Everyone who contributed to the Valentine’s Issue is talking about their favorite love stories…
Art by Katy Somerville
Aww. I love this idea. It’s The OA and Homer from Netflix. Or, shape of water. Obsessed with any and all things Guillermo Del Toro
The movie Yearning by Mikio Naruse (1964)
V is for Vendetta
My favorite love story in film would probably be “Southpaw”. That’s not what the movie was really about, but it was really good. lol.
My favorite love story is Edward Scissorhands.
My favorite love story is Possessed (1947) with Joan Crawford. Or do you want a personal one? Okay. Well I just arrived in Portland and this amazing beautiful guy said “You look like your from Fresno!” I was all “How can you tell!!” He had asked about me beforehand and was the best come on ever. We were hot and heavy/on and off for years. I still love him.
I can’t really recall any fave love story other than the one I have with my 4 bbs: Otto, Aunt Elsy, Otto & Gunnel
Hey diddle diddle by Mother Goose – when that dish runs away with the spoon. Short, sweet, and tight to the point, while at the same time being odd, and lodged in the popular vernacular quite firmly
Owl and Pussycat. Had to think about that for a while. Finally, I started thinking about love stories that didn’t include people and it came to me.
Kat was walking the opposite side of the street and I could not help but compassionate her with a kiss before she got to the opposite side of the street. We became rapt doubles.
My favorite love story in books is Pride and Prejudice. In film, The American President (which is also just my favorite movie, period).
My favorite romantic movie is the director Ken Russell’s film Women In Love.
The films Life is Beautiful or Call Me By Your Name.
The romance between Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas. They got through world war I and II in Paris, both being Jewish. This is so cute: Theirs was a bastion of domestic tranquility and efficiency, with Toklas waking up early to supervise servants, plan meals and type manuscripts before settling in with Stein, a night owl, at around lunchtime. They left notes around the house signed DD and YD – for Darling Darling and Your Darling – and called each other nicknames like “Lovey” and “Baby.”
The first one that springs to mind is Edward Scissorhands. It’s beautiful and tragic and Danny Elfman’s score swelling at the end makes this icy black heart cry every time!
Off the top of my head – ‘The Legend of the Golden Raven’ by K. Ancrum.
Winter Dreams by F Scott Fitzgerald. Although it is almost a tie with The Laughing Man by JD Salinger.
Bride of Chucky! That movie had the greatest and epic love story of Chucky and Tiffany! Picture it, two dolls falling in love.
My favorite love story is Blade Runner 🤡
I can totally answer that. At present, Roy and Priss are my ideal couple.
I would have to say Orpheus and Eurydice. When Eurydice dies, Orpheus journeys to Hades to try and save her. Now that’s what I call devotion……
Well, it’s gotta be When Harry Met Sally, right? It’s the ultimate cliche but sometimes they’re cliches for a good reason. The slow gradual build, only for it to almost fall apart, and Carrie Fisher is there the whole time? I think that’s what all of us want. That, and terrible karaoke in public
(okay, maybe not that bit, ever).
Adventure Time’s: “I Remember You”. 11 devastating minutes exploring self-sacrifice, memory & loss. It’s the purest sweetest platonic love story ever told.
Marcy & Simon 4eva.
AntiProduct’s Love Song To A Cigarette
AntiProduct were one of the bands who dominated the early issues of Bubblegum Slut. I quit smoking years ago, but hearing this alternative love song takes me right back to being a teenage zine editor, hanging out in foggy venues pre-smoking ban, and watching AntiProduct.
Of all the countless love stories that have been told, one that I feel close is the story between Connell and Marianne in “Normal People”. I haven’t read the book but I devoured the show in 24 hours during the lockdown, while facing a breakup. I remember I have repeatedly found myself wanting to bang the two characters’ heads against a wall out of frustration one minute and crying
my eyes out to the point of losing my contact lenses the other.As frustrating as it had been to watch them hurting each other (or themselves, my therapist would say) because of their fears and traumas, I was fascinated by how they found their way back to each other only to be apart again (for one year? Forever?), this time as the result of a decision based on love and respect, and independence also. I loved how their love stays with them through the years
and the up and downs of their shape-shifting relationship, both in its presence and in its absence. It’s the kind of love that one would never regret feeling, regardless of how things would end.
My favorite love story is the one said in only six words.
“This morning, with her, having coffee.”
