Vivien and I decided to do the 13 Greatest Love Stories. Keep in mind though, these are love stories, not necessarily romances.
Pepper: My first favorite love story is Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara. He knew her, through and through. And I still believe that they found their way back to each other (I'm ignoring the so-called sequel, though).
Vivien: 2.Jamie and Claire from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books. What I love about them, other than the whole transcending time thing, was that it was a relationship that didn't stop when they got older. Jamie and Claire are just as much in love, just as sexy, at 50 as they were at 25.
Pepper: 3. Spike and Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It didn't end well, but maybe the really great ones never do. I don't know. But she made him want to be a better man, and that always hit me squarely in the chest.
Vivien: 4. Queen Victoria and John Brown. Oh, sure, this could just as easily be Victoria and Albert, because she loved and mourned him the rest of her life. But for me, Victoria and John are even more poignant. Separated by class, they could never acknowledge their relationship in public. Which means, yes, another one not ending well. Wow, we're really depressing, aren't we, lol?
Pepper: 5. Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from The X-Files. He trusted her. As he said in one of my favorite scenes "You're the only one I trust." He was completely credulous, she was a skeptic, but paradoxically, he was an atheist, and she was a devout Catholic. But despite their differences, they never betrayed each other. I know some people were unhappy with the final episode, but whatever. They kissed and rode off into the sunset together. That's all I ever wanted for them. (Yay, this one isn't depressing!)
Vivien: 6. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. A real life love story. Proof that you can be just as much in love fifty years later. Proof that even in Hollywood, if it's real, it'll last.
Pepper: 7. The Boy and Girl in Once. I was really devastated at the end of the movie the first time I saw it, but they created something beautiful together. Something that will be timeless. I'm not sure if there is a purer sort of expression of love.
Vivien: 8. Harry and Sally. For a long time, When Harry Met Sally was my favorite movie. I love the notion of friends lasting forever, and I love it even more now that I'm married to my best friend.
Pepper: 9. Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock. Regardless of if you "slash" these two men, I think it's clear that they shared a very deep and abiding love. They trusted each other without hesitation. They relied on each other in moments of extreme duress and fear. Kirk made Spock more human. And I dare anybody not to cry when Spock says "I have been and always shall be your friend." I'm feeling a little misty right now. I'd count any relationship successful that had the sort of respect, devotion, and love that those two shared.
Vivien: 10. Navarre and Isabeau from Ladyhawke. Yes,another movie love story. But it's classic! She's a hawk by day; he's a wolf by night. An evil bishop in love with her conspires to keep them forever apart, and yet, they stay together, determined to find a way to break the curse.
Pepper: 11. Beatrice and Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare's women have a difficult sexual destiny, to say the least. Olivia was clearly in love with Viola in Twelfth Night, but settled for Sebastian out of necessity. Kate was starved and kept in the closet until she started behaving in Taming of the Shrew. Cressida turns into a Greek whore about 2 seconds after she arrives in the Greek camp in Troilus and Cressida. And these are the comedies! But Beatrice...she's different. She's strong and she's smart. She wanted to cut Claudio's heart out and eat it when he wrong Hero! Benedict loved her so much, he was willing to fight his best friend to the death. I think that's the one relationship in all of Shakespeare that actually doesn't creep me out or make me sad.
Vivien: 12. Luke and Laura. I know it's a soap opera. I know it's not considered PC these days to admit to liking them. But Luke and Laura started my love affair with romance. It was all about the adventure, and the epic-ness, and the bad boy with a good girl dynamic. She was spunky enough to stand up to him, yet soft enough to show him he could be better than he ever expected. And he literally saved the world, just for her.
Pepper: 13. Sgt. Nicholas Angel and Constable Danny Butterman in Hot Fuzz. I know, it seems kind of weird. But at one point, somebody in the movie says the following line: Knock down all the little people, and you get to waltz away with the cuddly monkey. Danny is Nick's cuddly monkey--that line is basically a summation of the movie. Throughout the film, we learn that Nick doesn't know how to "stop thinking." He doesn't relate well with people. He's never had a good relationship. But Danny gets through to him. Danny makes him happy. Danny makes him better and he's already a pretty good guy. The best part is that the "subtext" of this film is actually text. Danny is the buddy and the romantic lead.
And they lived happily ever after.