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Happy Valentine’s Day! – Our favorite romance films

Happy Valentine’s Day! – Our favorite romance films

Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate all things romantic – including movies! And with our first ever Romance and Comedy Award closing just last week, this seemed like the perfect time for us to put together a small list of our favorite romantic films that we think all writers should watch.

The list isn’t intended to be comprehensive, and these aren’t categorically the best the genre has to offer! But they are our favorites, and there are important lessons for writers to learn from all of them this Valentine’s Day…


1. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
David Lean was on a roll by the time he came to make DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, having just made BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA – and it shows. The bleak wastes of Russia make for a beautiful backdrop, but center stage is a sweeping love story that carries us through the brutality of the country’s political turmoil of the early 20th century. This film is the very definition of the term “epic”. At over three hours long, it shows that if you make the human elements of your story strong enough, it’s still enough to keep an audience engaged for however long.

2. ROMEO + JULIET
There was no way we could compile this list without mentioning the original pair of star-crossed lovers – it was just a question of which version! Special mention goes to the 1968 version, but it’s Baz Luhrmann’s modern re-imagining which gets our vote. The beginning of the film is too hectic, but once the lovers meet it becomes a sumptuous, tragic tale full of stolen moments and forbidden love.The original script was written by some guy called Shakespeare, who seems to have been pretty good at his job: he fills the story with passion, jokes, despair, tragedy and revenge all in one go.

3. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
Memories of a failed romance can be painful – and that’s why Joel and Clementine choose to have theirs erased in Charlie Kaufman’s Oscar-winning script. Like much of Kaufman’s work, it’s a mind-bending concept (literally, in this case), but it’s also a touching exploration of love, loss, and the nature of heartache. Jim Carrey turns in a surprisingly subtle and understated performance that suits him, while Kate Winslet picked up her fourth Oscar nomination for hers, but ultimately it’s the script that powers this beautifully poignant film.

4. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
The first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is either a film about Stockholm Syndrome or how true love looks beyond mere appearances – but we choose to believe the latter. With fantastic animation, catchy songs, and a tale as old as time, this is the perfect example of how to tell a fairytale romance. Just don’t get us started on the live-action remake, which turned the Beast into a jerk and featured a bit too much auto-tune.

5. HER
Okay, so here’s a bit of a strange one: a man falls in love with the operating system on his computer – and it falls in love with him in return. Another winner of the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, writer-director Spike Jonze takes his unique premise and weaves a touching story about the nature of human relationships… despite one half of the central relationship not being human. But then, that’s part of the reason why it works. It’s an insightful look into the psychology and emotion of love, demonstrating both its vulnerability and its boundlessness.


SPECIAL MENTION: TITANIC
James Cameron’s epic is the gold standard for a lot of people, even if it’s a bit overwrought in our opinion. Its impact and technical achievements can’t be ignored, though.

SPECIAL MENTION: 4 minutes of UP
The “Married Life” segment of Pixar’s UP brings all but the hardiest to tears, charting the entire marriage of Carl and Ellie without a single word being said. Frankly, we’d have included it in our list if it were a film in its own right, but since it’s just a small part of one, it’ll have to make do with a special mention instead.


So there you have it – our favorite romance films. We don’t claim that they’re the best, but they’re the ones that have touched us the most and we think that all writers can learn something from them!

What are your favorite romance films that you’ll be watching this Valentine’s Day? What would make your list? Let us know by getting in touch on Twitter or Facebook!

WriteMovies Horror Award Deadline – Two Weeks to Go!

WriteMovies Horror Award Deadline – Two Weeks to Go!

The WriteMovies Horror Award deadline approaches… With just two weeks to go until the competition closes, make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to become the first ever winner of this new prize!

For our 20th Anniversary year, we decided to celebrate great writing with a series of genre awards. After the success of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award in the spring, horror is the next genre we wanted to get people writing.

Do you think you’ve got a talent for scaring people? Whether it’s serial killers or monsters, drenched in blood or all in the mind, we’d love to read what you’ve got!

The winner of this award will receive:

  • Guaranteed pitching to industry
  • Two sets of Development Notes to help take their script to the next level
  • Further advice to fine tune their script from our experts

Plus, all entries to the Horror Award also receive automatic entry to the Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest. That gives you the chance to take home the Grand Prize of $2000, plus other prizes!

Most importantly though, this is your opportunity to be the first writer to win the award for this genre. Prove your skills as a screenwriter and be recognized for your work!

Remember, the Horror Award deadline is just two weeks away on September 29th. Make sure you submit by then to take your first steps towards becoming one of our winners!

If you need some inspiration before then, take a look at our reviews of some of our favorite horror films and shows. Find out what we like and what we’re looking for in a horror script.

And then, when you’re ready… Click here to enter the WriteMovies Horror Award 2019!

WriteMovies Horror Award 2019 now OPEN!

WriteMovies Horror Award 2019 now OPEN!

As WriteMovies entered its 20th year, we decided that we wanted to reward writers by creating awards that celebrated different genres. We’re very pleased to announce that the second of those awards is now open for submissions: the WriteMovies Horror Award 2019!

After the huge success of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award, we couldn’t be more excited to see what you’ve got for us next. We’re certain you’ll show the same inventiveness, passion, and storytelling talent that we saw last time – except that this time, you’ll need to be a lot scarier!

The winner of the WriteMovies Horror Award 2019 will receive:

  • Guaranteed pitching to industry
  • Two sets of Development Notes to help take their script to the next level
  • Further advice to fine tune their script from our experts

Plus, ALL entries to this award will automatically get FREE entry to the WriteMovies Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest, with the chance to take home the Grand Prize of $2000 – so if you’ve got a horror script and were thinking of entering our main contest anyway, you’ve nothing to lose.

Horror is a genre where a lot of great filmmakers have started out and made their name. If you want to join them, this could be your chance! Make sure you enter by the final deadline of September 29th.

Scare us with your stories. Come up with concepts and creatures that will chill us to the bone. And once you’ve put it all down on paper and finished writing your script…

Submit to the WriteMovies Horror Award 2019! Click here to visit the main contest page and find out more!

Wall of Fame 2018 – Our Grand Prize Winners!

Wall of Fame 2018 – Our Grand Prize Winners!

Today we look back at the winners of our Grand Prize from 2018 and reveal our full Wall of Fame 2018! If you’d like to see your name on next year’s Wall of Fame, enter our Winter 2019 Contest for a chance to come out on top – as well as the chance to win our Grand prize of $2500 in cash!

wall of fame 2018

Here’s some more info on our Grand Prize winners from 2018. All of our winners received a year of free script development with us and we’re now working hard at polishing them to perfection!

  • SLAVE SHIP by Tyler True: “A devout African man chooses to work on a slave ship in order to ensure the safe passage of other Africans sold into slavery.”
  • DESERT RUN by Christopher Thomas: “A hard-bitten oil explorer and a desperate group of orphans led by two unorthodox nuns are forced into a hellish desert confrontation to escape the Nazis and help ensure an Allied victory.”

Wish you’d been featured on our Wall of Fame 2018? If you think you’ve got a script that will take you to the top, be sure to enter our Winter 2019 Screenwriting Contest! Closing on January 13th 2019, this might be the last time we run a major competition of this kind… And with an increased cash prize of $2500, this is an opportunity not to be missed!