Happily Every After Films

Love Story

The All You Need is Love Project is a movement to inspire more love on this planet. The more we come together, the more love we can share. Join the revolution here!


Share your favorite (or one of your favorite) love stories. In can be from any art form –  a movie, a book, a piece of art, or a story you were told. Describe it and share with us why you heart it.

Hello, loves! I am so excited about sharing today’s All You Need is Love Project. I hold this topic near to my heart since I am a major indie film nerd. It’s one of the main things Mr. ShuGar and I enjoy doing in our free time. However, Mr. ShuGar and I differ in our movie sensibilities when it comes to romantic films. He’s not a huge fan of sappy love stories, whereas I am a sucker for a classic “happily ever after” film.

I present to you my Top 5 romantic films of all time, in no particular order. These films get me all emotional every time, but they are certainly not Oscary-worthy, just tear-jerkers.

The Notebook

The Notebook

I know that this makes me look like a total girl, but I cannot talk about romantic movies without mentioning the mother of all tear-jerkers, The Notebook. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, this love story is written by Jeremy Leven, adapted by Jan Sardi, and stars the gorgeous Ryan Gosling as Noah and the beautiful Rachel McAdams as Allie.

A period piece taking place in the 1940s with flashbacks to the present day, The Notebook is the story of a young couple from opposite sides of the tracks who falls madly in love despite the disapproval of Allie’s upperclass and uptight parents. A perfect example which demonstrates that opposites attract, Allie was raised with a  somewhat pretentious and spoiled upbringing, whereas Noah comes from a working class family who believes love conquers all, including social mores. Narrated by an aging man telling this love story to his fellow nursing home resident, the movie jumps from the past and present to share the story of these star-crossed lovers. There are forces that attempt to separate Allie and Noah, but like all good love stories, their love is powerful and proves everlasting.

This movie began my obsession with Ryan Gosling. It’s a sweet and passionate love story that exemplifies love can conquer all. I’m a sucker for this kind of love story.

When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally

I grew up watching When Harry Met Sally, more than most people could probably ever imagine. So much so that I can recite certain scenes from this movie with no problem. Written by the formidable Nora Ephron and directed by funny man Rob Reiner, When Harry Met Sally tackles the age-old question, “Can men are women truly ever be friends without sex getting in the way?” Sally, played by Meg Ryan, attempts to convince Harry, staring Billy Crystal, that men and women can have plutonic friendships. Harry vociferously rejects this theory as he claims sex will always taint any friendship.

Harry and Sally carpool to New York and begin to bicker about this very topic. Through the years, they coincidentally bump into each other and begin to develop a friendship. In another case of opposites attract, these two begin to develop a real closeness which challenges Harry’s theory that men and women can’t be friends. However, things become more complicated as the friendship deepens and their commitment towards their friendship is ultimately tested.

This movie is witty, smart, funny, and so endearing. The chemistry between the two of them makes this film a classic romantic comedy.

Only You


Only You is a more obscure film from the 1990s that explores the idea that destiny’s role is to bring all of us our true loves. Marisa Tomei plays Faith, a woman obsessed with destiny and who spends a big chunk of her life trying to find the man who a fortune teller and the Ouija board said is her soul mate. Despite currently being engaged, she is convinced that she must find this man before she makes a life-long commitment.  With the help of her best gal pal Kate, played by Bonnie Hunt, they both travel across the ocean to Italy in search of her supposed soul mate, Damon Bradley. Along the way, they stumble upon various obstacles in their quest for true love and manage to strike an unlikely partnership with a shoe salesman named Peter Wright, played by Robert Downey Jr.  Faith and Peter are crazy about each other, but the question remains whether or not Faith can follow her destiny or make her own path.

I really heart this movie because it’s fun and it keeps you entertained as they travel throughout Italy in search of Faith’s destiny. I love seeing the immediate attraction Faith and Peter have for each other. It reminds me of how we all know we have met the one: You just know deep down in your soul.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

I know there are all sorts of versions of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, but I really love watching the Keira Knightley one. I am ashamed to admit that I have yet to see the Colin Firth portrayal of Mr. Darcy, but it is on my must-watch list. Oh, Colin Firth…swoon!

Jane Austen takes us into the world of 19th century England where manners and chivalry reign supreme. Elizabeth Bennet, played by Keira Knightley, is one of five daughters whose family fortune will, unfortunately, go to the next distant male heir as dictated by the patriarchal English society. Since the Bennet family lacks any true social standing, the five single daughters are forced to look for eligible bachelors who can save the family from utter financial ruin.

At a ball, Lizzy Bennet meets the pretentious Mr. Darcy, who offends her because of his aloof and pompous nature. Of course, this makes for the perfect formula of two people who hate each other so much, they just can’t help but fall in love. Not only is this book/movie a fascinating insight into polite English society, but it is a Cinderella tale every little girl dreams of. Who wouldn’t want a Mr. Darcy of her own to rescue her and her family? I always jokingly say Mr. ShuGar is my Mr. Darcy.

