Ah l’amour. C’est tres magnifique. Since it is the season of love, there is nothing we like better than to turn up the romance and watch a mushy movie about people who get a happily ever after. ‘Happily ever after’ can, of course, look different for different folks, but these movies managed to nail it.
We rounded up our favorite movie proposals of all time, and for the sake of clarity, we don’t mean just the perfect proposal, like Andrew and Melanie in Sweet Home Alabama, where a surprised Melanie finds herself in Tiffany and her Andrew on one knee telling her to choose any ring. That’s a romantic proposal and all, and we certainly wouldn’t mind such a proposal from Patrick Dempsey, but if you’ve seen the movie, then you know it’s her ex-husband Jake who still has her heart (and ours).
No, no, no. We mean the perfect proposal: Cue-the-waterworks-these-people-were-made-for-each-other-and-deserve-a-happily-ever-after-proposal. We mean that moment where he said the right thing at the right time. We mean the proposal where character meets story, meets actors, meets directors, meets camera man for the perfect proposal til death do they part. Ahhhh. We love love.
Ever After, the classic Cinderella remake featuring a poor British accent by Drew Barrymore and an authentic one by Dougray Scott, climaxed with the Prince Henry (Scott) charging up to the fortress where Cinderella (a.k.a. Danielle, a.k.a. Barrymore) was taken captive, intent on saving his damsel in distress, when she emerges having taken care of business herself and awkwardly asks him, “What are you doing here?” To which he apologizes for being a jerk, gets down on one knee, puts the bejeweled slipper on her dirty feet, claiming her to be his match in every way, and says, “I kneel before you, not as a prince, but as a man in love. But I would feel like a king if you, Danielle de Barbarac, would be my wife.” Cinderella gets us literally every single time.
Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley Version)
The birds are twittering in the early morning fog as Elizabeth Darcy slowly makes her way across the moor only to see a tall, handsome man in a billowing cloak walking determinedly towards her. It’s Mr. Darcy. Her breath catches (literally, you can hear her make an audible gasp). Darcy delivers his speech (the same one Colin Firth did in the BBC version but Matthew Macfadyen is an endearing, scared, and stuttering boy in his delivery that melts our insides to nothing), and he finishes it with “I will have to tell you… you have bewitched me body and soul…and I love… I love… I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”
The Wedding Singer
What about the time that Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) has to stop Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore) from making the mistake of her life by marrying the wrong man and becoming Julia Guglia, so he gets onto the plane she is about to depart with said wrong man and sings her the song “I wanna grow old with you” and then Billy Idol shows up? Yeah. That was a good one.
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Bridget Jones’ Diary, the film based off of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, stars Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth as Bridget and Darcy. But it’s the sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, which gives fans the most brilliant proposal that ever was. She’s going on and on (as Bridget does) about it needing to not be romantic when Darcy says he just has to ask her a question. Bridget jokes “As long as it’s not will you marry me,” and then the most awkward pauses of all awkward pauses occurs. What follows is pure genius and joy rolled into one.
On the cliffs of Ireland, Amy McAdams (Anna from Boston) stands in the wind not knowing what to do after she just proposed to her former enemy (now love of her life) and he walked away from her. But she hears her name in that Irish lilt as he says, “Where the hell are you goin?” After affectionately calling her a “big eedjit” for not understanding, he pulls out the ring she helped him retrieve on the journey that turned these enemies to lovers. Watch the clip. Then watch the movie. It’s so good. He’s so cute.
Firth takes on a romantic lead again in Love Actually. So many sweet moments, but the proposal of all proposals is when Jamie (Firth), who has fallen in love with his Portuguese housekeeper Aurelia (despite the fact that neither of them can speak the other’s language), shows up at her new job having learned Portuguese so he can propose to her. But when she responds in English, we just become a puddle of goo.
When Harry Met Sally
Nobody could write a romantic comedy like Nora Ephron. Nobody. When Harry Met Sally, starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, is probably one of her most iconic films. The whole movie asks the question if men can be friends with women. Harry meets Sally, they become friends, they date, they break up, and they meet again on New Year’s Eve for the proposal speech to beat all proposal speeches. God bless you, Nora Ephron.
Walk the Line
That moment in Walk the Line when Johnny Cash (played by Joaquin Phoenix) asks June Carter (played by Reese Witherspoon) to marry him in the middle of their concert, baring his soul to her in front of 7,000 people because he’s asked her 40 different ways and he can’t go on until she says yes? Yeah. That really happened in real life. They married a few weeks later, and stayed married for 35 years until Carter passed away. Yeah. Yes. A thousand times yes.