Johnny Cash said it best, and it always reminds me that something so simple and seemingly perceived as so mundane, can be the most elaborate and beautiful words ever spoken. And I just really love coffee too.
Practical Magic the movie (although the book by Alice Hoffman is different but good too).I watched the movie for years and years before I ever read the book, so my preference is for the movie over the book, even though in adulthood Alice Hoffman became my favorite author (and still is).
My favorite love story used to be “In the Mood for Love” by Wong Kar Wai, I’ve watched it so many times, and even wrote a paper on it once. The intense beauty of the mise-en-scene and costume, and the subtlety of the emotional connection and grief is endlessly seductive. But my most recent favorite love story has to be “Everything Everywhere, All at Once” with its fantastical leaps through space and time, the incredibly ridiculous humour and the sad, strong characters that engender so much empathy with their attempts to find meaning and connection. I feel like love for me, at this age, is so much more than romantic love. Compassion for suffering is really where it’s at.
(500) days of summer: I know it’s technically “a story about love” and not a “love story” but it’s one I could really relate to over the years. On the first watch, I saw myself more as the male lead, Tom. Sharing similar ideals about love. But if I were to watch it now, I’d probably see myself more as Summer, the female lead. A lot more open in a relationship and willing to put myself first. It’s a story that hits very close to home and the different relationships I’ve had over the years, some as Tom and others as Summer. This film serves as a modern love story.
Okay, so this may not be the traditional love story, it’s more so a story of deceit & revenge. But one of my favorite love stories is the twisted love story of Miss Havisham and Compeyson who jilts her at the altar in Great Expectations. It is a tragic story of unrequited love and how revenge can be all consuming, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. One of my favorite Miss Havisham quotes is: Love her, love her, love her! If she favours you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces—and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper—love her, love her, love her!
In the end, Miss Havisham dies in the wedding dress she has been wearing for decades, when it accidentally catches on fire from a burning candle. I find that to be so poignant and tragic. Another love story that moves me to tears is Quasimodo and La Esmeralda. I guess I like tragic love stories.
Please note I have been happily married (mostly) for 23 years.
Eric + Scout from The Raw Shark Texts. (The other option is to be sappy af and have myself and my partner.)
Oh jeeze okay. I normally only want to read and watch extremely depressing and/or disturbing shit lmfao, usually no love to be found there. But in terms of novels The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (and hey it’s a circus!)
Or, if you really want to stretch the definition of romance, then These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever. It’s a love story, but with murder!
Maybe leave that one out 😂
And for film, Moonrise Kingdom or Her. I’m definitely not a traditional romance fan. Perfect Days by Raphael Montes and the song Horror of Our Love by Ludo (it is a love story in its own right)
Okayokayokay… never put much thought into favorite love anything but here it goes. Film: Peter Jackson’s Remake of King Kong. Song was going to be something Nick Cave……but then it came to me……this love song makes me cry everything I Hear it. Tom Waits. If it doesn’t move you you have a heart of stone.
Aw fuck now I’m a blubbering mess.
This is a little list of my favorites love stories, by that i don’t mean only in a romantic way
Claude Cahun+Marcel Moore
(Real names Lucy Schwob+ Suzanne Malerbe)
Marlon Riggs + jack Vincent
Colette+ Mathilde “Max” de morny
Emma Goldman + Alexander Berkman
Miles Davis + Bette Davis
Gee Vaucher + Penny Rimbaud
William Haines + Jimmy Shields
Ma Rainey + Bessie Smith
Bluets by Maggie Nelson
But what kind of love is it, really? Don’t fool yourself and call it sublimity. Admit that you have stood in front of a little pile of powdered ultramarine pigment in a glass cup at a museum and felt a stinging desire. But to do what? Liberate it? Purchase it? Ingest it? . . . You might want to reach out and disturb the pile of pigment, for example, first staining your fingers with it, then staining the world. You might want to dilute it and swim in it, you might want to rouge your nipples with it, you might want to paint a virgin’s robe with it. But still you wouldn’t be accessing the blue of it. Not exactly.
My favorite love story is Valley Girl, the 1983 movie starring Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman (not the 2020 remake, which I have never seen).
It is the final scene of the movie in particular, where Randy, a scruffy new wave guy from Hollywood, ambushes the high school prom with his buddy in order to liberate Julie, the titular Valley girl, that I saw as a very young woman and decided it somehow encapsulated everything I was looking for in a relationship.
