If music be the food of love, as William Shakespeare once wrote, then cinema is surely dessert.
Here at The Tribune, we love movies about love — whether they’re sweet, sexy or sweepingly romantic. And there’s nothing better than a film with a fantastic soundtrack.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here are 14 of our favorite romantic musical moments from the movies.
The song: “As Time Goes By” by Dooley Wilson
The movie: “Casablanca” (1942)
The moment: Play it, Sam. This bittersweet love song sums up everything that former lovers Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) shared in the past, as well as their uncertain present in the title city.
The song: “Tonight You Belong to Me” by Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters
The movie: “The Jerk” (1979)
The moment: Good-natured imbecile Navin Johnson (Martin) is no Romeo. But there’s no denying the charm of the sweet yet silly duet he performs with Marie (Peters) as they walk on the beach.
The song: “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke
The movie: “Witness” (1985)
The moment: He’s a grizzled homicide detective. She’s a sheltered Amish widow whose son has witnessed a murder. But sparks fly between John Book (Harrison Ford) and Rachel (Kelly McGillis) when he turns on the radio while repairing his car.
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The song: “Try a Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding, lip-synced by Jon Cryer
The movie: “Pretty in Pink” (1986)
The moment: Should Andie (Molly Ringwald) have ended up with Duckie (Cryer)? That’s the question we find ourselves asking after watching everyone’s favorite goofball serenade his crush with an enthusiastic rendition of the soul classic.
The song: “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin
The movie: “Top Gun” (1986)
The moment: What starts as a heated argument between civilian instructor Charlie (Kelly McGillis) and her student, hotshot Navy pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise), turns into a white-hot sex scene, set to Berlin’s signature song.
The song: “Cry to Me” by Solomon Burke
The movie: “Dirty Dancing” (1987)
The moment: While vacationing in the Catskills, Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) falls for dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). Their final performance — set to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes — may feature a climactic lift, but it pales in comparison to the duet that Baby and a shirtless Johnny dance to “Cry to Me.”
The song: “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel
The movie: “Say Anything …” (1989)
The moment: Hoping to win back his ex-girlfriend (Ione Skye), a brokenhearted Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) positions himself outside her bedroom window, hoists a boombox above his head and blasts this romantic ballad. Hearts will melt.
The song: “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
The movie: “Ghost” (1990)
The moment: A late-night pottery session turns sensual when Sam (Patrick Swayze) takes a seat behind a clay-covered Molly (Demi Moore). You’ll never look at a pottery wheel the same way again.
The song: “Beauty and the Beast” by Angela Lansbury
The movie: “Beauty and the Beast” (1991)
The moment: This “tale as old as time” may be sung by a singing teapot, but we still get shivers when Belle and the Beast take the dance floor in the title Disney movie.
The song: “You Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry
The movie: “Pulp Fiction” (1994)
The moment: When hit man Vincent Vega (John Travolta) does the twist with his boss’ beautiful wife (Uma Thurman) at Jack Rabbit Slim’s, you could cut the sexual tension with a knife.
The song: “I Say a Little Prayer (For You)” by Rupert Everett
The movie: “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997)
The moment: Determined to prevent longtime friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) from marrying someone else, Julianne (Julia Roberts) asks a gay friend (Rupert Everett) to pose as her fiancé in hopes of making him jealous. What ensues is the most passionate Dionne Warwick cover captured on screen.
The song: “Ooh La La” by The Faces
The movie: “Rushmore” (1998)
The moment: Old lovers and new friends come together for a final waltz at the end of this coming-of-age comedy. The gaze exchanged between precocious prep schooler Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) and his crush, Miss Cross (Olivia Williams), speaks volumes.
The song: “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Iglorva
The movie: “Once” (2006)
The moment: An Irish street busker (Hansard) and a Czech flower seller (Iglorva) meet in a Dublin music shop to play this heartbreakingly beautiful duet.
The song: “Anyone Else” by Michael Cera and Ellen Page
The movie: “Juno” (2007)
The moment: An unplanned pregnancy forces high school student Juno (Page) to confront her feelings for the baby’s father, track star Paulie (Cera). The comedy ends with a cute duet featuring the teens on acoustic guitar.
Other movie songs that make us swoon:
• “Come What May” by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor in “Moulin Rouge!”
• “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”
• “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston in “The Bodyguard”
• “It Had to Be You” by Harry Connick Jr. in “When Harry Met Sally”
• “Kissing You” by Des’ree in “Romeo + Juliet”
• “Moon River” by Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
• “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion in “Titanic”
• “Some Day My Prince Will Come” by Adriana Caselotti in “Snow White”
• “The Way You Look Tonight” by Fred Astaire in “Swing Time”
• “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes in “An Officer and a Gentleman”
Reach Sarah Linn at 781-7907. Stay updated by following @shelikestowatch on Twitter.