With Valentine's Day coming up next month, seniors at Bethesda Gardens in Fort Worth may be wondering how they can celebrate this season dedicated to romantic love. Whether you're living in the community with your special someone, remembering your lost love with fondness or just have a soft spot for matters of the heart, one fun way to celebrate the special day is with a dedicated movie night.
From drama to romantic comedies, there are plenty of movies seniors can choose from that are clean, fun and heartwarming. You can always dial up the Hallmark channel on your television, but if you want to gather in a common area or your own apartment for specific entertainment, here are some top options in romantic films everyone can enjoy.
This 2005 version of the classic Jane Austin romance hits all the high notes and features enjoyable performances by a bevy of well-known actors and actresses. Keira Knightly is a witty, lovely and uncompromising Elizabeth Bennett, and Matthew Macfadyen is a resolute Mr. Darcy. Donald Sutherland plays the always-witty Mr. Bennet, and though he doesn't get a lot of screen time, he does justice to the beleaguered father's plight.
The 2005 movie version is a sweet period romance, but if you're looking for a more in-depth version of Austin's classic, consider the BBC miniseries from 1995. It's usually streamable on multiple services and also may be available at local libraries.
If you like more action in your period romances, turn to this enjoyable romp from the '80s. It's an iconic coming-of-age story with a forbidden romance and a lot of horse riding. It's Romeo and Juliet in the wilds of 1880s Australia, with the added bonus of Kirk Douglas playing the parts of two brothers who are feuding.
For a completely different take on romance from the '80s, pop in The Princess Bride. This is a great choice if you want more laughter than tears and don't want to set a melancholy mood for the night. In this classic, a grandfather reads his grandson the epic love story of Buttercup and Westley, complete with dread pirates, giants, rodents of unusual size, sword fights and a villain everyone can dislike in equal measure. It's a fun, slightly silly romp pulled off by the acting abilities of the all-star cast.
For groups that want light-hearted romance with less swashbuckling and more singing might opt for the 1965 movie version of The Sound of Music. Julie Andrews spins her way into the leading lady role in this film about a German family, its many children and their joy- and song-filled governess. Whether you've seen this classic a million times or can't remember watching it, you'll fall in love with the adorable children, lovely music and sweet love stories in this musical.
For those who like the idea of a Jane Austin romance but have seen Pride and Prejudice more than once, Emma may be a good option. The 1996 version stars Gwyneth Paltrow in the titular role as the unsuccessful matchmaker who doesn't even realize she herself is falling in love. It's an adorable film that has enough comedy in it to delight even those who aren't huge fans of period romance.
And if you really just want everyone to laugh and aren't chasing the romance of it all too heavily, consider something like Cary Grant's infamous Arsenic and Old Lace. A self-declared bachelor who rails against marriage ties the knot first thing in this movie, and the comedic drama sets up from there. He has to return home to tell his maiden aunts he has a wife only to discover their secret (and murderous) hobby.