Falling in and out of love in the Big Apple is a regular occurrence here – or so the movies would have you believe. There have been countless stories on the big screen over the years where lovers have been united (or separated) in the city that never sleeps, seemingly more here than almost anywhere else.
If you took time to analyze why this is, you would see that this is the ideal place to set a romantic comedy or drama – and the studios have certainly milked this for all its worth. For a start, it is home to some of the most iconic sights the world has to offer. Think theEmpire State Building, Central Park,Grand Central Terminal and renowned stores like Tiffany’s and FAO Schwarz on Fifth Avenue.
Sometimes, it is the city itself that provides the perfect backdrop for the story. The character of New York always shines through. From playing the role of the most magical city to be in; a bustling metropolis where you have to shout to be heard; or portraying it as the loneliest place on the planet: New York has its own cinematic identity that penetrates all areas of life.
No wonder the narratives of its inhabitants and characters caught up in their own stories here can easily get lost within the most famous of locations. The city is bold in its role of captivating the hearts of those that come here. Many people end up falling in love with the city, while some do manage to engage in romantic pursuits with an actual person – no matter how short-lived this may be.
If we were to list the best romantic movies set in the city, we’d be here all day, so let’s just mention a few that are renowned for their location as much as anything else:
In this classic film from 1979, there is just no escaping director and co-star Woody Allen’s obvious passion for the New York district it is set in. The title is more than a give-away. Yes, there is still a love story to be told here, but his love letter is arguably penned to the setting of Manhattan as opposed to anyone else.
An Affair to Remember/Sleepless In Seattle
Critical scenes from the 1957 movie An Affair to Remember were recreated in the 1993 romcom Sleepless in Seattle. The latter film’s climactic moment at the summit of the Empire State Building was in reference to the former’s most memorable reunion between its two leads. While the more recent movie may not have been set entirely in New York, you can bet this is the bit it will always be best remembered for.
When Harry Met Sally
Can men and women ever just be friends? While the question just about encapsulates what this 1989 romcom is all about, the seasonal variations of the city landscape does still play an important role in keeping such a slow-burning love story interesting for the duration of its running time. When Harry Met Sally is certainly up there with the finest of its genre thanks to the excellent performances from stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, not to mention its impressive supporting cast which includes Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby. Writer Nora Ephron received an Oscar nomination for her great dialogue as the film seeks to explore a number of interesting ideas about relationships.
See, we’ve only mentioned four films about love in New York when there are so many that could easily have taken their places, such as;You’ve Got Mail (1998),Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Moonstruck (1987) and Splash (1984). The full list of mainstream films set in New York (or a fictionalized version of the city) is quite incredible – as are the greatest New York film scenes.
When it comes to New York and the movies, the two are most definitely the perfect match. While this doesn’t guarantee a hit at the box office – and cannot paper over the cracks of a badly-written script – at least the audience still gets to marvel at such an iconic landscape and is able to dream about more interesting experiences that can be had here.