Everyone does it. Your mum, your boss, the ticket-collector on the train. It is only fair that kissing should have its own day. There is some contention over the date (June 19th & July 6th both macking strong claims), but kissing has always been a pivotal movie gesture. So to pay lip service to this carnal carnival, here are 5 of the top screen kisses. The obvious choices are absent; no Gone With The Wind or When Harry Met Sally in this list. Instead there are some slightly less celebrated caresses; please suggest below which kisses have been missed!
5. James Bond & Countess Tracy di Vicenzo – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Legendary womaniser James Bond doesn’t do kissing, surely? He does in George Lazenby’s only outing, after the most tragic of murders. His marriage to Diana Rigg’s wonderful Countess Tracy is almost as brief as the kiss itself, and he expresses his devastation so simply, placing his lips to the wedding band on her finger. It is all he has in his life; and all he has left of his love. Even to the present day, Bond has never been this heartbreakingly sincere.
4. Ferris Bueller & Sloane Peterson – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
In a movie of several memorable kisses (the creepy yet hilarious ‘do you have a kiss for daddy?‘), this one lingers for its mix of exquisite beauty and exquisite pain. Ferris and Sloane are so enamoured with each other that they don’t even notice the stunning stained glass in front of them, the picture perfect backdrop to their picture perfect union. But while they are together, Cameron is alone, losing his mind at his self-perceived emptiness. John Hughes shows us the happiness of harmony means nothing without the agony of solitude. If you ever hear anyone call teen movies shallow, just make them watch this scene.
3. William Thacker, Bernie, a Japanese businessman & a Savoy concierge – Notting Hill (1999)
Kisses don’t have to sweep people off their feet on the bow of a cruise liner. They don’t have to be romantic at all. This typical Richard Curtis dash is assisted by a kindly concierge, with William and Bernie so grateful they spring forwards to kiss him on the cheek. An accepting Japanese businessman follows suit, producing perhaps the single most glorious smirk ever from Henry Goodman behind the desk. With ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ ‘ blasting on the soundtrack and Hugh Grant at his most puppyish, you want to jump up and kiss them too. As for the Japanese gentleman, he’s just a guy, standing in front of another guy, asking if there are any messages for him.
2. Billy Elliot & Michael Caffrey – Billy Elliot (2000)
Two kisses define one friendship. Both Billy and best friend Michael display their own kinds of bravery in the face of a society that hates who they are. Michael can’t even speak the words of his homosexuality, conveying it only through a quick peck on Billy’s cheek when no-one is around. This alone is an act of immense fortitude. Instead of recoiling as those around him might, Billy finds inspiration in his friend’s courage, and later returns the favour in one of cinema’s most tender goodbyes. Kissing is overused as a cliché of emotion in films; but don’t be fooled by the cuteness here – these are burning acts of defiance.
1. Matthew Kidman & Danielle – The Girl Next Door (2004)
At its best, the movie kiss is the only action that will do. Nothing can be compared to it or replace it. Chronically cautious Matthew never takes a single step, never mind the first one. But when he sees his first love Danielle being hit on by the jocks, he finds the nerve to move in and greet her with a beautiful embrace. No words are needed; they both know it is right. Brilliantly edited to the breaking sound of David Gray’s gorgeous ‘This Year’s Love’, the party fades away around them, and Matthew & Danielle are entirely with each other. So cynics be damned; looks like love is just a kiss away after all!
Now put out your best pout, let loose those lips and tell some of your favourite movie kisses!