In life and on the screen there are many ways to express love. Sometimes it is done through a longing glance, with the soul in the eyes. It can be a touch like a simple hug or the brushing of hands. Other times, it is expressed through a thoughtful gift or a grand gesture, usually requiring some type of sacrifice.
But my favorite form is the verbal declaration of love. There is something beautiful about hearing the heart expressed in words. It’s a piece of word art and a pleasure for the hearer. So, to celebrate the end of a hot summer, I have compiled a list of onscreen declarations guaranteed to make you melt even if the heat doesn’t.
DECLARATIONS OF LOVE TO MAKE YOU MELT
(Warning: Mild Spoilers)
1. Spiderman (2002)
Background – Mary Jane does not realize that her friend Peter is also Spiderman. She knows that Peter knows Spiderman personally. Mary Jane asks Peter if Spiderman has mentioned her. He says yes, that Spiderman asked Peter his opinion of Mary Jane.
Peter to Mary Jane: “When you look in her eyes and she’s looking back in yours, everything feels… not quite normal. Because you feel stronger and weaker at the same time. You feel excited and at the same time, terrified. The truth is… you don’t know what you feel except you know what kind of man you want to be. It’s as if you’ve reached the unreachable and you weren’t ready for it.”
2. The Wedding Date (2005)
Background – Kat hires Nick to be her pretend boyfriend at her sister’s wedding. She is hoping to make her ex jealous. But she doesn’t count on developing feelings for Nick. As she opens up to him she complains that she has made herself vulnerable but that he has not done the same. He shares a list of facts about himself but ends with this emotional statement.
Nick to Kat: “I think I’d miss you even if we’d never met.”
3. Lord of the Rings; Fellowship of the Rings (2001)
Background – Aragorn, the last king of the race of Men has long been in love with Arwen, the Elven princess. But he has been called upon to join in a quest to free Middle Earth from the grip of the Dark Lord Sauron. This quest has little chance of success. He considers the possibilities of what this will cost him including the chance of permanent separation from his love. Arwen comes to him with encouragement and her promise to faithfully wait for him.
Arwin to Aragorn: “I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.”
4. Great Expectations
Background – Pip has been in love with the vain and selfish Estella since they were children. Though she teases interest in him, in reality, she has no intention of committing to him. Even though he has no prospects, with good fortune and sheer determination, he finally makes something of himself. (Though I love this quote, it is a watered down version of a much more heartfelt declaration in the book.)
Pip to Estella “Don’t you understand that everything I do, I do it for you? Anything that might be special in me, is you.”
5. Frozen (2013)
Background – Anna goes to look for her sister Elsa who has run off to protect Anna from her terrible gift. She meets many obstacles along the way. During her journey she finds herself freezing cold and rescued by Olaf the snowman. Olaf lights a fire to warm her. They discuss the meaning of love. Anna becomes concerned that the fire will cause Olaf to melt.
Olaf to Anna: “Some people are worth melting for.”
6. Hitch (2005)
Background – Hitch has been devastated in love. So he builds a private matchmaking business using practical but also manipulative techniques to create romantic connections. However, his own knowledge is useless when he finally finds a woman he wants to impress. In the end, he learns that his perspective has been all wrong.
Hitch to the audience: “So how does it happen, great love? Nobody knows… but what I can tell you is that it happens in the blink of an eye. One moment you’re enjoying your life, and the next you’re wondering how you ever lived without them.”
7. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Background – Harry and Sally have known each other for years. Beginning as combative acquaintances, their relationship matures into friendship and eventually to love. But past experiences have scarred them both. When Harry finally realizes the depths of his feelings for Sally he tracks her down and proposes to her on the spot.
Harry to Sally: “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Content Note: When Harry Met Sally is rated R.
RELATED POST: Ten Couples Who Started Out As Friends
8. PS I Love You (2007)
Background -After a whirlwind romance and a short but passionate marriage, Daniel dies, leaving Holly devastated. But unbeknownst to her, he has left her various letters to be delivered to her. Each letter contains a task or adventure for her to complete. The intention behind these letters is to help her grieve and to eventually move on. Finally, Holly receives the last letter.
Daniel to Holly: “It’s to tell you how much you move me, how you changed me. You made me a man, by loving me Holly. And for that, I am eternally grateful… literally. If you can promise me anything, promise me that whenever you’re sad, or unsure, or you lose complete faith, that you’ll try to see yourself through my eyes. Thank you for the honor of being my wife. I’m a man with no regrets. How lucky am I. You made my life, Holly.”
9. A Knight’s Tale (2001)
Background – William is a peasant who is passing himself off as a knight. At a tournament, he meets the beautiful lady Jocelyn with whom he falls instantly in love. But William must continue to follow the tournament circuit to earn money. While separated, he decides to write her a letter, to keep him in her mind. While his compatriots try to give him advice on what to say, William becomes inspired by the mere thought of her.
