An Embarrassing Confession

Basking during the last few weeks in that frustrating lull between sending off the manuscript of a new story and waiting for the editorial response – and worrying about what it will say – and not wanting to start something new because afraid of ending up with two stories overlapping in various stages of draft and rewrite (been there, done that, nearly drove me nuts, afraid of characters popping up in the wrong story), I fell to thinking about romance, because both stories I’m currently working on contain elements of that fabled state, one a fairly prosaic affair, the other of the over-the-top variety.

I like – as in am a sucker to an embarrassing degree for – the latter variety, that is, Romance with a capital R, of the blatant, shameless, outrageous, self-indulgent, over-the-top variety.

And this in turn set me thinking about my favourite over-the-top romances in various genres. Here’s a selection, in no particular order:


  • Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, Michel Legrand)
  • Truly Madly Deeply (Anthony Minghella)
  • Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann)


  • The Subterraneans (Jack Kerouac)
  • Strait is the Gate (Andre Gide)
  • Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
  • Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)


  • Autumn Journal (Louis MacNeice)
  • The Captain’s Verses (Pablo Neruda)


  • Cyrano de Bergerac (Edmond Rostand)
  • Dr. Who (David Tennant incarnation) – his final goodbye to Rose on Bad Wolf Bay


  • Drive All Night (Bruce Springsteen)
  • Adagietto from Symphony No. 5 (Gustav Mahler)
  • La Boheme (Giacomo Puccini)

So how d’you feel about Romance? Hands up if you, too, are an inveterate sucker for it.

And what would be on your list of all-time favorite over-the-top romances in stories, poetry, movies and music?


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