13 Romantic Movies in It Had To Be Us

Dear Coffee Time Romance Friends,

Where can you find a heartfelt true love story, some yummy recipes and over 20 reviews of favorite romantic movies – all in one package? Only in the Amazon KINDLE version of IT HAD TO BE US by Harry & Elizabeth Lawrence, the pen names my hubby and I used in writing this award-winning romantic memoir.

About those romantic films, I know many can be highly predictable and not very entertaining, but my husband and I have a lot of favorites, and in our book we've  included my reviews of several excellent ones. It was fun compiling our list of favorites, even though we frequently disagreed while making the selections!

Below are 13 romantic movies chosen from the ones we included in IT HAD TO BE US. If you would like to find out which additional films we selected, I hope you will check out our memoir. You can find out more information about our book here

I hope you will let me know your reaction to these romantic movies as well as your own favorites. Here’s my “Thursday 13” for today:

BEYOND BORDERS. I’m a sucker for epic love stories like “Gone with the Wind” and “Dr. Zhivago,” so I was fascinated watching Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen try to carry on a romance over many years amid tumultuous international events.

KATE & LEOPOLD. A perky Meg Ryan and an elegant Hugh Jackman play lovers who break the time barrier in this terrific romantic comedy. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

LOVE ACTUALLY. I absolutely adore this fast-paced movie about the agony and ecstasy of love — as experienced by several colorful characters during the five weeks before Christmas.

MOULIN ROUGE! This Baz Luhrmann musical about two doomed lovers who meet in a decadent Paris nightclub during the late 1800s is sheer cinematic artistry. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor sing their hearts out in a memorable sequence featuring great love songs like “All You Need Is Love” and “I Will Always Love You.”

PRIDE & PREJUDICE. Jane Austen’s most popular Victorian romance novel has never graced the screen with such cinematic flair as this one co-starring Keira Knightley.and Matthew MacFayden . Although I also enjoyed the other film versions, this most recent screen adaptation emerges as the most entertaining for me.

RETURN TO ME. This enchanting movie co-stars David Duchovny as a grieving widower and Minnie Driver as the woman who receives his dead wife’s heart. Don’t worry. It’s not a tearjerker – just touching, funny and one of the best romantic comedies ever filmed.

SERENDIPITY. I admit being an incurable romantic who needs a “soul mates” film-fix every once in a while, so this movie worked for me. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, playing two people who are kept apart by a series of missed connections, won me over completely.

TWO WEEKS NOTICE. Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock are fun to watch in their first on-screen pairing. Reminiscent of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in “Woman of the Year,” they start out antagonizing each other because of their differences but end up realizing how much they need and love each other.

THE FOUNTAIN. This stunning, elegant movie co-stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz as characters representing eternal love and the battle between death and immortality. I found it hypnotic and almost painfully beautiful.

TRISTAN & ISOLDE. Set in England, this tragic story concerns the forbidden love between a courageous English knight and a beautiful Irish princess. James Franco and Sophia Myles generate considerable chemistry together in the leading roles, and the impressive painterly look of the film also adds to its appeal.

LAST CHANCE HARVEY. Playing two lonely middle-aged people who find each other during some tough times in their lives, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson may look ill-suited for each other here, but they deliver the goods with believability and charm. I fell in love with them as a couple.

ORIGINAL SIN. Overblown and implausible it may be, but Original Sin wins my vote as one of the most watchable movies ever made. Most of the credit goes to Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie. They sizzle on screen as a man obsessed and the femme fatale he desires.

MUSIC AND LYRICS. Helping someone discover his or her hidden talents ranks as one of the most satisfying things a person can do for another, and that’s probably why I fell in love with this delightful film right away. It’s such a treat to watch Drew Barrymore’s character discover she can write brilliant lyrics while roped into a panicky relationship with Hugh Grant’s has-been composer/performer, a role he plays to the hilt.

Finally, I wanted to remind everyone about our IT HAD TO BE US Screenplay Contest. Here are the details:

Write a movie scene incorporating information from the “Harry Remembers Excerpt” found at this link: Send your entry pasted into an e-mail (no attachments) to Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence at by July 1, 2012. Winner will receive a Kindle edition of the award-winning romantic memoir, IT HAD TO BE US, plus an autographed copy of CONFESSIONS OF A MOVIE ADDICT, my amusing life story with everything but the movie stuff edited out. Good luck!

