Finding Swoons in Books: Rachael Allen

At first, there was Rosamund Hodge and the gift of Ignifex. I hope you were grateful because HOT DAMN. Then came the second day, and it brought Elizabeth Fama, and the secret to the mega-intensity of the romance in her upcoming novel Plus One. The third day, we went to find swoons with Alyssa Scheinmel, who thought these five places in The North (of California, where winter is never coming) were ideal for that sort of thing. Then came day four, which introduced us to the brilliant mind of Dahlia Adler, as she showed us around the parameters of healthy and badass romance. She called Ellis brave, so obviously everything Dahlia says is truth. And here we are. Finding Swoons  - Day Five. Let's all channel our inner Effie Trinket and Welcome! Welcome! Rachael Allen, who clues us in on what she thinks the best 17 movie kisses are. Let us know what your Top 17 Kisses are, whether it's movie-, book-, or life-related.


17 Best Movie Kisses

 1. Gone With the Wind (1939)
Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and Scarlett O’Hara (Vivian Leigh)

Why I love this kiss: The characters are so feisty and passionate, and they’d never admit how in love they are with each other. Plus, this movie has quotes like, “No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing. Badly.”

Kiss Fact: Clark Gable wore false teeth and had serious halitosis issues, so kissing him probably wasn’t all that fun for Vivian Leigh.

2. From Here to Eternity (1953)
Milton Warden (Burt Lancaster) and Karen Holmes (Deborah Kerr)

Why I love this kiss: This making out on the beach scene is one of the most iconic kiss scenes in movie history. And yet, all I can think about when I see this scene is how much sand they are getting in uncomfortable places. It’s good to have the maturity level of a twelve-year-old boy ☺

3. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Lady the cocker spaniel and Tramp the mongrel

Why I love this kiss: What’s not to love about two cartoon dogs eating a spaghetti noodle until their noses touch? Show of hands, who has tried to recreate this one?

4. Sixteen Candles (1984)
Sam Baker (Molly Ringwald) and Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling)

Why I love this kiss: Because having your dream boy show up at your house with a cake and kiss you after a craptastic day is every 16-year-old girl’s fantasy. Plus, there’s just something about them sitting on the table, her in her pink chiffon dress, them kissing over the lit candles, that just makes you want to sigh.

5. Ghost (1990)
Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore)

Why I love this kiss: Because Sam has just convinced Molly that he’s a ghost, and now she gets to have one last kiss with the man she loves. Also, the background music. LOVE.

Kiss Fact: I know the movie shows her kissing Sam’s ghost, but if you think about it, isn’t she really kissing Whoopi Goldberg?

6. My Girl (1991)
Thomas J. Sennett (Macauley Culkin) and Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky)

Why I love this kiss: It’s so innocent and sweet. I love that she has him close his eyes and that she counts to three but needs that extra “2 and a half” to get up the courage. Also, the look of utter surprise on his face when their lips touch is the best thing ever.

7. Romeo and Juliet (1996)
Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes)

Why I love this kiss: Did this movie make anyone else wish they could view their future husband for the first time through an aquarium? No? Oh, okay. Well, this scene is still amazing because, hello, it’s Romeo and Juliet, and he’s dressed as a knight, and she’s dressed as an angel.

8. Titanic (1997)
Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet)

Why I love this kiss: They’re on the front of a boat at sunset, and it’s like they’re flying. Which is a funny coincidence because I bet kissing Leonardo DiCaprio is also not unlike flying.

9. Meet Joe Black (1998)
Susan Parrish (Claire Forlani) and Joe Black (Brad Pitt)

Why I love this kiss: Brad Pitt is Death, and he’s never been kissed before. I love how clearly this comes across in the scene. He’s so wide-eyed and in awe as she kisses him. And I love that he thanks her.

10. Cruel Intentions (1999)
Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Cecile Caldwell (Selma Blair)

Why I love this kiss: I love how darkly funny it is. Kathryn is so clinical and detached as she’s teaching Cecile. And Cecile, who is initially grossed out, is leaning in to kiss the air by the end of the lesson. Oh, and there’s a small spit stream (again, not very mature over here).

11. Spiderman (2002)
‘Spiderman’ aka Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst)

Why I love this kiss: 1) He’s Spiderman. 2) He’s upside down. 3) It’s raining (see #12).

Kiss Fact: Between the rainwater running up his nose and the mask cutting off his air, Maguire could barely breathe during this scene. I kind of wonder how easy it would be to kiss upside down anyway. I feel like there would be nose to chin issues.

12. The Notebook (2004)
Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) and Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling)

Why I love this kiss: They’ve been kept apart for years, him thinking she didn’t care about his letters, her thinking he never wrote to her, only to find out he had been writing every day, and they are so in love, and OMG, people, they are kissing in the rain, what more could you want??? Seriously, I am a sucker for kissing in the rain.

13. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal)

Why I love this kiss: The intensity in this kiss scene is unlike any I’ve seen in any other movie.

14. Pirates of the Carribbean: At World’s End (2007)
Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom)

Why I love this kiss: They’re getting married during an epic sea battle, and they’re sword-fighting as they say their vows. I love that all hell is breaking loose around them during the kiss, and that two pirates and a monkey pop up and watch.

15. Twilight (2008)
Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson)

Why I love this kiss: There’s just something about knowing that at any second he could lose control and she could become his dinner that amps up the passion.

16. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Jamal (Dev Patel) and Latika (Freida Pinto)

Why I love this kiss: This scene just rips my heart out. Their promise to meet at the train station. Him seeing her through the passing train cars. The flashbacks from their childhood. Everything that has happened comes together in this kiss. I also love that he kisses her scar first.

17. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson)

Why I love this kiss: Oh, I don’t know, maybe because we’ve been waiting to see it on screen since book 1 when it became clear that they should be together forever (and no, I don’t want to talk about any alternate future scenarios). Or because nothing says “Let’s kiss” like destroying a Horcrux. Or because the little smiles when they part are ADORABLE!

Add to Goodreads

No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.

Until Claire meets Luke.

But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.

With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.

In her moving debut, Rachael Allen brilliantly captures the complexities of friendship, the struggles of self-discovery, and the difficulties of trying to find love in high school. Fans of Sarah Ockler, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins will fall head over heels for this addictive, heartfelt, and often hilarious modern love story.


  1. What a great variety of kisses and movies! I love that Leonardo DiCaprio figures into two of them. And I love the Pirates scene too! Mostly, I love Will and Elizabeth's theme in the score to the third movie. Those violins just want to tear my heart out.

    1. and I found it on youtube:

  2. Love it! I'm not a huge movie person but I definitely have some favorite TV kisses: Ross and Rachel's first. Ross and Rachel's next first, after she sees the prom video. That first Jim and Pam kiss. Craig and Ellie's one kiss, before he ruins it two seconds later. (Don't even talk to me if you haven't seen the first six seasons of Degrassi.) I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch more but I just keep thinking MINDY AND DANNY.

  3. Annie - Yes, OMG, yes! On both the violins and Leonardo DiCaprio :)

    Missie - Thanks!!

    Dahlia - I love DEGRASSI!!!! Like a lot. I have to go tweet you about this right now because I get so excited when I find someone else who understands how awesome it is.


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