Monitor picks

Before Sunrise (R)

An American boy (Ethan Hawke) and a French girl (Julie Delpy) meet on a train and spend an evening wandering Vienna in Richard Linklater's intelligent Gen-X classic. (Ten years later, stars and director reunited to explain what happened after the sun came up in Before Sunset.)

Persuasion (PG)

For a literate take on second chances, you can't do better than this adaptation of Jane Austen's classic romance. Ten years earlier, Anne Elliot (Amanda Root) obeyed her family and rejected the poor sailor she loved. Now a spinster whose family fortunes have declined, Anne's life of quiet resignation is upended when her love, now a wealthy captain, returns. (Double feature pick: Sense and Sensibility.)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (R)

This meta-meditation on love is the most original romance of the decade. Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) discovers that his ex-girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet), has had all memory of him surgically erased. To retaliate, he undergoes the same procedure, only to realize his mistake and fight frantically to save the memories that are all he has left of his love. Heartache has never been more high-concept. (Double feature pick: Groundhog Day.)

A room with a view (Unrated)

E.M. Forster's tale of a proper English miss (Helena Bonham-Carter) whose tour of Italy leaves her struggling to choose between love and convention will delight fans of period romances. Maggie Smith, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Judi Dench are among the terrific cast. (Double feature pick: The Remains of the Day.)

The Shop Around the Corner (Unrated)

James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan star as pen pals who bicker endlessly at work in their Budapest department store in this effortlessly charming comedy by Ernst Lubitsch. (Double feature pick: Ninotchka.)

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