Thanks for reading my “Thursday 13” blog. I hope to hear from you!

Betty Jo Tucker (aka Elizabeth Lawrence)

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

14 Responses to “13 Romantic Movies in It Had To Be Us”

  1. Denise says:

    I love your book, It Had to Be Us.I know it would be a charming movie!  The "he said, she said" format is delightful in that it shows how differentlly men and women think!  It's reminiscent of a fun movie from 1961, The Second Time Around, starring Debbie Reynolds. Plus the recipes and reviews are terrific! I agree with many of your other romanitic movie choices and I love your reviews – so helpful in deciding which to see next!

  2. Joy says:

    Wow!   I am a huge fan of Movie Addict Headquarters hosted by Ms. Betty Jo Tucker on Blogtalkradio and have yet to have her recommend a film I did not like.  Since I have to admit that I have not seen many of the films above since I have been busy painting (my passion) I have devised a future plan.   I am going to download the films and watch out of the corner of my eye  while I paint!   I am especially looking forward to Beyond Borders,  since I am a huge fan of Angelina Jolie as well as Original Sin.  I cannot wait to view Return to Me!

  3. Jane Bernard says:

    Wow- I loved reading through this list! I've already gone to Netflix to add a bunch. Thank you Betty Jo for keeping romance in the air! BTW – I totally enjoyed reading It Had to Be Us. We all want love. Connecting with love with its excitments and its disappointments is like making a cake with weird stuff like flour, butter and eggs. When it all comes together the cake is inspiring!

  4. Betty Jo Tucker says:

    Thanks so much, Jane, for your comments. Glad you now have some new romantic films to check out!

  5. Betty Jo Tucker says:

    I’m so happy you enjoy our Movie Addict HQ show, Judy Joy! And I think you will love ORIGINAL SIN and RETURN TO ME. I really appreciate your comments!

  6. Nell Minow says:

    I love the idea of romantic movies helping a couple make a connection that shapes their relationship.  And I was glad to see the underrated "Return to Me," "The Fountain," and "Music and Lyrics" on the list!

  7. Betty Jo Tucker says:

    Hi, Nell! Movies have definitely been an important part of our lives! We even named our daughter “Susan” (after Susan Hayward) and our son “Kelly” (after Gene Kelly). I agree with you about the three films you mentioned being underrated. They are very special to us. Thanks for commenting on this Thursday Thirteen blog.

  8. Betty Jo Tucker says:

    Hey, Denise! Debbie Reynolds is one of my favorite movie stars — so I'm glad you mentioned "The Second Time Around.."  And it's very encouraging to hear that you enjoyed the recipes and reviews in IT HAD TO BE US — as well as our love story. Thanks so much!

  9. Dana Taylor says:

    Hi Betty Jo–
    It;s been a while since I read IT HAD TO BE US and I still remember how utterly charming it is. I'm glad you now have Amazon to spread your story to the world. As always, you are the go-to gal for picking out great flicks!
    Dana Taylor
    Book Luvin' Babes

  10. When are you going to write a film entitled  It Had to be Us about your romantic reunion? It would appeal to all ages.
    I remember when reading your book how iimpressed I was with your eternal love for one another despite being apart for a long time.
    What with today's divorces and unhappy marriages, your book is a breath of fresh air.
    Love ya, Fran

  11. Betty Jo Tucker says:

    Too bad I don’t know how to write a screenplay, Fran. What a treat it would be to see our memoir as a movie! Thanks for your support and encouraging comments.

  12. Betty Jo Tucker says:

    Dana, how nice to hear from you! It’s very encouraging to know that you remember IT HAD TO BE US. :-)

  13. Sharon Schafer says:

    HI Betty. I loved the first book about finding that special love again, the second time around.  It was very heartfelt and romantic.  Hope to read the second book also. Appreciate your updates always. I won't ever forget my guest spot on your show. Was fun! 

  14. Betty Jo Tucker says:

    Hi, Sharon! Glad you enjoyed the first edition of IT HAD TO BE US. Hope you get a chance to read the expanded version. Loved having you on our Tribute to Kevin Costner!


  1. It Had to Be Us — A Romance With Movies - Movie Mom - [...] and Harry Lawrence,” the pen name of Betty Jo Tucker of Movie Addict Headquarters.  In a blog post on …

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