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10 Not-So-Mushy Romances for Kids

"Is there kissing in it?"

In "The Princess Bride," the sports-loving grandson wrinkles his nose and poses that question to his grandfather, who's come to read him the ultimate "storybook story."

There was kissing in it but it turned out to be not so bad. So next time you're in the mood for love but don't want to gross out your kids pick a romance that doesn't pack a big "Ick!" factor. These 10 selections have high appeal while staying light on the cutesy quotient.

And, if you happen to have a baby-sitter for the night, check out our list of Romantic Rentals for Two.



Cootie Factor Key
Even though these flicks are light on the the mushy stuff, each has at least a few moments to make your child cry "Cooties!" Use our Cootie Factor chart to see how they stack up.

"Anastasia" (1997)

Meg Ryan voices Anastasia, the last surviving child of the Russian royal family, who is struggling to learn her true identity as she makes her way to Paris to decipher a mysterious locket. On the run from the evil Rasputin with two con men, the film's adventurous tale and brave heroine redefine the notion of princesses as damsels in distress. The pitch-perfect love-hate relationship between Anastasia and con man Dmitri (John Cusack) only adds to the film's charm.
MPAA Rating: G


"Beauty and the Beast" (1991)

Want a movie with a message that happens to feature infectious songs? Be our guest with this set-to-music love story to get your family singing along, and learning a thing or two about love being more powerful than looks.
MPAA Rating: G
Buy it on Amazon.com.



"Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown" (1975)

In this classic Peanuts installment, Charlie Brown sees all his romantic wishes come true. Yeah, right. Once again, Charlie's having trouble approaching his hoped-for valentine, the little red-haired girl. But really, Charlie's sad-sack moments make his few successes that much sweeter.
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Buy it on Amazon.com.

"Cinderella" (1950)

This Disney classic instantly conjures visions of ballgowns, magic carriages, slow dancing, and finding love in the face of a wicked stepmother. But kids don't have to worry about too many lovey-dovey Prince Charming moments, thanks to hilarious mice Jaques and Gus.
MPAA Rating: G
Buy it on Amazon.com.



"A Cinderella Story" (2004)

What if Cinderella could send text messages? This modern-day take on the fairy tale centers on tomboy Sam (Hillary Duff), stuck with a cosmetically enhanced and mean stepmom (Jennifer Coolidge) and a high-school social standing that's firmly in "out crowd" territory. So can Sam capture the attentions of an uber-popular "prince"? The sweet tale is a solid pick for tweens.
MPAA Rating: PG
Buy it on Amazon.com.



"Ever After" (1998)

Allegedly, this film tells the "real" story of Cinderella — the honest-to-goodness girl behind the Grimm Brothers fairy tale. Turns out, she's an independent 16th Century girl named Danielle (Drew Barrymore), used as a servant by her stepmother (a deliciously cruel Anjelica Houston). Some nice twists? Prince Charming is Prince Henry, who happens to be a bit of a rebel. And one of the stepsisters is actually nice!
MPAA Rating: PG
Buy it on Amazon.com.



"High School Musical" (2006)

Like "Grease" without the bad behavior, this international sensation wraps song-and-dance numbers around a heartwarming high school love story between super-brain Gabriella and super-jock Troy. The kids probably know the story (and songs) by heart but surely they won't mind an encore performance.
Rating: TV-G
Buy it on Amazon.com.



"Lady and the Tramp" (1955)

A street-smart canine and a prim pooch find love in a film that put spaghetti on the map as the world's most romantic food. And "Bella Notte" is the kind of song mom and dad can dance to once the kids are off to bed.
MPAA Rating: G
Buy it on Amazon.com.



"The Princess Bride" (1987)

Kids will be quoting Inigo Montoya and giant Fezzik for days after seeing this one. And grown-ups will be charmed by the romance between Westley, a lowly farm boy, and Buttercup. (And probably trading Inigo quotes with the kids, too.)
MPAA Rating: PG
Buy it on Amazon.com.



"Shrek" (2001)

This fairy tale may turn "Once upon a timeā€¦" inside-out but at its core "Shrek" — both the movie and the ogre — has heart. In a movie as packed with action and humor, kids might not notice the romantic chemistry crackling beneath Shrek and Princess Fiona's banter.
MPAA Rating:PG
Buy it on Amazon.com.



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