If the world at times feels like a cesspool of bad people and terrible things, there’s always romantic comedies to turn to for more optimistic impressions of human behaviour. Jenna Guillaume lists nine of the greatest romantic statements from love-struck movie characters.
There’s often a lot of talk about movie kisses, and for good reason. They’re typically so much more than two pretty people mashing their faces together, representing the culmination of a tense story arc – especially when it comes to romantic movies.
But while kisses are fun to watch, what makes a more lasting impact is what comes before them: the declarations of love. These can be small and simple or grand and complex, but the best ones show the deep connection the characters share. They’re the kind of statements that make you swoon and sigh and hope to hear such words yourself some day. Here are some of the most iconic…
Bridget Jones’s Diary
“I like you very much. Just as you are.”
It’s the “just as you are” that does it. It’s a quiet statement that conveys so much. Mark Darcy sees Bridget for who she is and he likes her for who she is, complete with all her quirks. Who doesn’t want to be loved just as they are?!
The Princess Bride
“As you wish.”
Three simple words that mean so much more. As the grandfather says in the movie, “when he was saying ‘as you wish’, what he meant was ‘I love you’.” But it’s not just “I love you” – Westley is also telling Buttercup he would do anything for her and that he would always be there for her and love her always. All that and then some in a little “as you wish.”
10 Things I Hate About You
“Mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.”
While Heath Ledger’s serenade is one of the highlights of this movie, it’s Julie Stiles who steals the best love declaration. The poem she reads that gives the movie its name is so raw, honest and so very teen girl in the most perfect way. There’s a reason a whole generation can still recite it by heart.
Pride and Prejudice
“You have bewitched me body and soul and I love… I love… I love you.”
This scene is not remotely faithful to the book, and yet there’s something so powerful in it. Matthew Macfadyen’s performance is what makes it really compelling. The vulnerability and endearing shyness he brings to Darcy, and to this love declaration, is enough to convert even the most devoted Colin Firth fans.
He may be making a very grand gesture, but it’s the simplicity of Simon’s words to Bram that really make this moment. While he’s expressing his surprise at the real identity of his secret penpal, there’s a sense of relief and affection in his voice that give the words extra meaning.
“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”
This movie is basically one long love declaration. While the rain-soaked “it wasn’t over – it still isn’t over” is a popular moment, the youthful “if you’re a bird, I’m a bird” beats it in my book. It’s Noah telling Allie he’ll always be there for there for her and that they belong together. Swoon.
“But sometimes things are so transparency they don’t need evidential proof.”
This is another movie absolutely filled with love declarations, each of them sweet and wonderful in their own way (yes, even the extremely problematic Keira Knightley/Andrew Lincoln scene). But it’s Colin Firth marching through the streets with swelling music to deliver a proposal in broken Portueguese that wins most romantic moment. It showcases the idea that love transcends language barriers, but that it’s also about meeting in the middle and growing and learning together.
“Most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”
Listen, “nobody puts Baby in a corner” is perfect and iconic and I could talk about it all day. But Baby’s brave confession wins out in the romantic declaration department. She admits her fears and touches on the bittersweet knowledge that her relationship with Johnny won’t last – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
When Harry Met Sally
“I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Honestly, this is probably the greatest rom-com declaration of all time. Like Mark Darcy with Bridget, this statement shows how Harry sees Sally, completely – and loves her for exactly who she is. He lists the very specific things he loves about her, displaying a devotion born out of a strong friendship. And he tops it off with the suggestion of a lifelong love that is just so romantic.