Why Is Casablanca's Best Romantic Film

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America’s Best Romance “Love is not based on reason. Love is haste. It is more like instant recognition.” This is how OSU English Professor Dr. James Hsu began his comparative studies Love in World Literature class last winter quarter. He went on to teach that romance is an important human characteristic and therefore it would only seem natural that everyone in this room has a favorite romantic film. But how can we determine America’s best romantic film? We would have to define criteria and obtain measures to compare all the possible candidates. The first criteria would be to define what a romantic film is and what makes great romantic films. For this we will use the definition from the Romance Writers of America, which is a professional…show more content…
In 2002 the AFI ranked the top 100 love stories in American films and rated Casablanca as the number one American romantic film. Thus Casablanca has fulfilled the requirement of acclaim from an established national institution with the AFI’s highest rating. As for measures of popularity, let us first examine the Internet Movie Database webpage that had its many users rate over 27,000 romantic films. From this vast list of possible films, Casablanca was named the most popular romance film. Similar results were found at the Moviefone webpage where Casablanca was named “The Greatest Love Story on the Big Screen” by its users. These two measures clearly indicate that viewers love Casablanca, but what about the critics? The Rotten Tomatoes webpage compiles results of reviews by syndicated critics and their review found 53 out of 54 or 98% of the syndicated critics gave favorable reviews to Casablanca. Clearly Casablanca has fulfilled the requirements of popular acclaim. But what specifically do the critics like about Casablanca that has resulted in its popular appeal? From a woman’s prospective, Lauri Boeder writes on About.Com that “Casablanca is a great romance, a stirring wartime adventure, a suspenseful action movie, and in the end, a terrific buddy movie.” She further states that “Casablanca is thrilling on the first viewing, and so richly textured it rewards being watched over and over. The dialogue is clever, touching, and dryly funny by turns and utterly irresistible. See it once and then see it again.” is what she recommends. But what does Roger Ebert say about Casablanca? On his webpage he says: “If we identify strongly with the characters in some movies, then it is no mystery that ‘Casablanca’ is one of the most popular films ever made. It is about a man and a woman who are in love, and who sacrifice love for a higher purpose.” He goes on to say that

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