by Charissa Roberson
Do you find it hard to sit through the average romcom, even though you still love a good fairytale ending? Do you prefer a dose of adventure with your romance? Then check out some of these lesser-known films, where the swashbuckling action plays out right alongside tales of true love!
First up is a self-proclaimed “tale of true love and high adventure,” which has become a cult classic since its release in 1987: “The Princess Bride.” Written by William Goldman and brought to life by director Rob Reiner, this witty, swashbuckling comedy-drama-romance has something for everyone. The love story between the mysterious “Man in Black” (Cary Elwes) and the stunning Buttercup (Robin Wright) is a tale for the ages, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is just a “kissing movie.” The film also features one of the greatest sword fights in cinema history, a performance from beloved wrestler André the Giant and so many quotable moments that even if you haven’t seen the film, odds are you’ve heard a few of its most famous lines: from “As you wish” to “Hello, my name is Iniga Montoya” to “Inconceivable!”
No romantic adventure list would be complete without mentioning “A Knight’s Tale” (2001), somehow both a medieval-style sports movie and a self-aware romantic comedy. The commoner William Thatcher (Heath Ledger) has always dreamed of jousting: but only those of noble blood can compete. That doesn’t stop him from faking a noble pedigree and, with the help of his four friends, defeating the cruel reigning champion and winning the heart of the beautiful Josalynn (Shannyn Sossamon). Another film chock-full of quotable lines, “A Knight’s Tale” features a dreamy relationship between Ledger and Sossamon, while also exploring William’s fight to “change his stars” and what it truly means to be noble. At the same time, the film is 100% a comedy, with a clever script, an irreverent rock soundtrack and fantastic chemistry between its talented cast.
Finally, a gem that many people have yet to discover is “Stardust” (2007), an adaptation of the book by Neil Gaiman. In this fantasy adventure, young Tristan (Charlie Cox) sets off into the magical kingdom of Stormhold to find a fallen star. However, to his surprise, he soon discovers that the star is a beautiful, immortal woman named Yvaine. Soon they are both running from foes on every side who want to claim Yvaine’s immortality for themselves. “Stardust” features lightning smugglers, swashbuckling sword fights, conniving witches, magical spells and backstabbing princes – as well as an incredibly sweet romance as Tristan and Yvaine discover they are destined for each other.
This Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for some fantastical adventure to spice up your movie night, try out one of these underappreciated films, which deserve some love along with your classic rom-coms!