The Classic Movies List: A Rec for Every Romance Trope

Here’s the work-in-progress list— The Google doc is always open for more!

Kelly’s Must-See List

Because it’s All About Me. Watch these and report back.


 It Happened One Night The Shop Around the Corner How to Marry a Millionaire


 Drama_TheClock  Drama_BestYearsOfOurLives Drama_RandomHarvest

Note: I would have included Casablanca, but that’s just a given on any list.


Suspense_Notorious  Suspense_Rebecca Suspense_Gaslight

  • Notorious — I’ll just be over here curled up in a ball yelling things at the television.
  • Rebecca — Perfect casting of a perfect adaptation of a perfect novel.
  • Gaslight — Your skin will crawl until the beta hero saves the day.

Note: All the best suspense movies have one-word titles.


Friends to Lovers

  • Holiday
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Gigi
  • Born Yesterday
  • It Should Happen To You

Enemies to Lovers

  • QuietManThe Quiet Man
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • The Shop Around the Corner
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • His Girl Friday
  • Desk Set
  • Kiss Me Kate
  • Notorious
  • Ninotchka/Silk Stockings
  • The Band Wagon
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Whirlwind Romance

  • The Clock
  • On the Town
  • Anchors Aweigh
  • Bringing Up Baby



  • To Have and Have Not
  • The Clock
  • On the Town
  • Anchors Aweigh
  • I Was a Male War Bride
  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • Since You Went Away
  • Casablanca
  • The More the Merrier
  • Tender Comrade
  • A Foreign Affair

Reforming the Rake

  • Love in the Afternoon

Obsessive Love

  • Laura
  • Double Indemnity
  • Leave Her to Heaven
  • Dragonwyck

Unrequited/One-Sided Love

  • Little Women
  • It Should Happen to You
  • The Apartment
  • Easter Parade
  • How to Marry a Millionaire
  • Footlight Parade


Some of these aren’t HEA, but all are must-see!


  • I’ll Be Seeing You — streaming on YouTube!
  • The Clock
  • Brief Encounter
  • Kitty Foyle
  • Random Harvest
  • Love Affair/An Affair to Remember
  • Enchanted Cottage
  • A Place in the Sun
  • Splendour in the Grass
  • Butterfield 8
  • Waterloo Bridge
  • Casablanca
  • Dark Victory
  • Now, Voyager
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Marriage In Trouble

  • Barefoot In the Park
  • The Bishop’s Wife
  • Adam’s Rib
  • State of the Union
  • Barkleys of Broadway
  • The Palm Beach Story
  • Wife Vs. Secretary


  • Random Harvest
  • Spellbound

Secret Babies

  • Bachelor Mother/Bundle of Joy
  • It Started In Naples

Love Triangle

  • Holiday AffairHoliday Affair
  • Sabrina
  • Casablanca
  • Holiday
  • My Favorite Wife
  • Rachel and the Stranger
  • A Foreign Affair
  • The Vikings

Sibling’s best friend/Best friend’s sibling

or sibling/best friend’s love interest

  • Holiday

Road Trip

  • It Happened One Night
  • The African Queen
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Sullivan’s Travels

Age Gap

  • SabrinaSabrina
  • Love in the Afternoon
  • That Touch of Mink
  • Gigi
  • Daddy Long Legs
  • All That Heaven Allows*
  • Sweet Bird of Youth
  • It Started In Naples
  • The World of Suzy Wong
  • Funny Face

Second Chance

  • Philadelphia Story
  • Kiss Me Kate
  • Dishonored Lady
  • His Girl Friday
  • The Awful Truth


  • Love in the Afternoon
  • That Touch of Mink

Marriage of Convenience/Arranged Marriage/Forced Marriage

  • Love With the Proper Stranger
  • Crossing Delancey
  • Mrs. Skeffington
  • Come Live With Me

Lost Souls/Lonely Hearts

  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Rocky
  • Marty

Big Misunderstanding

  • BellBookAndCandleBell Book and Candle (not a misunderstanding as much as magical intervention)
  • Christmas in Connecticut
  • The Shop Around the Corner
  • Love Affair/An Affair to Remember
  • Bachelor Mother/Bundle of Joy
  • How to Steal a Million
  • My Man Godfrey
  • My Favorite Wife
  • Without Reservations
  • Some Like It Hot
  • I Married a Witch
  • Indiscreet

