Why does every movie involving a cruise ship need to be a tragedy? Sure, we loved Leo and Kate in Titanic, but – spoiler alert – things don’t end so happily.
Likewise with 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure (and its 2006 remake), Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, The Last Voyage, Speed 2: Cruise Control and the dozen or more other retellings of Titanic.
Surely, as the long run of TV’s The Love Boat attests, there are happier stories at sea to tell. (And great theme songs!) Here are five movies from Hollywood history that paint a brighter picture of cruising.
Romance on the High Seas (1948)
Nominated for two Academy Awards (including one for the song It’s Magic), Romance on the High Seas is a comedy/musical about a married couple’s romantic miscues onboard a cruise ship. It also provided the first acting role for a young Doris Day.
An Affair to Remember (1957)
Everyone thinks of this one as a movie about the Empire State Building, but real fans remember that Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr fall in love on a cruise ship. It’s ranked No. 5 on the American Film Institute’s list of top 100 romance movies.
Love Affair (1994):
Casual fans might think of this movie as a remake of An Affair to Remember. Technically, that’s true, but only because that was a remake of 1939’s Love Affair. Confused yet? Well, then just focus on the amazing chemistry between Warren Beatty and Annette Bening and the beautiful scenery of Tahiti and Moorea. Love Affair, sadly, was also the last film appearance for the great Katharine Hepburn.
Out to Sea (1997):
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau try to improve their romantic and financial luck when they sign up as dance hosts on Holland America’s Westerdam. It’s one of 10 movies that paired Lemmon and Matthau on the big screen.
Boat Trip (2002)
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sanz think they’re taking a singles cruise, but a vengeful travel agent books them on a cruise for gay men. This might not have been a disaster movie on the screen, but it sure was at the box office, with the gay community and with critics. The famed critic Roger Ebert wrote of Boat Trip: “It is dim-witted, unfunny, too shallow to be offensive … This is a movie made for nobody, about nothing.”
Okay, so maybe stick with An Affair to Remember.