Casablanca (1942, dir. Michael Curtiz)

A US expat nightclub owner has his neutrality threatened in wartime Morocco when confronted by his ex-lover. Splendid wartime romance/film noir/political allegory balancing cynicism, comedy and menace in equal measure. Loads of fun.

Brief Encounter (1945, dir. David Lean)

Two otherwise-married people consider an affair. Deft romantic drama with its tongue partially in cheek in places; flirtations with film noir and German expressionism as well as with slice-of-life across-the-classes melodramatics.

Trouble With The Curve (2012, dir. Robert Lorenz)

A grizzled baseball scout takes a road trip with his ambitious lawyer daughter. There’s nothing original in this sports/family/romance hybrid, but everything works fine; a professional job all around. Another Eastwood meditation on ageing, with a fine supporting cast.

We Bought A Zoo (2011, dir. Cameron Crowe)

A widowed father buys a run-down zoo, and battles to have it open in time for the summer. Sunny-enough feelgood comedy/drama/romance with absolutely no surprises but some neat moments and an impeccable – if over-used – soundtrack.

The Greatest Showman (2017, dir. Michael Gracey)

A musical about showman PT Barnum. That rarest of things these days – an original live-action movie musical. You’ll either love it or hate it, that’s for sure. Good-looking and well made, but goes for the simple and easy trick every time. Eyes and teeth!

You’ve Got Mail (1998, dir. Nora Ephron)

An independent bookshop owner and a corporate bookstore exec fall in love pseudonymously by email. Slick update of (among others) Lubitsch’s The Shop Around The Corner, though now a 90s period piece itself in respect of its tech, its fascination with bricks-and-mortar retail, and some of its assumptions.

The Shape of Water (2017, dir. Guillermo del Toro)

A mute cleaner falls in love with a humanoid aquatic creature being held in a government research laboratory. Dazzlingly confident romantic fantasy with SF/horror touches. Amelie meets The Creature From The Black Lagoon with a bit of Little Voice. Highly recommended.