I thought about this a lot before committing it to writing. The fact is, I can think of plenty of more grounded, more mature love stories that I also love. I first saw Valley Girl when I was just a kid, and I know by now that what makes a good partnership is not the same as what makes a movie entertaining.
But you know what?
The truth is that Valley Girl is still my favorite love story. If I’m really honest with myself, that’s still what I want in my life: a disruptive, goofball maniac in a Tangerine Dream t-shirt to come swinging in and wreck the prom, sow hilarious chaos, and sweep me off my feet and into the get-away car, through a rain of cake and punch, while Josie Cotton sings “He Could Be The One”.
Emmett Brown & Clara Clayton in Back to the Future, Part III
LISTEN. I understand it’s possible not many people are familiar with the third installment of one of the greatest cinematic marvels of all time. HOWEVER. Even if you’ve only ever seen the first movie you can appreciate the complexity of reaching a timeline where Emmett “Doc” Brown would travel through time and space only to meet the woman of his dreams in 1885. The plot of the first film goes into great detail about the fragility of these things. (Marty’s mom wanting to schtup him, for instance.) When Clara and Doc meet in the third film, they fall instantly in love. The characters are so purely played by Christopher Lloyd and Mary Steenburgen that it might as well be them, risking life and limb to reach one another before the DeLorean reaches 88 miles per hour and whisks them back to 1985. Only, Doc and Clara miss their ride. When Marty makes it back to the future, an accident leaves the DeLorean totaled, in pieces on the train tracks. What has befallen our ill-fated lovers?! Just when we suspect that all hope is lost, Doc and Clara burst through the space-time continuum on a hover conversion fitted train, joined by their young children, Jules and Verne. TELL ME THAT’S NOT AN INCREDIBLE LOVE STORY! I get chills every time I watch it. Every. Single. Time.
My all-time favorite love story is historical: Alexander & Hephaestion. But modern and fictional? Let’s go with Sense8. I also liked Normal People and so many gay movies. I am a sucker for a love story that is a lying story, where the lie of love becomes true, as in Housesitter, Overboard and Addicted to Love.
The “channel” I watch most frequently, on endless repeat, in the screen of my mind, is the love story I’m writing in Pink Zombie Rose.
Oh! I also love love love the show LOVE on netflix, which is the director Judd Apatow’s real life love story, so maybe that’s why it hits so good.
I stan any romance where the nerd wins out.
Blame it on Can’t Buy Me Love. Or…on being a nerd.
My parents are soulmates, it’s disgusting, everyone who meets them thinks so, so I’ll give you all a little taste. They were both born in 1968, exactly five weeks apart (Mum – Scorpio, Dad – Libra) in the Latrobe Valley. Mum is the eldest of two, she was rebellious, loved to party, loved to date, and generally got up to mischief for most of her teens before running away to Melbourne to continue getting up to no good and party with Shane Warne. My Dad, on the other hand, is the golden child, the second eldest of four children in an immigrant Slavic family. Dad worked all through high school, rode dirt bikes and had one serious girlfriend, Jane. My parents were at high school together and church. Both their parents are hardcore Catholics. A little fast-forward, my Dad is now single and the mothers of the country town were trying to set their daughters up with him. Then, one day, my Mum came waltzing back into town. Now 24, still very hot, piercing blue eyes, fair skin and thick short black-cropped hair, she snagged my Dad in a second. They were pregnant with me within a couple of months. My Mum proposed to him on the fence of her Mum’s house and they were married a few months before I was born. Their engagement was so quick that when people got the wedding invitation, they didn’t even know that they were dating. They’ve been together for 28 years now, they’re empty nesters before 55; if you don’t include the cats. They still make out all the time. My Dad will tell strangers about how much he loves my Mum, and my parents will take each other’s side before they take any of their kids, and that’s true love. I admire them and their unwavering commitment to each other and their shared happiness. And CAKEFACE as a persona’s favourite – Mandy Patinkin is Cakeface’s one true love, a true entertainer, a singer, an actor and a passionate man. I know his on-set antics are a little bit, problematic, but I have a soft spot for extreme characters. So it’s nice to know his relationship with his wife is loving and romantic and dramatic.
This interview is delightful. I sob every time at the “Please be patient with me, I’ve never made love with anybody I’ve loved before” line.
