Getting kids to enjoy romantic movies is about as easy as getting them to eat their vegetables. In both cases, the kids usually benefit. Romantic movies teach basic values like honesty, constancy and devotion, and show kids the importance of emotional expression, bonding and partnership. Plenty of movies have romance, but they also have all kinds of content that you may not want your children to see. If you know where to look, you can find romantic movies your kids just might fall in love with.
"The Princess Bride"
This film, based on the novel by William Goldman, tells the story of a stable boy named Wesley who falls in love with the woman he serves, Buttercup. Wesley leaves to seek his fortune and return to marry Buttercup. She receives word that pirates have killed Wesley, so she settles into a loveless engagement with Prince Humperdink. Buttercup is kidnapped and then rescued by a villain who turns out to be her beloved Wesley. Humperdink imprisons Wesley and takes Buttercup back to his castle for marriage against her will. Wesley must fight against imprisonment, torture and even return from the dead to save the woman he loves.
The classic story from the Brothers Grimm tells the tale of Cinderella, a young scullery maid with a wicked stepmother and two evil stepsisters. Cinderella befriends the mice living in the home she must clean every day. She longs only to go to the ball and meet a handsome prince, but her wicked stepmother forbids it. Cinderella's fairy godmother appears when she has lost all hope and turns her into a princess complete with a dress, coach and horses and glass slippers. Cinderella attends the ball and falls in love with Prince Charming but must go home by the stroke of midnight. In her rush to leave, she drops her glass slipper. The prince searches far and wide for the mystery woman whose foot will fit this glass slipper until he reaches Cinderella's home. Her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters try to prevent her from seeing the prince, but he puts the slipper on her -- it fits and love conquers all.
"Beauty and the Beast" (1991)
This highly awarded and stage-adapted film tells the story of a selfish prince, cursed by an enchantress to have his exterior match his beastly personality. He rests for ages alone in his castle, surrounded by his servants who have all been transformed into talking clocks, candelabras, teapots and other home furnishings. The intelligent, curious young Belle finds no interest in her provincial town or the attentions of arrogant local meat-head Gaston. Her father stumbles on the Beast's castle and the Beast imprisons him. Belle searches for her father and finds him at the castle. She agrees to stay in his place, and she and the Beast slowly grow to care for one another. The Beast defends her from a mob led by Gaston, and his selfless act reverses his curse and they live happily ever after.
"Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "The Return of the Jedi"
The three original "Star Wars" films tell the story of Luke Skywalker, a provincial farm boy who leaves home to help take on the evil Galactic Empire. In his adventures, he encounters a former Jedi knight named Obi Wan Kenobi who teaches him to master the powers of The Force -- an invisible energy field that ties the universe together. He meets the beautiful Princess Leia, the rogue Han Solo, his furry friend Chewbacca, humanoid robot "droids" C3PO and R2D2 and a host of other characters. As the story develops, we learn that Leia and Luke are long-lost brother and sister, as a romance builds between Leia and Han. The series focuses mainly on action and adventure, but the relationship between Han and Leia features prominently and becomes more central to the series after the first film.
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- Heart to heart illustration image by Fenia from Fotolia.com