We have just entered 2023, making many New Year’s resolutions such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or swearing, and for singles, there is definitely also the wish for an adventure romance like movies.
Today we look precisely at a series of action stories where the protagonists constantly risk their lives while at the same time experiencing their life’s love story.
Indeed, it is precisely when the heart beats faster than those bonds arise that perhaps they would never be born at other times.
These stories feature extremely different men and women as protagonists, yet all struggle to survive the sudden threats they must face together.
So let us make ourselves comfortable on the couch, trying to digest the dinners and multiple toasts of the long holiday season, enjoying these last vacation days while warming our little hearts for the last colder days of winter.
Table of contents
The African Queen (1951)
He is the rough and dirty, but also simple and kind, captain, who supplies the villages by going upriver in his trusty boat named, precisely, The African Queen.
Instead, she is the sister of a missionary who runs a small community helping the poor locals as they can.
Unfortunately, when war breaks out, tension immediately rises in the colonies, and a platoon of German soldiers invades their church, devastating everything and killing her brother.
Only through the intervention of the boatman does she save herself, escaping on the boat while the soldiers constantly patrol the river.
At that point, a strong desire arises in the woman to take revenge against the Germans, trying to convince her new companion to join the fight.
Her plan is straightforward: install a bomb on the bow of The African Queen and launch it at full speed against an enemy gunboat sailing in a lake not far away.
John Huston stepped out of the Hollywood studios and decided to shoot this adventure romance directly in Africa, a decisive turning point for major American movie productions.
Adding to the immense charm of the natural locations is the charisma of the leads, such as his trusted friend Humphrey Bogart.
The actor abandons the usual elegance of other roles, such as The Maltese Falcon detective, to play a dirty, sympathetic, brave hero.
By his side is the gorgeous and mature Katharine Hepburn, in a crescendo of passion that culminates in the crazy final wedding in front of the hated German soldiers.
A wild love born in the heart of a war-torn continent, sadly still today as it was yesterday.
Romancing the Stone (1984)
We continue the adventure with an even more wildly paced romance film from Robert Zemeckis, director of the famous Back to the Future saga.
The protagonist is the young Kathleen Turner, a successful writer who, after ending her latest book, must drop everything and fly in a hurry to Colombia.
Indeed, her sister has been kidnapped by a corrupt military officer searching for an ancient gemstone of enormous value.
Her husband had sent the map to find the treasure to the writer just before soldiers killed him.
So all of a sudden, the woman finds herself embroiled in one of the crazy adventures her readers love so much, the difference being that she is completely lost in a world she does not know.
Luckily for her, she crosses paths with a young American smuggler and con man along the way, who decides to help her in exchange for a share of the treasure.
Initially, there is a relationship of distrust and irritation between them, staying together for convenience and survival.
But of course, romantic love will not be long in coming either as the film crackles along toward the final act of this entertaining adventure.
Robert Zemeckis wisely blends the fast-paced atmosphere of the Indiana Jones savages with a comedy of feelings that sprinkles humor into every scene.
Thanks to his solid direction, every escape sequence and chase are still delightful, forging a little classic that survives the test of time nearly four decades later.
So enjoy this spectacular journey through the Colombian forests, sheltering from the rain in a smuggler’s plane and lighting a marijuana bonfire to liven up the evening.
Crocodile Dundee (1986)
Another movie, another writer gets caught up in an adventure romance with a rough but brave all-around man.
This time she is a New York journalist flying to a small town on the northern edge of Australia.
First, she must find Michael J. Dundee, a legendary hunter who will accompany her into the dangerous swamps and forests of the region.
The destination of this photographic tour is the man’s old mangled boat, where he miraculously survived an attack by a giant crocodile.
Although he is charming and funny, she feels some discomfort at his company due to his macho and blustery attitude.
However, when he saves her life in the middle of the jungle, she is so grateful, wishing to reciprocate the goodwill and take him with her for a few days in New York.
In the big city, she realizes that, actually, his attitude is only a facade, hiding a kind and generous soul.
At that point, she will doubt her life, career, and even the upcoming engagement awaiting her upon her homecoming.
We must premise that we are at a different level than other Australian-made masterpieces, such as the legendary Mad Max.
Just as honestly, director Peter Faiman does his respectable job by staging an entertaining adventure play in the whole 80s spirit.
Crocodile Dundee is a one-man show resting on the shoulders of Paul Hogan, a spontaneous and funny stand-up comedian who is quite successful, especially in Australia.
His humor on set wins over his colleague Linda Kozlowski with whom he has excellent romantic chemistry going so far as to marry her even in real life.
I have always loved this faraway parody of the pioneers and kangaroos’ land, which I am sure will easily win the hearts of all those who have never seen it.
Quigley Down Under (1990)
We keep staying in Australia, waiting on the dock for the mustachioed face of Tom Selleck, television’s beloved Magnum P.I., to appear on the horizon.
In this case, the actor plays a gunslinger coming from faraway America to answer the rich offer of a businessman residing in the continent’s outback.
His proposal is simple, to use his extraordinary sniping skills with his trusty 1874 Sharps Buffalo rifle to eliminate all the aborigines roaming his property.
Unfortunately for him, the slimy boss does not even have time to finish talking, and the gunman angrily throws him out of his own house.
His gunmen react by beating him to a pulp, then leaving him to die in the desert along with a somewhat crazy woman they picked up in town.
She also comes from America, traumatized by a tragic family past, and in her madness, she believes the gunslinger is her ex-husband.
A small group of aborigines rescue and take them into their community by feeding and healing their wounds.
Not long afterward, unfortunately, the ruthless landowner’s thugs arrive, shooting wildly at everyone.
At that point, the gunslinger packs his weapons to protect the local natives from slaughter while slowly falling in love with his moody traveling companion.
Quigley Down Under is a classic American-style Western that recycles all genre stereotypes into a different blend with an exciting and unusual flavor.
Tom Selleck and Laura San Giacomo make a hilarious and quirky couple in love amidst lots of shooting and riding that does not preclude a good adventure movie with a nostalgic and romantic atmosphere.
I will always remember this effort by an actor who was successful on television yet consistently underrated in cinema.
Bird on a Wire (1990)
We conclude today’s romantic adventures with a movie beginning with a young girl who believes she sees her old boyfriend, who died many years before one day in the rain.
The boy works in a humble garage, and when she returns to look closer, she discovers that it is all true; her love is still alive.
Unfortunately, there is no time for much explanation, as two men show up with guns drawn trying to kill him.
Fleeing like mad through the streets of Detroit, the guy admits he faked his death and eventually got into the FBI’s witness protection program.
Except now, the agent in charge of his case has retired due to illness, so the assignment passes to a corrupt colleague who reveals his location to the criminals he sent to jail.
Not knowing whom to trust, the couple retraces all the cities where he has lived in recent years, seeking help from old friends and comrades he hasn’t seen in a long time.
Of course, this getaway cannot last forever, and sooner or later, they will have to face these killers, former federal agents colluding with Mexican drug traffickers.
Once again, we have a veteran of the 1980s at the helm, John Badham, an unforgettable director of cult hits such as WarGames and Saturday Night Fever.
Let’s also remember the excellent pair of killers at their heels with Kill Bill‘s famous Bill, David Carradine, and fierce sidekick Bill Duke, a familiar face in that period for Predator and Commando.
A simple little movie of great entertainment that lovers of lovers on the run should definitely not miss.