persistence is key

Stalking someone isn't really stalking if all you want to do is make them your girlfriend. Then it's just "creative courtship." And--as these movies can attest--if you do it right, stalking can be downright charming.

• Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)--Poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks (Eric Stoltz) tries to win over the beautiful popular girl (Lea Thompson) who happens to be dating the Guy With The Hot Car. He does this by stalking her when she's at home, following her when she's at school, and spying on her when she's out with her boyfriend. At first she thinks this behavior is creepy, until he blows his entire life savings on a pair of diamond earrings for her, and then she finds it sweet.

• Say Anything (1989)--Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), the school schlub, sets his sights on Diane Court (Ione Skye), the smartest girl in school, who is--surprise!--also ravishing. His stalking repertoire includes: sitting across from her at the food court pretending they're on a date and having his friend (the inimitable Lili Taylor) take pictures of him and Diane when she walks by unknowingly. In a twist of pure genius, Lloyd decides the best way to ask Diane out is to... get this... call her up. Romance ensues.

• Notting Hill (1999)--The practice of stalking a high school girl is one thing. But stalking an international celebrity takes a whole 'nother level of skill, especially if you want to proceed without a restraining order. William Thacker (Hugh Grant) manages to do so in the most self-deprecating, endearing way possible after the most famous film actress in the world (played by Julia Roberts, the most famous film actress in the world) stumbles into his measly travel bookshop. She is mean to him at first and then nice to him and then mean to him and then nice to him. And so goes the life of a stalker. J.B. RABIN