It’s not that love is bullshit, per se, but Valentine’s Day kind of is. It gives a false sense of what love actually looks like. If you have a healthy skepticism of Valentine’s Day, worry not. Here, we’ve complied a list of the best “Valentine’s Day” movies for a full-day film festival. Don’t expect to see The Notebook on this list: we need to stop letting Nicholas Sparks fool people into thinking love looks like James Garner and Gena Rowlands dying in each other’s arms. Instead, these movies show how love is messy, complicated, and strange. You know, romance.
There are few things better than blankets, snacks, comfortable attire and romantic movies. All you need to do now is order the food.
The Classic: Roman Holiday
The tale of a princess who escapes the close watch of her appointed security to explore Rome and accidentally falls in love, as one does. This one stars Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann. As you are no doubt aware, a Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster is basically the female college student’s version of the Scarface poster.1
Also, watching a black and white movie will automatically make you seem more sophisticated. That’s really the only reason it made the list—because typically one should never invite comparisons to Gregory Peck, because one will typically come away scathed. But also: Aubrey Hepburn, right?
The Indie: Juno
A heartwarming tale of teen pregnancy. Sure, it might not seem like a very romantic choice—what with Jason Bateman creeping on a very pregnant, very underage Juno—but if you’re lucky enough to still be with your high school sweetheart, this one will reassure you it was definitely a good idea to not have a child before you can buy alcohol.
Juno could also reassure you that babies don’t fix broken marriages. “That’ll never be us,” you can say at the appropriate time, and you’ll both feel just a bit safer.
The ’90s Throwback: Muriel’s Wedding
This is probably Toni Collette’s best performance after United States of Tara. Muriel’s Wedding follows the tale of a social outcast seeking revenge on the people who bullied her in high school by putting on a wedding with a made up fiancé before seeking to escape her small town life.
This one will make you feel better about your own relationship because at least neither of you are paying for the other’s company. Plus: your partner will feel way less desperate than Muriel.
The ’80s Classic: Moonstruck
If you were born in the 1990s, you likely know Cher as the bewigged, auto-tuned pop star who questions whether you are strong enough for life after love; and know Nicholas Cage as the star of looking crazy on the Internet. But, they actually both won Oscars. Cher won hers for this flick about falling in love with your fiancé’s brother. Don’t you just hate when that happens?
If you have a more attractive younger brother with a better personality than you, maybe you should avoid this one. Otherwise, it’ll 100 percent make you appreciate how you do not live with your parents.
The Comedy: Wedding Crashers
Those who laugh together stay together. Likewise, those that point out problematic gender tropes together also stay together. And there are some whoppers in this film about two bros who attend weddings in order to have sex with women who are feeling vulnerable and inadequate.
Also, since you’re at home with your partner eating food and watching movies you are safe to open yourself up to comparisons between you and Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Hint: you will look better.
The Kate Hudson One: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is frustrated at her magazine job where she thinks her journalistic skills are unappreciated. Her next story idea, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” is where advertising executive Ben Barry (Matthew McConaughey) comes into the picture. Plot twist, he’s in a bet with his boss to get any woman to fall in love with him in 10 days. Moral of the story: girl falls in love with subject, boy falls in love with bet, both are kind of shitty people.
Let this film be an object lesson in the dangers of poor communication, dating a sociopath, and making a high concept romantic comedy that doesn’t resemble real life at all.
The Thriller: Drive
This one might be more for you than her (sorry for the heteronormative assumption there)—although, maybe we’re wrong. Maybe she’s as big a fan of late-career Albert Brooks as you are or maybe she enjoys that soundtrack just as much as you do. Drive is the neo-noir tale of a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver and falls in love with his neighbour Irene.
The classic tale of a Knight in Shining Souvenir Jacket is a total romantic trope and the dynamic between the Driver and Irene’s kid will probably make her ovaries explode. But for real though, nobody communicates more effectively via grins than our man Gosling.
The Animated One: WALL-E
A Pixar movie is always a good choice, especially when it’s about a robotic trash compactor who travels across the galaxy in search of EVE, the sexy sentient iPod he has fallen for. Especially good for dudes who don’t talk much…
I mean, WALL-E literally traveled across the galaxy to find the “woman” he loves. If that’s not heartwarming enough for you, IDK what is. But lets not forget, this one is animated for a reason.
The Teen Movie: 10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate About You is a modern re-telling of William Shakespeare’s irredeemably sexist “The Taming of the Shrew,” only this time, it’s only a little bit sexist. Made at the height of the Teen Movie era, this movie inspired too many men to plan too many flash mobs to get women to love them.
The budding romance between Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger’s characters will remind you of how all-encompassing young love feels. Nostalgia is a potent aphrodisiac. This film will also remind you that Andrew Keegan was once a thing.
The Creepy Love Story: Edward Scissorhands
Even though Edward has scars on his face and scissors for hands, Kim still falls for him. Not only does this flick feature Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder at their offbeat best, it also introduced the world to beefed-up Anthony Michael Hall.
If Kim can fall in love with Edward even with his scissor hands, then maybe she can fall in love with you and your receding hairline. This one proves it’s all about what’s on the inside.
The Cult Classic: Harold and Maude
Harold, a 20-year-old man who is obsessed with death—he drives a hearse and regularly attends funerals—meets eccentric Maude, a 79-year-old woman who shows the young nihilist the true meaning of life. Spoiler alert: it’s about having fun.
It doesn’t matter how “Odd Coupleish” you two are, there is meaning in your relationship.
The Slasher: Valentine
Because not all Valentine’s Day movies need to be about falling in love. Some are just shitty slasher flicks about a psychopath getting his high school revenge.
Don’t do what this movie does.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||And both films include some pretty racist casting!|