I adore a good romantic movie, be it a period flick, light-hearted comedy, or epic drama, as long as there's a compelling love story and the two leads have great chemistry, I'll be riveted to the screen. There have been so many memorable film kisses over the years that it's almost impossible for me to narrow my list down to just 10, but I'm going to name the ones that really resonated with me, the ones that make me say, "Wow!" every time I watch them. Be sure to click on the title links below to be taken to the video clip of each kiss.
Ada & Inman/Cold Mountain - Ah, the classic man bids his sweetheart goodbye before going off to war scene. What I love most about this variation of it is that the characters are so shy and tentative about expressing themselves at first, but then Inman just throws caution to the wind and goes for it. He brings Ada to her knees with the power of his lips, people! And let's give kudos to the ever-smoochable Jude Law for generating some palpable heat with Nicole Kidman here (I've always found her to be rather icy in love scenes, so this was a major accomplishment for Jude.)
Emma & Knightley/Emma - One of my fave Austen adaptations! I loved everything about the playful chemistry between Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam in this film. There was such a great build-up to the characters realizing that they were in love with each other, but then Emma misunderstood and thought Knightley wanted Harriet (As if!) and he misunderstood and thought she didn't have romantic feelings for him. Thankfully, it all works out in the end, and they have this divine moment when they both realize their love is returned and they're absolutely perfect for each other. They're both so happy that it makes me tear up and smile at the same time. Love them!
Princess Leia & Han/The Empire Strikes Back - "You like me because I'm a scoundrel." Yes, Han, yes I do. :) I honestly don't know how Princess Leia waited until the middle of the second movie in the Star Wars trilogy to mack on the hot mercenary who was always saving her royal butt. I mean, look at him. Harrison Ford in his prime was a total babe (See also the Indiana Jones movies.) It behooves me to point out that there is another great kiss scene between Han and Leia towards the end of Empire when he's about to be encased in carbonite by Darth Vader (boo hiss.) She admits she loves him, and he says, "I know." So perfect, and so very Han.
Scarlett & Rhett/Gone with the Wind - I could have very easily chosen the iconic smooch the two of them shared on the road to Tara, after they've escaped the burning of Atlanta. Rhett does deliver a very nice speech before he plants one on her in that scene, but Scarlett was angry with Rhett then (as she had every right to be) and she didn't kiss him back. So, that's no fun in my opinion. The kiss that better exemplifies their relationship is the one he lays on her when he's trying to get her to agree to his marriage proposal. It's pretty clear that Scarlett enjoys this one. She claims she's going to faint if Rhett keeps on kissing her so passionately, and I confess to getting a bit light-headed myself every time I see it!
Fanny & Edmund/Mansfield Park - I always thought that this movie was really underrated. The relationship between bookish Fanny and her tenderhearted cousin Edmund was so well-developed and heart-wrenching. Fanny adores Edmund from the moment she meets him, but he thinks of her as a little sister and lets his head get turned by the manipulative Mary Crawford. When Fanny leaves Mansfield (and Edmund), he realizes how much she really means to him, which eventually leads to their rapprochement in this wonderful scene at the end of the movie.
Bonus kiss: There is a delicious almost-smooch between Fanny and Edmund earlier in the film when he comforts her after a distressing incident occurs late at night and they're both in a state of undress. Of course, Edmund, being the honorable man that he is, apologizes and runs away because he's afraid to face his own feelings at that point. This just makes their final smooch all the more satisfying!
Margaret & Thornton/North and South - Okay, I'm cheating a little bit here because North and South was a TV-movie, not one that played on the silver screen, but the amazing train station smooch that takes place at the end of N&S is probably my all-time favorite kiss. I've watched it a ridiculous number of times and I swoon with every viewing. So, I had to include it on this list. Poor Thornton yearns desperately for Margaret for most of the film, but she turns down his proposal of marriage (He does make a really bad impression on her the first few times they interact, so she's justified in her antipathy for him.) It takes him performing several selfless acts before she finally sees that he's a good guy and realizes that she returns his feelings. She goes to Milton to find him, he goes to Helstone to see her childhood home, and their paths cross at the train station in between the two places. Their meeting of hearts and minds is so lovely that it makes me reach for the tissues every time I see it.
Allie & Noah/The Notebook - Well, duh, no best onscreen kisses list would be complete without Allie and Noah's infamous makeout-in-the-rain scene. Talk about a climactic moment! This movie tortures its viewers for over an hour, throwing every imaginable obstacle in this couple's path (class differences, interfering parents, war, a nice guy fiancé) before the two of them finally consummate their long-denied love. PHEW I think we all needed a cigarette after this one.
Elizabeth & Captain Jack/Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest - My deep, dark secret is out. I was a Sparrowbeth 'shipper. I always thought that Keira and Johnny had way more chemistry in the POTC movies than Keira and Orlando ever did, and I rooted for Elizabeth and Captain Jack to admit they were in love, so they could run off together and make lots of dreadlocked pirate babies. This kiss was as close as I got to seeing that fan fic fantasy come to life, but it was a doozy. And I cackled with glee every time Keira Knightley said in an interview that Johnny Depp was the best of all the actors she ever kissed onscreen. Of course, he was!
Lucy & George/A Room with a View - So romantic! While picnicking with her chaperone and a group of fellow Brits, Lucy wanders into a picturesque field of barley (It was a field of violets in the book, but they weren't in season when the film was shot.) and disturbs George who's in the midst of a reverie. Without saying a word, he strides towards her, grabs her, and kisses her passionately. What woman would not want to be Lucy in this scene? The scandalous liplock is seen by Charlotte Bartlett (Yes, that is a pre-Downton Maggie Smith) and Eleanor Lavish (Yes, that is a pre-Bond Judi Dench.), and it becomes a plot point later in the film when Eleanor, a romance novelist, writes about the kiss in one of her steamy stories, which mortifies Lucy.
Mary-Jane & Peter/Spider-Man - As far as I know, this is the only upside-down kiss in cinematic history, which makes it memorable for that reason alone. Another thing that makes this kiss a standout is the sensual way Mary-Jane rolls Spider-Man's mask down far enough so that his lips are bared and she can kiss him (a thank you for saving her from a band of street thugs with nefarious intentions), but she doesn't attempt to pull the mask off. So, his identity remains secret. Who knew hooking up, albeit briefly, with a superhero could be so hot?
So, those are my top choices for Fave Movie Kisses. Do you agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments section below. I want to know what some of your favorite film kisses are!