Love at First (Movie) Sight!

Dudley Moore falls for a 10, a mermaid captures Tom Hanks’s heart, and seven other films where that initial view is key

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Romeo & Juliet (1996)

“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!


For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”


One glance at Juliet, and Romeo is off the market. But while every generation gets its screen version of Shakespeare’s doomed teens, it’s hard to resist director Baz Luhrman’s very modern interpretation, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

10 (1979)

When a middle-aged composer (Dudley Moore) spots a gorgeous young bride (Bo Derek), he’s off and running—away from his girlfriend and toward a Mexican beach, where his crush is on her honeymoon. The hit comedy made Derek—in her sleek white bathing suit and cornrowed golden hair—forever synonymous with the beauty rating “10."

The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

A remake of Elaine May’s 1972 comedy finds Ben Stiller making the major mistake of marrying Lila (Trophy Wife’s Malin Akerman). On their Los Cabos honeymoon, he spots Miranda (Michelle Moranda), who, among other virtues, does not spit drinks out of her nose. A passionate chase begins—and, in this movie, never ends.

A Patch of Blue (1965)

Love at First Sight meets Love Is Blind when abused, blind Selina (Elizabeth Hartman) and gentle office worker Gordon (Sidney Poitier) meet on a park bench. Daring at its time, A Patch of Blue pushed its civil rights envelope onto the Academy Awards stage: The film nabbed five Oscar nominations, and Shelley Winters won Best Supporting Actress for playing Selina’s prostitute mother.

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

We all fell in love with Sandra Bullock in this breakthrough role, but it is her character, Chicago token taker Lucy, who stands smitten by the bedside of an injured commuter (Peter Gallagher). When a nurse mistakes Lucy for the victim’s fiancée, she is embraced by his family—but ends up falling for his brother instead.

Splash (1984)

Rescued by a mermaid (Darryl Hannah) at age eight, lovelorn businessman Allen (Tom Hanks) is still haunted by her beauty. Fortunately, when she hits land, mermaid Madison’s tail turns into legs, so after an adult encounter with Allen, she follows him to New York. Much trouble ensues in a refreshingly original romantic comedy that became a huge box office hit.

The Godfather (1972)

Italians call it “la lupara”—“shotgun,” or hit by a force too strong to resist. It happens to Michael Corleone when he spots his first bride, Apollonia (Simonetta Stefanelli), while hiding out in Sicily.  But the newlywed bliss stops when a bomb intended for Michael kills Apollonia instead.

50 First Dates (2004)

Is it love at first sight when it happens over and over, and always with the same woman? Jack (Adam Sandler) is a veterinarian on Oahu when waffle-making Lucy (Drew Barrymore) stops him in his skirt-chasing tracks. But she has amnesia, and every time they meet, she’s forgotten him. No worries: It all works out in the end.

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

The movie jumps all over the place but boils down to this: Greeting card writer Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls hard for his boss’s assistant, Summer (The New Girl’s Zooey Deschanel). The feeling is not returned, but 500 Days of Summer finally end when he meets a girl named Autumn.

Next: The Smart Woman's Guide to Fall's New Movies and TV Shows

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First Published Thu, 2013-10-03 16:45

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