If the critical response to the movie 'The Break Up" is correct, then your best bet for finding true romance on the silver screen lies with NetFlix. May I suggest the little known post-war British flick "I Know Where I'm Going!"? Rather than watching a bloated Vince Vaughn (could they have worked any harder to hide his bandwidth with all those pillows on the movie poster?) take a trip to the breathtakingly beautiful Scottish isles of the Hebrides and be swept off your feet by a dashing British naval officer who convinces a young woman looking to snare a rich man to opt instead for true love . This classic romance film (laced with myth, magic and those stunning Scottish moors!) is available through the always reliable Criterion Collection and contains the 1994 BBC documentary "I Know Where I'm Going! Revisited" where Martin Scorsese and The New Yorker's Nancy Franklin gush over the film. (Scorsese saw it just before shooting "Raging Bull" and recalls being "overwhelmed by it's illustration of love laced with mysticism")
Made by the genius team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (who also gave us the sublime classic "The Red Shoes"), "I Know Where I'm Going" stars Wendy Hiller as a young ambitious lady who is getting everything she 'ever dreamed of having' -- a rich husband with a title ...and an island!
But the rich man is a stuffy industrialist old enough to be her father. Fate intervenes in the form of bad weather preventing Hiller from crossing the dangerous straits that separate one of the windswept islands from another. Enter Roger Livesey who proceeds to woo her amidst the drop dead gorgeous scenery (filmed in sumptous black and white) and colorful supporting cast (including bequiling young tween Petula Clark, looking like a pre-pubescent supermodel waiting for a VOGUE cover!).
One reviewer said of the film:
The film's strange atmosphere -- the plot abounds with superstition, folklore and curses -- confused audiences at the time. In retrospect, however, IKWIG is one of the duo's best films, with excellent performances from Livesey and Hiller, and beautiful cinematography from Erwin Hillier.
My significant other didn't think much of the love story ("nothing really happens between then and he's like Prince Charles") but I was instantly seduced by the subtlety of their oh-so-British romance. And that fantatic cinematography (Hillier, who worked with Fritz Lang, didn't even use a light meter!). I loved it so much I watched it twice. Then again with the commentary. And I think I might buy it. And then maybe, like Nancy Franklin did, I'll take a cruise to the island on the Hebrides where the film was shot. I'm pracitcally swooning just thinking about it. (But then the thought of Vince Vaughn whaling away on the rail thin, brokenhearted Jennifer Aniston jerks me back to this drab reality.)
picture of Vince Vaughn and Roger Livesey