Romantic Suspense

  • Notorious
  • To Catch a Thief
  • Gaslight
  • Key Largo
  • Charade
  • The 39 Steps

Opposites Attract/Unlikely Lovers

  • DesigningWomanDesigning Woman
  • Vivacious Lady
  • Platinum Blonde
  • Pygmalion
  • Woman of the Year
  • Tammy and the Bachelor
  • Guys and Dolls
  • African Queen
  • Royal Wedding
  • It Started In Naples
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • The Pirate
  • Ninotchka
  • The Sound of Music
  • Grease
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • The Lady Eve
  • My Man Godfrey

Class Differences/Family Objections

  • SwanThe Swan
  • You Can’t Take It With You
  • My Man Godfrey
  • West Side Story
  • Pygmalion
  • Duel in the Sun
  • A Place in the Sun
  • All That Heaven Allows
  • Made for Each Other


  • The Swan
  • Born Yesterday
  • Pat and Mike
  • Pygmalion

Witty Banter

  • ThinManThe Thin Man
  • His Girl Friday
  • It Happened One Night
  • I Was a Male War Bride
  • Kiss Me Kate
  • To Catch a Thief
  • Adam’s Rib
  • The Awful Truth
  • Arsenic and Old Lace


  • Pride of the Yankees

Straight-Up Rom-Coms

  • BallOfFireBall of Fire
  • The Lady Eve
  • How to Marry a Millionaire
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • Pillow Talk
  • Some Like It Hot
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
  • It Happened One Night
  • More Than a Secretary
  • Singin’ in the Rain

Not genre romance but totally romantic

  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • The Apartment
  • Destry Rides Again
  • From Here to Eternity
  • A Place in the Sun
  • Marty
  • West Side Story
  • Rebecca
  • Penny Serenade
  • All This and Heaven Too

Look like romance but totally aren’t  – The Anti-Romance

  • Doctor Zhivago
  • Love Story
  • The Way We Were
  • Atonement
  • Gone With the Wind

Kickass Women

  • Barbara Stanwyck
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Maureen O’Hara
  • Rosalind Russell
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Myrna Loy
  • Irene Dunne
  • Ginger Rogers
  • Claudette Colbert

Beta Heroes

  • Jimmy Stewart
  • Gary Cooper
  • Jack Lemmon
  • Joseph Cotten
  • Gregory Peck

Alpha Heroes

  • John Wayne
  • Robert Mitchum

Suave and Sexy

  • Cary Grant
  • William Powell
  • Leslie Howard
  • Clark Gable

Best Kisses

  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • The Quiet Man
  • The Shop Around the Corner

Year in Review: The Page O’ Lists

Have I mentioned that I ♥ bullet lists? And…ellipses. Also — em-dashes.

Favorite historicals….

Virtuous Scoundrel by Maggie Fenton

Favorite contemporaries….

Favorite inspies….

Author Binges….

Panda rolling in snow

Me reading Carla Kelly

  • Carla Kelly
  • Molly O’Keefe
  • Julie James
  • Meredith Duran
  • Laura Kaye
  • Donna Thorland
  • Edith Layton
  • Sarah Mayberry
  • Susanna Fraser
  • Laura Frantz
  • Erin Knightley
  • Sarina Bowen
  • Amanda Quick

New Adult….

Did someone say FANGIRL?

Did someone say FANGIRL?

Yes, really. I actually read — and liked — some New Adult.

Favorite audiobooks….


