Top Hat (1935, dir. David Sandrich)

An identity mix-up complicates the lives of a dancer and a couturier’s muse, both visiting London. Charming and witty musical comedy with elements of screwball farce and a keen sense of knowing camp, with several dance sequences that have become iconic. A Depression-era fantasy, still effective as escapist nonsense of the highest order.

Aladdin (2019, dir. Guy Ritchie)

A street thief falls for a princess; a magic lamp offers the opportunity to win her hand. Okay-as-far-as-it-goes live-action/CG remake of the 1992 Disney animation. A couple of new songs, Will Smith brings some pizazz as the genie, and a nice magic carpet gag; otherwise this is a product rather than a movie, and feels it at times too.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018, dir. Ol Parker)

In 1979, a student has romantic adventures in the Med; this links with the present. Both sequel and prequel to Mamma Mia!, this ABBA-based jukebox musical is part-reprise, part deconstruction. More fun than the first, and as impermeable to criticism as its predecessor. You’ll either love it, or be baffled.

Carmen Jones (1954, dir. Otto Preminger)

A free-spirited woman compels a once-clean-cut GI to go AWOL. A World War II-era retelling of Bizet’s Carmen with an all-black cast, retaining the music but with updated lyrics. A film version of a famous stage adaptation; this sacrifices drama for a lighter touch until the third act, but is nevertheless an engaging oddity.

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.