Love is always in the air when Valentine’s Day comes around but we think it should be about more than just chocolates and flowers – love should be an adventure.
Taking to the skies with the one you love on a hot air balloon ride is the perfect way to make love an adventure, while also ticking all the boxes for romance.
Make this year the year you ‘take life higher’ and experience a brand new adventure with the one you love.
With the season of romance well and truly upon us, we found ourselves talking in the office about our favourite movie love stories– with some surprising results.
It seems Hollywood shows us time and time again that romance and adventure go hand in hand.
So instead of the usual ‘Top 10 Romantic Movies’ list, instead we’ve put together our top 10 movies that perfectly mix both adventure and romance.
"They’re kissing again. Do we have to read the kissing parts?"
The Princess Bride (1987)
Yes we do!
Giants, pirates, princesses, swashbuckling swordplay, castles, revenge, bad guys, good guys, magic, giant rats and the most romantic kiss between two people in history, all wrapped up in a true fairy tale love story.
If anything shows just how much of an adventure love can be, it’s The Princess Bride.
The film, based on the William Goldman book of the same name, has become a cult classic since its release
With such wonderful romantic one-liners such as, “Death cannot stop true love - all it can do is delay it for a while,” and ‘This is true love – you think this happens every day?” sandwiched between cliff-top swordfights and dramatic escapes through the dreaded Fire Swamp, in our opinion The Princess Bride is a perfect action romance.
Plus, while men like to complain about women never saying what they actually mean, here was a film finally demonstrating that men can be every bit as confusing on the mixed messages front.
“That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying ‘As you wish’, what he meant was, ‘I love you’.”
No wonder it took Buttercup so long to realise how Westley really felt about her!
Return Of The Jedi (1983)
They might have had their first kiss in the previous Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back, but it was against the backdrop of defeating the Empire once and for all in Return of the Jedi that Han and Leia’s love really blossomed.
Princess Leia is seriously badass in all three of the original Star Wars films – she leads the Rebel Alliance, frees her space smuggler boyfriend from his carbonite prison, single-handedly throttles the giant slug that held them captive and she handles a blaster gun like a pro.
And Han Solo is the epitome of loveable rogue with a heart of gold who will do anything for the woman he loves – even if it takes him a while to realise it himself!
It’s no wonder they remain one of cinema’s all-time favourite couples.
Casino Royale (2006)
It would be something of an understatement to say 007 has had his fair share of romantic liaisons over the years.
So what makes Casino Royale the James Bond film we picked for our list?
It’s packed with the classic Bond action we know and love, while for the first time we see a grittier, dare we say it, more dangerous and believable 007 in Daniel Craig’s character.
Then there’s the fact that he really does love Vesper Lynd.
When the film ends with him giving up his career with MI6 to be with her, then her apparent betrayal and (spoiler alert!) death, Bond’s heartbreak is as real as we’ve seen in any film from the 50-year-old movie franchise.
Love in the movies has a habit of blossoming during times of great peril. (Fortunately a hot air balloon ride is a romantic adventure without the 'peril' part!)
Those of us old enough to remember the release of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure first hand could be forgiven for our surprise when Keanu Reeves popped up as a fully-fledged action hero in Speed.
The action film also marked a turning point for Sandra Bullock’s career, with both stars catapulted onto the A-List overnight following its release.
Meeting for the first time on a bus rigged to explode if it drops beneath 50mph, Annie and Jack certainly had an interesting beginning to their relationship.
Yes, the kiss at the end was more than a bit predictable but hey, this is Hollywood – a passionate embrace after barely escaping almost certain death is basically movie law.
This Means War
Five words - Chris Pine and Tom Hardy.
But there is more than enough action in this surprisingly entertaining romantic comedy to make it genuinely fun to watch and it’s a great film choice if you’re planning to a low-key romantic experience by curling up on the couch with your loved one and a giant bowl of popcorn this Valentine’s Day.
True Lies (1994)
Yes, we know it’s obvious but no list of action romance movies would be complete without True Lies.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis are brilliant as the middle-aged couple looking to spice up their marriage.
Of course, Arnie’s character just happens to be a secret agent leading a double life his wife knew nothing about, setting the stage for more than two hours of action as the two of them realise what was previously missing from their relationship – adventure.
It’s so very cheesy but we love it.
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
The inclusion of the fourth film in the Bourne franchise rather than any of the previous three is nothing to do with it starring Jeremy Renner and everything to do with the budding romance between his character Aaron Cross and biochemist Martha Shearing as they cross continents to evade the CIA agents trying to kill them.
There are those that might argue the romance between the two barely even existed but there’s a lot to be said about the ‘slow-burner’.
And we were right there with Martha (Rachel Weisz) on the boat at the end as she told Aaron she was ‘hoping they were lost’.
So OK, maybe Jeremy Renner was part of the reason this film features in our Top 10.
It’s Disney. It’s funny. It has plenty of animated action. And it features as close to a hot air balloon as you can get without it actually being a hot air balloon.
And if those alone were not enough reasons to love it, Up begins with one of the sweetest love stories we’ve ever seen on screen.
Yes, it’s also one of the saddest beginnings to a Disney movie we have ever seen but regardless, if we find a love even half as enduring as that between Ellie and Carl, we’ll be happy.
And if Up taught us one thing above anything else, it's to take those adventures with the one we love today instead of waiting for a 'tomorrow' that might never come.
No, YOU'RE crying.
The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)
Bringing the epic fantasy action of J.R.R. Tolkien’s sprawling novel to the big screen was no mean feat.
Orcs, wizards, subterranean battles, giant eagles, one ring to rule them all – there is adventure aplenty just in this first instalment of Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy.
And one thing the film also made the most of is the love between Aragorn and Arwen, star-crossed lovers who find a way to be together despite only one of them being immortal.
Romance, ancient Egyptian adventure style.
The Mummy (1999)
This final film of our list is definitely one of our guilty pleasures.
Although it lacks the class of Han and Leia’s snarky exchanges in Star Wars, the playground bickering between Evelyn and Rick is still entertaining and makes it pretty obvious that romance is on the cards.
Plus, while Rick might rescue Evelyn from being sacrificed, it’s ultimately she who saves the day by turning baddie Imhotep mortal so he can finally be sent back to the underworld.
And if you can find love while fighting the Ancient Egyptian undead, you can find it anywhere!
Which action and adventure film with a healthy dash of love and romance would make your list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
And if you're ready for your very own romantic hot air balloon ride adventure, take a look at our stunning flight options.
It really will be love at first height.