hometown of Portland, OR. Learn more about MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO in the AFI Catalog.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987), an epic romantic adventure comedy written by two-time Academy Award®-winning screenwriter William Goldman, is filled with classic lines like “Inconceivable!” and “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” With a stellar cast including Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant and more, the film was named to AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions list of the greatest love stories of all time. Learn more about THE PRINCESS BRIDE in the AFI Catalog.
“Paris isn’t for changing planes. It’s for changing your outlook, for throwing open the windows and letting in la vie en rose.” Named to AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions list of the greatest love stories of all time, the romantic comedy SABRINA (1954) stars Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden – all included on AFI’s list of the art form’s greatest screen legends. The film was directed by AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award® winner Billy Wilder and adapted for the screen by Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor and Ernest Lehman, who all received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Screenplay. Learn more about SABRINA in the AFI Catalog.
SAVING FACE (2004), a romantic comedy-drama directed by Alice Wu and starring Michelle Krusiec (AFI DWW+ Class of 2022) and Joan Chen, follows Wilhelmina “Wil” Pang, a gay Chinese-American doctor whose life is upended when she finds herself juggling her unwed, pregnant mother unexpectedly moving in with her and a burgeoning relationship with a ballet dancer (Lynn Chen). In this exclusive video from the AFI Archive, watch Alice and Michelle talk about this landmark and influential film. Learn more about SAVING FACE in the AFI Catalog.
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE
From writer/director Nora Ephron, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (1993), starring AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan with a supporting cast including Bill Pullman, Ross Malinger, Rob Reiner, Rosie O’Donnell, Gaby Hoffman, Victor Garber, Rita Wilson and more, was named to AFI’s lists of both cinema’s greatest love stories and its greatest romantic comedies. Watch Lena Dunham announce the film for AFI Movie Club. Learn more about SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE in the AFI Catalog.
The epic romantic drama TITANIC (1997) was named by AFI as one of the greatest American films – as well as one of the most enduring love stories and heart-pounding cinematic thrills. “My Heart Will Go On,” performed by Céline Dion with music by James Horner and lyrics by Will Jennings, is ranked at #14 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs list, and Jack’s triumphant declaration – “I’m the King of the World!” – appears on AFI’s list of the greatest movie quotes. From the AFI Archive, watch Celine Dion talk about recording the “My Heart Will Go On.” Learn more about TITANIC in the AFI Catalog.
WALL-E (2008), written and directed by Andrew Stanton, was honored with an AFI AWARD in 2008, with the official rationale stating, “Not since Chaplin’s ’Little Tramp’ has so much story — so much emotion — been conveyed without words. When hope arrives in the form of a seedling, the film blossoms into one of the great screen romances as two robots remind audiences of the beating heart in all of us that yearns for humanity — and love — in the darkest of landscapes.” Learn more about WALL-E in the AFI Catalog.
WEST SIDE STORY
A contemporary reimagining of “Romeo and Juliet” based on the beloved stage musical, WEST SIDE STORY (1961) was co-directed by AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Robert Wise, who also served as Chair of the AFI Conservatory (then called the Center for Advanced Film Studies) – and starred Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn and AFI Honorary Degree recipient Rita Moreno in her groundbreaking, Academy Award®-winning performance as Anita. The film more than earned its acclaim across the American Film Institute’s lists celebrating excellence in the art form, including being ranked #3 on AFI’s list of the greatest love stories and #2 among AFI’S 100 Years of Musicals. Listen to Natalie Wood talk about working on the film in this exclusive AFI video. Learn more about WEST SIDE STORY in the AFI Catalog.
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