Ah Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air, card and chocolate companies make millions, and we get an influx of The Notebook – Sleepless in Seattle – Titanic-y movies. And those are ok. I’m not knocking them. Although I haven’t seen the first two, I definitely saw Titanic 37 times, and can never manage to change the channel if my remote happens to land on a channel when it’s on (even with commercials). We all love love.
But there are some unsung heroes in romance land. Lovely couples, trapped inside some of the coolest movies out there, destined to never or barely be mentioned on such a loving list. You may agree or disagree, or we may agree to disagree, but here are my stand-outs. I’ll probably think of 12 more after the article is published.
Without further ado….here are my picks for the Top 10 Best Geek Movie Romances (in no particular order):
Spoilers for the movies mentioned here …
1. Wash and Zoe / Serenity (Alan Tudyk and Gina Torres): The happiest couple in space, Wash and Zoe epitomized what makes a marriage most successful – when the woman lovingly bosses the man around. The Firefly TV series introduced us to this quirky and somewhat uneven couple that somehow make it work. Zoe was Captain Mal’s (Nathan Fillion) second, but was Wash’s first. When he died in the film sequel, Serenity, you could see she wanted to die, too. It broke Mal’s (and our) heart for her when she tried to wake him up.
2. Joel and Clementine / Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet): A love so strong and a break-up so bad, this couple decided to erase their history together in order to move on. But there is no love eraser and they find each other once again, trying to figure out what the heck happened to make themselves go to such extremes, when their connection is so strong. With most of the film taking place in Joel’s head, you live and die with every moment as more and more of their relationship is wiped (or zapped) away. When it all crashes down, we are left knowing somehow, they’ll meet up in Montauk.
3. Jack and Sally / The Nightmare Before Christmas (Chris Sarandon and Catherine O’Hara): Jack Skellington was so focused on bringing Christmas to Halloweentown by any means necessary, he didn’t realize he was ignoring everything right in front of him. That most of all included Sally, who is trying to both woo Jack and warn him of impending doom. Little romantic touches, like her literally throwing herself out a window for him, and him saving her from the evil Oogie Boogie Man allow for them to have their happily ever after “meant to be” moment.
4. Brundlefly and Veronica / The Fly (Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis): Seth Brundle was a man obsessed with teleportation, so much so that he experimented on himself with disastrous consequences. Veronica was the woman (and mother of his future baby) who loved him even to the end. While the famous tagline may encourage you to “be afraid, be very afraid,” there was something so intense about their courtship that she stays with him (maybe out of fear of death) to the final gory ending.
5. Pumpkin and Hunny Bunny / Pulp Fiction(Amanda Plummer and Tim Roth): Was there ever a cuter, psychotic couple in love? Robbing and terrorizing, they found a formidable and confusing obstacle in Jules, who would not give up his case, but also did not feel like killing anybody that day. Luckily they caught him “in a transitional period.” Hunny Bunny was so freaked out by a gun on her love, she was shaking and screaming. But despite Vincent’s objections, the two lovers leave the diner with a hefty little score and maybe some good life lessons.
6. Dwight and Gail / Sin City (Clive Owen and Rosario Dawson):
“My valkyrie, my warrior woman” is how Dwight describes Gail. She’s the leader of “the girls” in Sin City, he’s her beau with a new face trying to escape the law. Together they get into serious problems with a corrupt hero-cop (Benicio Del Toro), the mob, and have enough near-death experiences to last a lifetime. But their passion is ignited by the chaos, and bloodshed the surround them. And in Sin City, that makes for a hot and heavy romance.
7. Dana Barrett and Peter Venkman / Ghostbusters (Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray): Ok, so maybe this romance got off to a rocky start. I mean it’s not every day your future girlfriend gets possessed by an ancient demon spirit bent on destroying the world. Peter wears her down with his charms except when they’re supposed to have a first date, he is greeted by the Gatekeeper. He likes her because “she’s smart and sleeps above her covers… 4 FEET above her covers.” Luckily Peter and the gang save the day and free Dana from her possession. Their rocky romance would stretch through the sequel and we’d like to think they make it, though Peter does seem like the type to mess things up.
8. Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre II / Watchmen (Billy Crudup and Malin Ackerman): So while she doesn’t end up with Dr. Manhattan, I always found this to be of a purer love than the love she found with Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson). Dr. Manhattan knew everything across space and time, yet she was the miracle that caused him to come back and save mankind.
9. Theodore and Samantha / Her (Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johannson): Poor lonely Theodore thought he found the perfect girl in Samantha, the artificial intelligence with a chosen female voice inside his computer. They shared intimate conversations, picnics, and sexted. Alas, all star-crossed lovers are not meant to be and Samantha eventually has to move on to an “upgraded”life. This was a sad romance that sunk to the depths of sadness for Theodore. They didn’t stay together and have artificial intelligence babies, but oh, if they could!
10. Han Solo and Princess Leia / Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi (Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher): We all knew that “scruffy-looking nerf herder” was her way of telling Han she was interested, but it took Princess Leia a little longer to figure that out. He loved her sassiness and she loved his rakishness. And we loved that she did not get with her brother, Luke (Mark Hamill).