Earlier this week we publishedZach Everson's piece on some of the best places in the world to propose. But if its slide show leaves you in need of still more inspiration, check out the film clips below for some classic movie marriage proposals. We've arranged them by location, in rough order of increasing romance.
In 1998's The Wedding Singer, Adam Sandler serenades Drew Barrymore at 38,000 feet as they're flying for Los Angeles. With a little help from Billy Idol, Sandler's character convinces Drew that he really does want to grow old with her. (By the way, this scene had enough resonance in popular culture to lead to at least one copycat proposal (no Billy Idol this time, though).
In another Sandler vehicle, 2003's Anger Management, his character misses out on life because he keeps his feelings too bottled up. Soon, though, he's made enough progress to be able to run onto the field before the National Anthem to prevent his love, Marisa Tomei, from accepting a proposal from Jack Nicholson—his "psycho" anger-management doctor. In addition to being shot at the old Yankee Stadium, which closed at the end of 2008, the scene also includes several other New York City institutions, including Rudy Giuliani, Derek Jeter, and Bob Sheppard, the "Voice of the Yankees."
In Steel Magnolias, from 1989, southern lawyer Dylan McDermott tracks down Julia Roberts in her bathtub to make sure she'll actually marry him later that day. Although the plumbing shown doesn't exactly scream southern, the rest of the movie certainly does—it was filmed on location in Natchitoches, Louisiana, a stand-in for the fictional town of Chinquapin.
A "New England" forest
At the moment, Christian Bale's most famous speech would have to be the expletive-filled tongue-lashing he gave the director of photography on the set of Terminator Salvation. The words he spoke in the 1994 version of Little Women were a lot more charming. Here, in a cozy scene in the woods, his proposal to Winona Ryder is turned down, with regret. Those are Canadian trees in the background, most likely: Vancouver, Victoria, and other parts of British Canada served as stand-ins for the New England setting.
Notting Hill and the Savoy Hotel, London
Set in the upscale neighborhood of its title and full of location shots, 1999's Notting Hill amounts to one big Valentine to the area itself. Hugh Grant is a hangdog travel bookstore owner who meets Julia Roberts—she has no trouble turning in a convincing performance as a famous American actress come to town to shoot a movie. It's only a matter of time—and some plot contrivances—before Hugh and Julia make a perfect (and perfectly unrealistic) couple. In this scene near the end, Hugh crashes a press conference to ask Julia a very personal question, as the sound of Elvis Costello's "She" swells in the background.
Ang Lee's 1995 version of the Jane Austen evergreen, Sense and Sensibility, required a large number of grand buildings to tell its tale of romance in and among the landed gentry. Among the stately houses used as settings was the Saltram House, a National Trust property in Devon. In this scene near the end of the film, Hugh Grant clears up a major misunderstanding and reveals to Emma Thompson, playing the sensible Elinor, that he's not in fact married. Yet.