In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a post about…movie kissing! Mary Robinette Kowal lists ten “most passionate kisses”. It’s a nice idea for a list, but I wasn’t wowed much by her choices — there’s no way those talentless drips from Twilight belong anywhere near such a list. So, in the grand tradition of things, I’ll offer my own list! (She draws from fantasy films, where I’ll be drawing from movies far and wide.)
10. Jack and Rose on the prow of the Titanic, in Titanic.
I still love Titanic, and I think this moment — when Jack shows Rose what it’s like to almost fly above the water — is one of the movie’s very best moments. The kiss is beautifully done: Rose has to twist her head backward to kiss Jack, but the best touch is how, after they’ve been kissing for three or four seconds, she lifts her hand to his neck in a touch of intimacy.
9. Melvin kisses Carol poorly in As Good As It Gets.
It’s a goofy, awkward, uncomfortable kiss…and then, after a few seconds of reflection, Melvin says, “I know I can do better than that!” And does.
8. When Harry and Sally finally kiss in When Harry Met Sally…
I still love this movie…and I’ve just realized that I haven’t watched it in several years. I need to rectify that.
7. Aladdin gets an assist from the Magic Carpet in Aladdin.
Aladdin’s just returned Princess Jasmine to the palace, and he’s not sure how to say goodbye — so the Magic Carpet suddenly rolls upward, pushing Aladdin up so that his lips meet Jasmine’s, and both their eyes shoot open before surrendering to the moment.
6. Any time that Lloyd Dobler kisses Diane Court in Say Anything.
Every one of the kisses in this movie is acted with emotion that matches the scene. This movie is one of the great screen romances, period.
5. Aragorn and Arwen unite at last, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
I know, a lot of folks have a problem with Liv Tyler as Arwen, but I was never one of them. What worked here was the expression of complete befuddlement on Aragorn’s face as he tries to convince himself that Arwen is, in fact, alive and well.
4. John Book and Rachel Lapp can hold it in no longer, in Witness.
This is one of the greatest moments of release of pent-up sexual tension I’ve ever seen.
3. Rick and Ilsa’s last kiss in Paris in Casablanca.
Rick and Ilsa kiss several times in the movie, but the last one during the Paris flashback is utterly haunting, the way Rick is happy, but Ilsa is tormented by (what we’ll soon find out) the knowledge that her husband is not dead after all, and that she must break Rick’s heart. She lets her arm fall to the table, her fist knocking over her glass of champagne; and then, fade to the train station where Rick gets her note.
2. The curtain goes up on the Prime Minister and Natalie in Love Actually.
People who don’t like Love Actually are weirdos.
1. Han kisses Leia farewell in The Empire Strikes Back.
They grab one last kiss before Han is grabbed by the stormtroopers and pulled onto the carbon freezing platform. It’s followed, of course, by one of the best cinematic love exchanges in movie history. Best ad lib ever!
(By the way, my “worst” kiss in a piece of filmed entertainment happened in the old CBS show Beauty and the Beast, when they did a lot of teasing in the media about an upcoming episode that would feature Vincent and Katherine kissing…only to have them freeze-frame, and then have their “souls” come forward out of their bodies and kiss. I thought it an incredible copout.)
Mike and Cindy in "The Wizard of Speed and Time". Hands down, the most romantic kiss in cinema.