Vega & Altair
Hmmm. I have a few, but let’s say Chungking Express, by Wong Kar-Wai
It’s not romantic love, but pretty much anytime I hear about an animal hero story, like a cat that rescues a little boy or something, I start bawling.
My favorite love story is either When Harry met Sally or In the Mood for Love. I can’t choose between these two.
The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde
Love In The Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Sounds a bit plain, but The Bridges of Madison County.
My favorite love story is A Star Is Born, the most recent one, it has parallels to my own relationship, but, luckily, it didn’t end up so tragic. We watch it together, and it reminds us where we were, and how much better it is now
Hmmm. My mom and dad’s: she says she stepped over him in a bar. He says she stepped on him, stiletto heel to the sternum, the pain pulling him out of an alcohol induced fog to see the most beautiful angel above him. Who he immediately dedicated himself to. 50 years later, still married.
Splash. And / or Juno.
Let me think on this!
I am searching. My love story is never beautiful.
My favorite love story is hard… it would probably be less of a story and would be ‘Idiot Wind’ by Bob Dylan. I’m an old lady like that.
Beauty & The Beast
Nightmare Before Christmas
It’s got everything- the chaos of gunfire, the smell of violence. Elvis!!!
There is so many but it’s gotta be Crybaby. It’s just classic. 🥰
Been a sucker for romance since forever, so my list of favourite love stories would be never-ending! However, the ones that have stood the test of time are as follows: The love story of Shiva and Shakti in Hindu mythology is timelessly universal and yet so rooted in the traditions of my homeland. The stories that my grandmother used to narrate to me in the falling darkness of every evening have shaped my dreams of love as a child.
Jim and Della in O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”, oh poor fools, so much in love!
Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain, the film. Remembering them makes my eyes burn.
Mo Dao Zu Shi, translated as The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, a Chinese danmei that has been adapted into the TV series, Untamed, contains two of the most frustrating people in love I’ve read in fiction: Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji. Three words: “Everyday means everyday”!
Hmmm…I’d say my favorite love story is any lesbian love story.
I have racked my brain for a fave love story, but it’s never been my favorite genre so I think it’s safe to say I won’t be sending links, haha.
That’s a very tricky one because I love me some love, but the Princess Bride has to win this one. To quote Fred Savage’s grandpa: “Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…”
My ultimate romance story is my Italian grandparents.
Carmine had come to Australia from calabria in 1925.
In about 1935, he saw a photo of my grandma, Francesca on the mantelpiece at Francesca’s sister’s home.
Carmine asked who it was and said that she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen and that she was the one he wanted to marry.
He was in Victoria, Australia and she was in Calabria, Italy – so – slight distance problem with this plan.
He wrote to Francesca’s parents and they gave him permission to write to her.
And then he did – for more than two years.
The war happened, and Carmine and Francesca got married by proxy – with Carmine
in Australia and Francesca in Italy. When the war was over, my nan came to Australia on a ship where was sick for the majority of the time.
We used to ask her, flabbergasted, how she could have just gotten married to someone she hadn’t met. And then left her family, literally seeing them for the last time, to be with a man she didn’t know.
Holy shit, she would get so freaking cross. Her very hefty italian accent got even broader and she’d declare that she DID know him, because he wrote her beautiful letters.
(I am aware that parts of this sound seedy or cheesy or catfishy now – but growing up hearing this story as part of family lore, and hearing my nan talk about her husband who died when my mama was little), she loved him with a pretty spectacular love literally until the day she died.
Also – The Princess Bride – the love between two men (Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin) and one of the best sword fights; The Little Prince; and When Harry Met Sally, if we’re going classic 80’s romcom.
This was a tricky one. Probably the greatest love story should be one of self love. It does sound rather corny, but if you don’t love yourself, how could anyone else?
The journey of self love takes patience, introspection and the grace to acknowledge any shortcomings and room to grow. Starting to understand the depths of the love you have for yourself beats any love story in a book.
About the Artist
Katy Somerville was beamed into existence on a Monday night in the mid-eighties by stars, glitter, and a glorious Italian woman from a long line of very strong women. In the present timeline, she likes to drink coffee, pat any animal that will engage with her, make collages, and spend time laughing and finding moments of joy wherever she can with her partner and her goofy, lanky dog.
The Art Director for Cream Scene.