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Three Unforgettable Demonstrations of Love in Film

Going to the theatre to watch a love story has long been a favorite date evening for many couples over the decades. In these films, heroic love acts are not uncommon, and inspire us as we live our own romances. Here are three of such films and their unforgettable proofs of love.

1)    Cinema Paradiso (1988)

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Anybody else other than a Italian could have turned “Cinema Paradiso” into a cliché. Thankfully for us movie lovers, cliché isn’t a problem here. In the movie, Salvattore, nicknamed Totó,  grows up fatherless in the small town of Giancaldo, Italy. He’s fascinated with movies and often sneaks into the local theatre to watch every kind of film, even the ones the local priest tries to censor by cutting away any kissing or love scenes from them. A smart child, Totó is able to convince Alfredo, the projectionist, to let him work in the projection booth, despite the fire hazard of film stocks. Alfredo becomes a friend and father to Totó: the two are inseparable. Totó grows to love Alfredo, movies and, of course, the Cinema Paradiso theatre.
There are two memorable proofs of love in the film. The first, a subplot in the film, happens when Totó, by now a teenager, falls in love with Elena, a new girl in town. Alfredo sees that Totó needs some advice, and tells him a story of a soldier who waited outside the window of a princess, who had promised to marry him if he could wait there for 100 days and 100 nights without ever moving. On the 99th night, the soldier, tired and weather beaten, gets up and leaves. What does this mean? Alfredo claims he doesn’t know. Totó, however, tries to repeat the fairy tale under the window of his beloved Helena.
The second, and greatest, proof of love is revealed on the very last scene, when all the lost kisses suddenly become magic once more in one of the most beautiful endings in film history.

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2)    Somewhere in Time (1980)

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Back to the past stories form almost a complete genre in film history. Few movies, however, have touched on the subject with as much poetry as “Somewhere in Time”. Richard Collier is a playwright who lived a life in the beginning of the 20th century, but has no memory of it. While on a weekend trip to clear his mind from both work and a recent breakup, he sees an old portrait of a young woman in the saloon of a hotel. He falls in love with a picture of someone who is already long dead.
His obsession leads him to recall a night many years before when an elderly woman walked up to him and told him to “come back” to her. Richard begins doing research about the woman in the picture, and finds she once was a talented actress. He consults an old college professor of his, who once was able, he claims, to travel back in time for a few minutes. The professor remembers almost dying from the mental strain caused by time travel.
Ignoring all risks, Richard follows the steps outlined by the old man. He goes back in time, looking to live the greatest love of his life, one he never knew about.

3)    Before Sunset (2004)

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Young travelers Jesse and Celine meet on a train and spend a summer night together in Vienna in Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” (1995).  From complete strangers, they become lovers a few hours later, and experience in one magical night a relationship that many people can’t find in a lifetime. By morning, both of them have to return to normal life: he to Texas, she back to Paris. “If somebody gave me the choice right now of to never see you again or to marry you, I’d marry you,” Jesse says.
The two promise to meet once again in Vienna six months later. No phone numbers and no letters: these things, they fear, would kill the intensity of the love they found that night.
We meet our characters again in 2004. Jesse is giving a press conference at a Parisian book shop, where he’s presenting his first book, “This Time”, already a bestseller. The book is inspired by the events of that summer night that changed his life.
When Celine shows up at the book shop, it’s only a short time before we find out they never met after six months. While Jesse’s book is a proof of love, one he hoped would connect them again, so is Linklater’s “Before” trilogy. Linklater himself spent a night with a stranger, Amy Lehrhaupt, while passing by Philadelphia on a trip, and both fell in love. “I’m gonna make a movie about this,” he told her that night.
Many years after the release of “Before Sunrise”, Linklater received a letter from a friend of Amy, where he learned that she had passed away in an accident, just before production of the movie started. Linklater’s love, however, is now eternalized not only in his heart, but also in every scene of one of the greatest love stories of the last 20 years.