Schuppel’s Scoop: my favorite (love) stories


Wikimedia Commons/Claire Schuppel

Arts & Life Editor Claire Schuppel writes about her favorite love stories that have graced the big screen.

Claire Schuppel, Arts & Life Editor

Last year, I wrote my Valentine’s Day column about my favorite love song and, though the holiday has since passed, I was inspired to write about something else pertaining to love: two of my favorite movies! With that said, let’s talk about two of the greatest films of all time, “The Princess Bride” and “Before Sunrise.”

“The Princess Bride” has been my favorite movie throughout my adolescence and young adult years, because I can’t find a movie quite like it. There is about 35 years worth of praise for the movie so I don’t want to repeat what has been said millions of times. But, I would love to share what makes this love story so special to me.

Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) and Westley’s (Cary Elwes) romance is a timeless tale that has every element of a superb romance: “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles,” as Peter Falk sums it up perfectly. It reminds me of everything I loved as a child in Disney princess movies but it has grown with me in a different way. I’ll throw on “Beauty and the Beast” for nostalgic purposes (Belle was always my favorite), but Buttercup and Westley’s love transcends the confines of the classic romance genre – their love was authentic.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Buttercup and Westley are braving the fire swamp and Westley is catching his love up to speed on where he disappeared to for all their separated years. Their rapport reminds me of any other pair in love as it doesn’t take itself seriously like a traditional damsel in distress story might. So much of what makes this movie perfect is the silliness and lightheartedness of the dialogue.

While the film is by definition a traditional love story, it also represents a different kind of love: the love of a family. The movie opens with a sick boy (Fred Savage) stuck with his overly affectionate grandfather (Falk) for an afternoon of reading the titular book. The story brings the two closer than they ever had been and it always brings me back to the moments I shared reading with my family. My mom and I would pour through “Cam Jansen” books or exhaust “Goodnight Moon” until I had the whole thing memorized. Those are some of my fondest memories and I always appreciate seeing that different kind of love alongside the orthodox love story.

“Before Sunrise,” the first of Richard Linklater’s highly esteemed “Before Trilogy,” is the best representation of passionate desire that I have seen. Two young hopeless romantics, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), meet each other on a train heading to Vienna as they bond over a bickering German couple in the same cabin. They decide to spend the night together before Jesse flies home to the United States. They wander the streets together throughout the night and share beautiful, intimate moments until their separation.

The simplicity of the plot might be a turnoff to some as the entire story is just watching their love for one another blossom over one night, but the conversations they have and the people they meet could keep anyone who loves love engaged. The impending doom that is their inevitable separation just makes their story hit so much harder while still maintaining its authenticity. In a dream world, Jesse might have abandoned his life in America and joined Celine as she goes home to France, but the appeal of a good Linklater movie is its realism. As much as I love the first of the trilogy, I still highly recommend “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” to everyone I talk to since they are incredible movies that complete the portrait of their 18-year romance.

I never claim to be a fan of the romance genre, but so many of the movies I love most are always about love. My opinion is entirely subjective, but I am a staunch believer that “The Princess Bride” and “Before Sunrise” are some of the best tales of all time.