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Valentines Day Happy HeartThis week sees the DVD release of Before Midnight. The third in Richard Linklater’s Before series, it stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, continuing story of Jess and Celine’s romantic relationship, exploring love and life in a contemporary way Romance is one of the most explored genre of film, but what exactly is romance? Earlier Hollywood films looked at romance in a very traditional way, mainly focussing on perceived ideals and happy endings. True romance is richer than this, however, and there have been many varying models of romantic couples immortalized on film. Here are ten of the very best.

10. Sam Baldwin and Annie Reed (Sleepless in Seattle)

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Sleepless in Seattle is an admirable blending of classic Hollywood romance and contemporary, Meta filmmaking. It harkens back to the sweet, earnest love stories from movies of old, but rather than being a carbon copy, it smartly pays homage whilst retaining its own unique voice. Some might question the romanticism of a movie in which the two leads share only a couple of minutes of screen time, but the effect the couple have on each other is powerful. Without even having met, Sam shows Annie that true love really can exist, and she doesn’t have to ‘settle’ in love. In return, Sam discovers through Annie that it is possible to love again after the tragic loss of his first wife. This couple epitomize the classic romantic notions of sacrifice, fate, faith and grand gestures.

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