William to Jocelyn: “It is strange to think, I haven’t seen you since a month. I have seen the new moon, but not you. I have seen sunsets and sunrises, but nothing of your beautiful face. The pieces of my broken heart are so small that they could be passed through the eye of a needle. I miss you like the sun misses the flower; like the sun misses the flower in the depths of winter. Instead of beauty to direct its light to, the heart hardens like the frozen world your absence has banished me to. I next compete in the city of Paris, I will find it empty and in the winter if you are not there. Hope guides me, that is what gets me through the day and especially the night. The hope that after you’re gone from my sight, it will not be the last time that I look upon you.”
10. Winnie the Pooh
Pooh: How do you spell love?
Piglet: You don’t spell love, you feel it.
11. The Saint (1997)
Background -Simon is a master thief with a genius for disguises. Emma is a physicist who has discovered a formula for cold fusion. She wants to share it with the world, but Simon is hired to steal it to be sold for profit. He transforms himself into a poet which he knows will appeal to Emma’s romantic nature. At their first meeting, they dine together and he pretends to “read” her, telling her things he discovered about her when he secretly broke into her apartment. Emma is impressed with his supposed intuition and asks for the chance to “read’ him.
Emma to Simon: “Your work… is very dangerous and alive. And I love your poems; they move me. But that’s not who you really are… You’re running from your past and your pain. And yet you keep it so… close to you, so you don’t have to be afraid of who you are… because you’re beautiful.”
12. Lark Rise to Candleford (2008)
Background – Fisher is a traveling clock maker who lands in Laura’s town for a job. While there, the two of them form a strong attachment to each other. But due to their innate natures, his for the road and hers for home, they end their relationship when his job is done. Time passes and business brings Fisher back to Candleford. By this time, Laura is dating someone new, but Fisher has not been able to forget her. He makes his plea for her heart.
Fisher to Laura: “Laura, I’ll never be what you might call a success. I’ll never be rich. I can look out across a field and see the beauty in it. And how it makes me feel alive, like…I can’t describe. And I know it’s the same for you. I lived the gypsy life because I didn’t care to see the same faces day after day. But your face, Laura.”
13. Only You (1994)
Background – As a child, a fortune teller gives Faith the name of the man she will marry when she grows up – Damon. As an adult, Faith is engaged to be married when she hears the name Damon and learns he is headed on a business trip to Italy. With nothing other than his name, she stalks him to Europe where she happens to meet Peter. Peter is instantly smitten with Faith. He overhears a conversation between Faith and her sister-in-law. Understanding the importance of a name, he introduces himself as Damon. Faith believes she has finally found her soul mate.
Faith to Peter: “I was born to kiss you.”
14. The Holiday (2006)
Background – Graham and Amanda meet when on a whim she trades houses with his sister for the holidays. They are instantly attracted to each other and open for a brief fling. But slowly they begin to form a deeper bond. Unfortunately, they live halfway around the world from each other and Graham is a widower with two children. They discuss the potential of maintaining their relationship, but Amanda thinks it is impossible. Then, Graham shares with her the depths of his feelings.
Graham to Amanda: “I have another scenario for you – I’m in love with you. I apologize for the blunt delivery, but as problematic as this fact may be, I’m in love… with YOU. I’m not feeling this because you’re leaving, and not because it feels good to feel this way… which, by the way, it does, or did before you went off like that. I can’t figure out the mathematics of this, I just know I love you. I can’t believe how many times I’m saying it! And I never thought I’d feel this way again, so that’s pretty phenomenal. And I realize that I come as a package deal: 3 for the price of 1. I know my package, perhaps in the light of day, isn’t all that wonderful, but I finally know what I want and that, in itself, is a miracle. And what I want is YOU.”
15. Camille (1936)
Background – Camille is a jaded but playful courtesan who trades her beauty for favors from wealthy men. One evening she meets the genteel but impoverished Armand who falls in love with her at first sight. His innocent pursuit and immediate acceptance of her at first meet with her mocking. But slowly his pleas to love her reach her heart.
Camille to Armand: “You know, once I had a little dog and he always looked sad when I was sad and I loved him so. And when your tears fell on my hand I loved you too all at once.”
16. Holiday (1938)
Background – Socialite Julia brings home her fiancé Johnny to meet the family. Johnny has no aspirations for wealth. In fact, his goal is to enjoy life while he’s still young. Johnny and Linda find that they are kindred spirits who have much in common. But Julia has her clutches in Johnny and is determined to mold him into a man of wealth and influence much like their father and against Johnny’s wishes. Owing to family loyalty, Linda refuses to declare her love for Johnny, but it spills out when she defends him to her sister.
Linda to Julia: “You’ve got no faith in Johnny, have you, Julia? His little dream may fall flat, you think. Well, so it may, what if it should? There’ll be another. Oh, I’ve got all the faith in the world in Johnny. Whatever he does is all right with me. If he wants to dream for a while, he can dream for a while, and if he wants to come back and sell peanuts, oh, how I’ll believe in those peanuts!”
17. The Thin Man (1934)
Background – Nick and Nora are a happily married couple who love to tease and laugh with each other. Nick was a private investigator when he married the wealthy heiress. Despite his retirement, they both continue to find themselves caught up in solving crime, while lovingly accepting each other’s foibles. They are proof that married love can be romantic.
