Now, when it comes to classic literature I’m not that widely read. Despite the fact that I’m doing an English literature degree, it really doesn’t click with me in the way that YA does, but the few that have made a lasting impact on me have a love story or are a love story. Because of my dislike of most classic novels, I’ve cheated a little bit in my selection, but they’re classics to me.
Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility are my favourite fictional couple outside of YA. It’s my favourite of Austen’s novels and I connected with Elinor more than any other character in a classic novel and my heart broke for her repeatedly. Elinor goes through every possible emotion when it comes to Edward: friendship, love, disappointment, betrayal and finally happiness, but she does it all in silence. She’s the type of heroine I wish were prominent in YA.
When she’d played by Emma Thompson in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility with Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet, I fell in love and I’ve never gone back.
Now for THE love story: Romeo & Juliet. Shakespeare’s classic play has made girls swoon for centuries even though, you know, Juliet is only thirteen, it lasts a mere three days and they both die. Romeo is extremely fickle and a bit of an idiot for killing Tybalt really and all though I know this, I can't help but love it. It’s dramatic and heartbreaking and so, so frustrating because their deaths could have been so easily avoided! There’s something thrilling about forbidden love and everything appealing about having someone willing to kiss for you and die for you.
Baz Lurhmann’s modernisation featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes was lots of people’s first experience of Romeo and Juliet and it really helps decode Shakespeare’s language and access the play.
And now we come to the beginning of my classic love stories.
I’m sure I’ll get some stick for this, but I don’t care. Even after so many years and everything that was thrown in their path, Allie and Noah survived because of the strength of their love. Then they were thrown a horrible curveball and yet their love prevailed over impossible odds. It makes me sob every time. Nicholas Sparks created unforgettable characters that a story that I can’t forget.
The film starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams is a torture device for boyfriends everywhere but the perfect film to watch when you’re doubting the universe and everything in it.
I think this is one that a lot of people will agree with: Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy. It’s nice to know that there are men out there like Mark Darcy and that you can be a hot mess and score a Mark Darcy. She does everything wrong and isn’t the accepted idea of a perfect woman; she’s a real woman. I think there’s a bit of Bridget in all of us and it reassures me that there might be one out there for me somewhere.
Renee Zellweger’s portrayal of Bridget is one of her most famous roles, for good reason and Colin Firth has become Darcy in every incarnation. Bridget’s Jones’ Diary is a feel-good book and movie that gives me hope.
Now for the biggy: Ron and Hermione. It’s rare to find someone that doesn’t ship these two. It took six books for them to admit to themselves that they had feelings for the other and seven books for them to kiss, but boy was it worth it. They were hated each other, then became friends and went to hell and back together. I think that Ron and Hermione are the classic couple of my generation and this post wouldn’t be complete without them.
Emma Watson and Rupert Grint played their relationship to perfection, especially when Ron dates Lavendar and Hermione goes to the Yule Ball with Viktor Krum. Perfection. Emma Watson is one of my heroes.
So there you go, my favourite classic love stories. Do you disagree with some of my choices? Want to add someone to the list?