That big love story

THIS Valentine’s Day will be especially special as it coincides with Chap Goh Meh, the final day of the Lunar New Year celebration, which is also known as the Chinese Valentine.

So, while couples the whole world over celebrate love and romance with roses, presents and chocolates as well as a candle-lit dinner for two this Friday, Chinese couples might well throw mandarin oranges into the mix.

Single Chinese girls will gather at rivers or lakes to toss mandarin oranges into the water in the hope that single guys will pick them up.

These days, to make it easier for the guys, the girls might even write down their contact numbers on the mandarin oranges in the hope of a call from a likely prospect or two.

And as the day nears, love songs rule the airwaves, for as the poet extraordinaire William Shakespeare wrote: “If music be the food of love, play on!”

The same can be said for romantic flicks. So, in conjunction with this celebration, theSun asked some celebrities to name their favourite big-screen romance.

Sofia Jane, actress

“I love Out of Africa. I was a teenager when I watched this film.

“Poetic dialogues, the colonial setting and fantastic music just made me want to grow up fast so that I can have those conversations with the man I love.

“I also love the chemistry between (lead actors) Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.”

Osman Ali, film director

“For me, it’s While You Were Sleeping. It is about a girl who sell tickets at the train counter who falls in love with one of her regular customers.

“This movie inspired me to direct my first tele-movie, Toll Gate Girl, where a driver falls in love with a girl who works at the toll. I am considering directing a sequel to it this year.”

Vanidah Imran, actress

“It’s Sleepless in Seattle. You will never know when you will meet your soul mate. When I was a teenager, I loved Pretty Woman.

“I love lighted-hearted romantic movies that make you smile.”

Bront Palarae actor and director

“It’s Jean Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie. It is a different look at romance and love that makes the film special.

“My wife likes it too and I can watch the film again and again with her. The film is filled with whimsicality and eccentricities.”

Diffan Norman, filmmaker (his short film, Kekasih, was shown at this year’s Sundance Film Festival)
“I love many movies but Ibu Mertuaku is on the top of my list. The saying ‘love is blind’ is eternal and can be seen in the movie.
“The lead character loses his sight. He gets back his sight only to experience the brutality of rejection (as the woman he loves is married). He then decides to blind himself again!”

Zang Toi, New York-based fashion designer

“It’s Funny Face. It is a beautiful Cinderella movie (where a simple girl becomes a famous model) that is perfect to watch on Valentine’s Day.

“Audrey Hepburn gave a beautiful performance and the gorgeous setting of fashionable Paris will take your breath away.”

Hans Isaac, actor and producer

“For me it’s Pretty Woman. It is a timeless classic that you will never get bored watching again and again.

“It is a story where a rich man meets a poor girl and then falls in love with her. It’s a film that launched Julia Roberts’ career.”

Daphne Iking, TV host

“It’s Notebook. I have read the novel and I thought the movie did justice to the adaptation. Everyone wants to grow old with their loved ones and I am no different.

“My other favourite movie is Love Actually. The movie shows that love is about sacrifices. I could relate to the movie because I have made sacrifices for love.”

Raja Azmi, film producer

“It’s has to be Ghost. The movie shows that love lives on even in death. The fact that the guy returns as a ghost to protect his lover is so romantic.

“My other favourite movie is Pretty Woman. Like in the movie, I will always dream that someone will come to ‘rescue’ me and give me a happy ending.”

Syed Hussein Syed Mustafa, artiste

“I am not the romantic type. If I have to make a choice, it will be Serendipity.

“There is a Malay saying: ‘Jodoh ditentukan oleh Tuhan’ (God decides your soul mate) and this film depicts this saying perfectly. I like the way the movies has been directed.”