Nick to Nora: “And I don’t need anything in the world, darling, but you and a toothbrush.”
18. Julie & Julia (2009)
Background – Paul’s work with the government takes him and Julia all over the world. She willingly follows him but is at loose ends while he works. Once she takes up the challenge of creating a French cookbook for American cooks, her life gains purpose. One evening at a dinner party, Paul toasts the love of his life.
Paul to Julia: “You are the butter to my bread, you are the breath to my life.”
19. Gilmore Girls (2000)
Background – Luke and Lorelei have a long history together. For years they share a special friendship. Eventually, both realize the real depths of their feelings. Even when they are together it is not all smooth sailing. There are many things that test their on again off again relationship. But these two always find their way back to each other.
Luke to Lorelei: “It’s like it’s not even real to me. It’s like my life isn’t even real to me unless you’re there and you’re in it and I’m sharing it with you.”
20. Poldark (2015)
Background – Ross’s first love was Elizabeth, but she married his cousin. In many ways, both Ross and Demelza view Demelza as Ross’s second choice. Demelza always worries that it is not her he wants. Although he loves her as best he can, eventually, Ross betrays Demelza with Elizabeth. Demelza is both furious and devastated. Ross finally realizes that what he has felt for Elizabeth all this time has been an illusion. His real love is his wife.
Ross to Demelza: “You’ve redeemed me. I am your humble servant and I love you.”
21. A Place in the Sun (1951)
Background – George is a working class man who yearns for more out of life. When he sees the boss’s daughter Angela, he sets about to win her, even though he has little to offer her. To him, she represents all the good things in life that he is missing out on. Surprisingly, Angela doesn’t care about his blue collar roots and she falls for him.
George to Angela: “I’ve loved you since the first moment I saw you. I guess maybe I even loved you before I saw you.”
22. City of Angels (1998)
Background– Seth is an angel who is drawn to Maggie. He is shocked when she notices him as he is invisible to humans. As they begin to interact, they fall in love. Seth must make the decision of whether to become human for her sake or to remain immortal. Once the decision is made, the outcome is different than either expected. A friend asks Seth if his decision was worth it.
Seth: “I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss of her mouth one touch of her hand than eternity without it. One.”
23. Confessions of a Shopaholic Shopaholic (2009)
Background – Deep in debt Rebecca fakes her way into a job as a writer for a financial magazine. Though she is attracted to her boss, Luke, she believes that he already has a girlfriend. Plus, he doesn’t seem to display any personal interest in her. Finally, they begin to acknowledge their mutual attraction to each other.
Rebecca: “I thought she was your girlfriend.”
Luke: “No, she’s not my girlfriend. She’s not you.”
24. Anne of Avonlea (1987)
Background – Gilbert loves Anne from the moment she arrives in Avonlea. Over the years, they go from rivals to friends, but Gilbert always wants more. Finally, he proposes to Anne, but she turns him down. She thinks they are not well-suited and she still has dreams she wants to pursue. They part ways and Anne accomplishes everything she thinks that she wants, but she realizes it doesn’t fulfill her. When she returns home, Gilbert is close to death and Anne realizes how much she loves him. After he recovers, she finally tells him the words he has waited years to hear.
Anne to Gilbert: “I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls. I just want you.”
25. Victoria (2016)
Background – Though initially, Victoria resists Albert as a match since it is one much promoted by her mother and uncle, she eventually falls in love with Albert for himself. After they are married, they experience the growing pains of many newly married couples with the added burden of adjusting to her role as queen of England. Albert reassures Victoria that his love will never fail.
Albert to Victoria: “My desire for you will never fail. A love like ours can burn down a city.”
26. Downton Abbey (2010)
Background – Matthew and Mary are the star-crossed couple of Downton Abbey. Bad first impressions get them off on the wrong foot. Matthew is awed by Mary, but she resists the attraction because she views him as a usurper. Eventually, they confess their mutual feelings, but then war and Matthew’s new fiancee interfere. Finally, after many ups and downs, Matthew confesses his love and Mary accepts.
Matthew to Mary: “I would never be happy with anyone else so long as you walked the earth.”
27. Meet Joe Black
Background – William is a loving father, brilliant businessman and generous philanthropist. But death finally comes to call for him in human form. Although he is able to delay his death sentence for a short time, he must eventually go with the Grim Reaper. But before he does William must say goodbye to his daughters without letting them know he’s actually leaving them. He shares a special bond with Susan, his youngest. He struggles to say goodbye. But she intuitively knows what this speech means. (This father-daughter scene makes me cry every time. Every. Single. Time.) Not all declarations of love are romantic, after all!
William: “I want you to know how much I love you, that you’ve given a meaning to my life that I had no right to expect, that no one can ever take from me.”
William: “No! I love you so much. And I want you to promise me something. I don’t want you to ever worry about me. And if anything should happen, I’m gonna be okay. And everything’s gonna be all right. I have no regrets. And I want you to feel the same way.”
Susan: “I love you, Daddy.”
William: “That’s why it’s okay.”
What are some of your favorite ways to see love expressed? Do you have any favorite onscreen romantic declarations? Have you seen any of these films?