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As Time Goes By: Love Stories, like One Day, that Endure the Test of Time

Posted June 29, 2011 to photo album "As Time Goes By: Love Stories, like One Day, that Endure the Test of Time"

One Day tells the two-decade story of Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dex (Jim Sturgess). Like other films, from When Harry Met Sally to Brokeback Mountain, One Day recognizes how our relationships change and deepen over time. We look at 10 other great films of loves that go on.

Two for the Road (1967)
Scenes From a Marriage (1973)
The Way We Were (1973)
Annie Hall (1977)
Same Time, Next Year (1978)
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
5x2 (2004)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

The title reveals everything we need to know about the story structure of writer Richard Curtis' charming romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell. We see the major events in the film play out in chapters revolving around five church ceremonies devoted to honoring love or death, and in the process witness the awkward development of a love affair between Charles (Grant), a hapless, stuttering Englishman, and the lovely, sassy American Carrie (MacDowell). This way of constructing the narrative is simple yet brilliant: not only do these ritualistic events organically bring all the film's principal characters together, but also the inherent nature of weddings and funerals heighten people's emotions and prompt them to consider the larger questions in life, such as “Who do I want to spend the rest of my life with?” In her New York Times review, Janet Maslin praised the way Curtis and director Mike Newell make the movie's novel narrative structure work: “In a feat of daring gamesmanship, they confine their film's central love story to the events described by the title, veering off only occasionally to nearby hotels or shops for wedding-related gambits. That conceit would seem strained if it didn't prove so unexpectedly graceful and inspired.” Four Weddings and a Funeral further set itself apart from other romantic comedies by having two central characters who are anti-marriage. Charles is terrified of commitment, and by the end of the film Carrie is a divorcee; when they finally get together, Charles “pops the question” by asking, “Do you think... you might agree not to marry me? And do you think not being married to me might maybe be something you could consider doing for the rest of your life?” Not coincidentally, Curtis – who based the characters in the movie on his group of friends -- has for many years been happily not married to his partner Emma Freud, with whom he has three children.