Me listening to Susanna Kearsley

  • All the Susanna Kearsley — I’m on my second go-round. The Firebird is the current fave.
  • A boatload of comfort reads — Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas, Cecilia Grant, Loretta Chase. And holy cow, I almost forgot how much I love Rupert and Daphne in Mr. Impossible.
  • A bunch of Amanda Quick — With This Ring, I Thee Wed, The Paid Companion, Otherwise Engaged
  • Virtuous Scoundrel by Maggie Fenton — Did I mention that you should READ THIS BOOK?
  • The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory – A bit more repetitive than I remember from traditional reads (and re-reads), but still my favorite Gregory.
  • The Proposition by Judith Ivory — First listen from library, then I had to buy it so I can keep it on my phone at all times.
  • Ransom by Julie Garwood — Everything I was hoping for that I didn’t get with The Prize.
  • Heartless and Silent Melody by Mary Balogh
  • The Siege Winter by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman — This helped me get over my blah about Hild (see below).
  • The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati — Someone else needs to read this because I neeeeeed to discuss the ending.

Catching up….

Black Ice by Anne StuartStuff everyone else has read that I just got around to and why in the hell didn’t I read these earlier.


Still with the Book Anxiety….

The Big Fat Books….

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens — This is still a work in progress. A very…slow…work in progress.

The TBR Challenges….

The Heyer Project….

I documented Part II of the quest, in which I color-coded a spreadsheet of Heyer’s character archetypes and plot tropes.

I’ve listened to Bath Tangle and Black Sheep and Venetia three times to erase Cousin Kate from my brain.

Deconstructing For Such a Time, Parts 1-17

I'm not coming down until someone apologiesI know I went overboard on my continued ranting about this book and probably pissed off a lot of people, but I desperately needed to think through the depictions of my faith on the page.

I learned a lot, and what I learned will forever change the way I read inspirationals and historical fiction.

Weekend O’ Random Lists: The Colonial/Revolutionary Binge

The party continues with a list that’s not so random – my recent reads about colonial, revolutionary and post-war/frontier America. I’d been hoarding most of these for years, but finally got inspired by — wait for it — Jude Devereux’s The Raider.

Most are from inspie publishers, who seem to be the only ones interested in non-Brit settings. Maybe someday Harlequin will discover early America. I would GLOM THAT SO HARD. That sounds vaguely dirty, but you know what I mean.

All the family pics are from a trip to Washington D.C.,  in 2008 to visit my little sis, who had an actual job actually schmoozing actual politicians. She likes that sort of thing (*~*shudder*~*).


Damn, my kids are cute.

Things 1&2 were eight and five. We spent July 4th at Mount Vernon, where it was approximately 157 degrees, with mosquitoes the size of bats and restroom lines nine miles long. It sounded like a good idea at the time.


The colonial era

The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton

The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton
The story of Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallet,  a founder of Greenwich, Connecticut, and ancestor of Howard Dean,  John Kerry, Amelia Earhart, Bill Gates and Johnny Depp. No, seriously. Not quite as good as Seton’s Katherine, but definitely a must-read. There’s some info-dumping when the narrative skips ahead a few months or years, but the heroine’s struggles with her Puritan community and the harshness of the early settlements are incredibly vivid and memorable. Grade: A- (HMH, 1958; purchased (I own all of Seton in paper, ebook and audio)) Continue reading

The 2015 Page O’ Wishful Thinking

Alternate title: I Have a LOT of Good Intentions

girl-reading-with-pug-charles-barber1My 2014 had a lot of comfort reading, and a lot of weekends-with-no-kids binge reading, but very little reading-to-review. I think that slow-down was partially due to my growing obsession with audiobooks; I tend to read traditional books very fast, and audiobooks force me to slow down and hear every word and immerse myself in the language. That kind of wallowing is great for Heyer and Kinsale and the Austen/Eyre/Gaskell classics, but it’s also made me rush through too many genre reads, and ignore longer books, in order to accumulate that sense of accomplishment in knocking down the TBR.

Remind me to remind myself that nobody else cares about the depth and breadth of my unreads. It’s not a competition. It simply doesn’t matter.

What matters is finding books that matter to me, and participating in discussions, and writing about why I love reading, and endeavoring to elucidate those ephemeral emotions that emerge whilst engaging in erudite entertainments.

Wow. I haven’t alliterated like that in a long time. And with vowels! Damn, I’m good.

ANYWAY. So here’s my plan that’s not an Official Plan because that would totally negate everything I bloviated about above.

Continue reading