There's no firm formula or tried-and-true route a screenwriter must take when sitting down to pen a romantic film.
For sure, there should be a spark between the lovebirds, probably near the film's start, and, at some point, the lovebirds should part due to a host of thorny circumstances. Thorny circumstances that will later, of course, make the sweethearts' embraceful reunion all the more satisfying.
And while love-filled flicks run the gooey gamut, many still draw from a titan of the form, a feeling-lush movie that is, in fact, turning 60 in 2017. But a romdram/romcom buff is more likely to find a newer romantic film on the big screen, and not the iconic film that's inspired filmmakers over the last six decades.
What to do, where to go and what to see
That will change when "An Affair to Remember" returns to the silver screen for two days only: Sunday, Feb. 12 and Wednesday, Feb. 15. Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and 20th Century Fox are behind the brief re-release, which arrives just in time for Valentine's Day.
Host Ben Mankiewicz will offer some thoughts on the story, too, in a pre-recorded clip. (Indeed, this is part of the same classics-on-the-big-screen re-release series that brought "Singin' in the Rain" back to cinemas in January 2017.)
If you haven't revisited the tender tale in a bit, well, you probably remember it involves Deborah Kerr, and Cary Grant, and a ship, and the observation deck of the Empire State Building, and... Well. Ahem.
Suffice it to say that Important and Emotional Things Occur, which may or may not bring our paramours together before the final credits.
"Sleepless in Seattle" heavily referenced the bring-a-hankie film, but plenty of other works, beyond the 1993 Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan romance, have paid homage to it over the years.
If this is how you best know "An Affair to Remember," through TV shows and tribute-paying flicks, consider the film's return to the cinemas as a way to re-connect with the source.
For the New York City-set classic continues to be a font for other flirtation-filled films. And cinematic art delving into missed connections, and true love, still draws upon some of the 60-year-old movie's twists and themes.
Find the heart-tugger at a Southern California cinema on Feb. 12 and 15; there are plenty to choose from. Just don't be late for your date, or miss it all together.