Lost in Translation

Lost in translation

I have an older man crush on Bill Murray. His witty and sarcastic humor makes him hot in my eyes. Lost in Translation is an indie film gem and I had the pleasure of going to a screening with the writer/director Sophia Coppola in person last year! Major girlie crush on her. I love this film for a million reasons, but one is because I have lived abroad on several occasions and I can identify with being the “American” in a foreign land. Additionally, this film is romantically great because of Billy Murray and Scarlett Johansson’s undeniable chemistry. Their performances are so amazing that much of what makes the relationship so beautiful is what remains unsaid between the two of them. This is especially true in the last whisper scene in the movie, which I wrote a whole blog post dissecting what was said between the two of them.

Bob Harris (played by Bill Murray) is a has-been actor who travels to Tokyo to make some extra cash by doing commercials. Charlotte (starring Scarlett Johansson) is a recent college grad who is having an existential crisis as she attempts to find her path in life. Charlotte and Bob develop a “friendship” as  two lost souls staying in the same hotel desperately wanting companionship in a foreign country.  Consequently, they begin to spend a considerable amount of time together and something begins to blossom between the two of them. The film is a feast for the eyes and ears as the bustling city of Tokyo is the third main character in the film. It’s a unique love story without the usual sappiness. It’s smart and edgy and gives a true depiction of how love develops organically.


Have you seen any of these films? Are any of them one of your fave love stories? Which romantic movie(s) makes your heart skip a beat?

P.S. AMC’s 50 Greatest Romantic Movies


Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Let’s dedicate this post to celebrate our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, and friends who have blessed our lives as mothers and/or mother figures. You can even give this post as a virtual gift to this mom in your life.

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Join the love revolution below. Ready, set, love!


Photo credit: Love Story Imagery, The Notebook, When Harry Met Sally, Only You, Pride and Prejudice, Lost in Translation

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  • shy

    i would have to say ‘love actually’. it’s not all happily ever after but i enjoy the different types of love (and heart breaks) surrounding this story. i think the basic premise, though, is that no one really wants to ever be lonely. ‘lost in translation’ was great! as was ‘when harry met sally.’ when it comes to cheesy, mainstream, romantic comedies, i am also a sucker for ‘pretty woman,’ ‘you’ve got mail,’ ’27 dresses,’ ‘the devil wears prada’ and ‘made of honor.’ 🙂

    • I adore Love Actually! I have it and watch it every time it comes on tv. You’ve got Mail! Yes! “Don’t cry shopgirl.’ Gets to me every time. The Devil Wears Prada is full of so much fashion candy. Love it, too!

  • Fatima Lora

    You’ve got a fine list here!
    I was a huge Meg Ryan fan growing up and I LOVE Billy Crystal, so by default I’m a When Harry Met Sally gal. 😉 Nothing more beautiful than accidentally falling in love. And, I, too, love to recite the lines to this film. The last scene, New Year’s Eve party…enough said!

    • You’re my kind of gal 😉 I just love the chemistry between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. They’re the real deal! Oh, my gosh…that scene…”You make it impossible for me to hate you,” *tears*

  • PrincessMouseyCards

    I want to re-watch all of your movies…. I love love!

    • Let’s re-watch them together! =) Love love, too!

  • Julie

    I’ve seen the first three movies you have listed. Only You is one of my favorites. I haven’t watched it in awhile.

    • I wish they’d play it more often on tv. It’s such a sweet film before they were super big stars. El destino….so romantic!

      • Julie

        My parents has the VHS of Only You.

        • I love it! VHS…old school. We have tons of those =)

  • Amelie. Far and Away. French Kiss. A Winter’s Tale…off the top of my head 🙂

    • Amelie is my fave film of all time. It’s perfect in every way. Far & Away makes me cry…Tom Cruise is actually endearing in that film. Oh, and French Kiss…that Meg Ryan has the rom com down!

      • Tom IS endearing…Probably the only movie I forgot who he was and believed his character. 🙂 Meg can do no wrong in my book 🙂 xo

        • You are so right. He’s kind of amazing and major film crushing on him.

  • Erin

    I gotta go with “Before Sunset”. I love that their love story has the patina of time. And the ending may be the best love story move ending ever, when he’s supposed to go the airport but they are just stalling, hanging out at her apartment and listening to Nina Simone records.

    • I have that film and it’s so unique. I have watched every installment and I appreciate the artistry and the dialogue is spot on. Yup, he doesn’t want to leave. I didn’t even remember what they were listening to. You can just see how much love is between them that they don’t even want to admit. Best movie concept!

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