Carry On Loving (1970, dir. Gerald Thomas)

An unmarried couple runs a computer dating agency: complications ensue. Sketch-based sex farce, somewhat coarser than the series to date, trying to balance Carry On ingredients and archetypes with broader material. Patchy at best, though the commitment to the single entendre is almost impressive.

Here’s the trailer

The Princess Bride (1987, dir. Rob Reiner)

A grandfather reads a fairy story of true love to his ill grandson. Excellent distillation of the William Goldman novel, with the right balance of thrills, jokes, well-sketched characters, and a cast that knows exactly the movie they’re in. Lots of fun throughout.

Here’s the trailer

Chungking Express (1994, dir. Wong Kar Wai)

Two stories in the same part of Hong Kong, both featuring lovelorn cops. Splendid postmodern comic romance with thriller asides: a love letter to the sidestreets, drawing on the 60s French New Wave and 80s Cinema du Look in more-or-less equal measure. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

Black Narcissus (1947, dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)

Nuns newly-arrived in a remote Himalayan convent struggle with erotic impulses. While at best dated in some respects (brownface, some attitudes) this is a beautiful, technically-compelling and at times mesmerising movie. More a tone poem than overly concerned with narrative cause and effect, so may not be for all contemporary audiences.

Here’s the trailer.

Christmas Eve (2015, dir. Mitch Davis)

After an accident, six New York elevators halt: their occupants are forced to know each other – and themselves – better. Contrived and clumsy festive ensemble movie: an unsubtle Christian message delivered via what’s meant to be Richard Curtis-style whimsy. Some moments work nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.

Last Christmas (2019, dir. Paul Feig)

A chaotic Londoner begins to repair her broken relationships when she meets a handsome stranger. Schematic sub-Richard Curtis romantic comedy which, a few good lines aside, clings to the clumsiest of premises. Heartless, but harmless: Henry Golding makes for am impressive beau though.

Here’s the trailer.

Pompeii (2014, dir. Paul WS Anderson)

A vengeful gladiator and a young noblewoman find love against the odds in 1st century Italy. Cheesy disaster-themed tosh (though never quite camp, Kiefer Sutherland’s panto villain aside), mashing up Titanic and Gladiator to cliched CG-tastic effect. A medium-budget B-movie, and unashamedly so.

Here’s the trailer.

After Midnight [AKA Something Else] (2019, dir. Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella)

Struggling with the breakup of a long-term relationship, a man is visited nightly by a monster. Smart romantic drama/horror hybrid, with lots going for it in a lo-fi indie kinda way. Makes you wonder what Gardner and Co will come up with next. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

#Alive [AKA #Saraitda] (2020, dir. Cho-Il Hyung)

A gamer teen is stranded in their high-rise apartment during a zombie outbreak. Clever, effective z-movie, adept at finding new ways to explore the sub-genre’s possibilities, and with some telling points to make about technology in everyday life. No game-changer, but offers definite evidence of afterlife in the undead.

Here’s the trailer:

James vs. His Future Self (2019, dir. Jeremy LaLonde)

A socially-awkward physicist is visited by a future version of himself. Smart little romantic comedy with SF elements. Crucially, it doesn’t overplay the time travel elements, but uses them to tell a straightforward but charming story. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer: