Since going to the movies with your sweetheart is still out of the question, here’s a few Valentine’s Day Movies to get those cuddles going.
by Max Fischer
Check out these movies this Valentine’s Day
The smell of roses in the air, overly expensive boxes of chocolates you only eat half of because of nausea, and you’ve eaten all the ones with the weird fillings (the best ones, it’s like a gooey mystery with every bite). Hallmark cards that are so extravagant, you feel like you should get a prize with every purchase. Giant teddy bears that are cute, cuddly, and wonderful the day you receive them but get a little scary after a night or two of sweetly blank stares (I know Mr. Sweets turned his head, but no one believes me!)
Yes, friends, all of these hallmarks are the telltale signs that Valentine’s Day is again here! And since going to the movies with your sweetheart or bow is still out of the question, I’m here to give you some quality love story flicks that’ll have you feeling like love can truly move mountains (or at least move you into a snuggling position with your significant other). So get ready to feel the warm and fuzzies!
This 1942 classic directed by Micheal Curtiz is the type of picture I’m sure your grandma swears by and with good reason. Maybe it’s the dark yet lavish setting of WWII Morocco with its classy yet seedy feel? Run by the king of the whisper talk himself, Humphrey Bogart, playing an ex-pat Rick Blaine – that just wants to be left alone with a drink in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth until an old flame, Lisa (Ingrid Bergman), with her new resistance fighter husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), in toe makes him question whether or not he should get involved in the conflict. What seems to be (at least from the plot summary I just gave) to be a spy cloak and dagger affair is anything but. Instead, through the wise use of flashbacks, we see how these people fell in love and inevitably drifted apart. Creating a real sense of the lapse of time allowing us to see the hearts of these two lovers grow in yearning for each other as well as showcase the catalyst for heartbreak. So if you’re wondering why you’re grandma always asks you to get the tissue box whenever this plays on TCM, give it a shot.
At this point, the hype around Titanic is bigger than the actual ship ever was, but in my opinion, it deserves it. Yes, the film is sappy, yes it is a vehicle for then heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio to show just how much of a heartthrob he can be, and yes, the movie is very long, clocking in at over 3 hours, but despite all this, it works. Forget about all the historical inaccuracies. Forget about the somewhat shoehorned class critique. Forget about whether or not Jack could have put himself on that floating piece of wood so he and Rose could have survived. (Hashtag chivalry’s not dead) Just look at it as a movie where two young people are stuck on a boat for a few days, and grow wildly affectionate for one another. If you take out all the hype, that’s where the magic really lies in the sense of youthful abandonment you only get when you’re young. That sense that you’re feeling in this moment is so strong even the sinking of a ship can’t tear you away from the person that illicits this passion inside you. And don’t even get me started on the theme song, straight banger through and through!
Notting Hill certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel in any drastic way, but the tweaks it adds to the formula spice things up just enough to keep things interesting. What we have here is the classic famous person falls for regular Joe story, except the roles are gender-swapped. The big-time movie star is Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), and the regular Joe is London bookstore owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant, in peak charm). The film goes through all the usual stuff. Anna and William fall in love rather quickly because there’s only a 2-hour run time. Then they break up and aren’t on speaking terms due to a blunder on Williams front. He fixes his mistake in a grand and public display just before the credits roll and happy ever after. Still, the sheer charm and chemistry of the two leads transforms the picture from being yet another by the numbers rom-com to something more akin to a grounded fairytale. The film has this enchanting quality that will have you wondering, “why are most rom-coms sammie slogs? Why can’t they be more like Notting Hill?”
In The Mood For Love
I’m going to come right out with it this movie in Cantonese, so you’re going to have to read subtitles (unless by chance you’re somehow fluent, then I’m thoroughly impressed). I know that may be an instant turn-off to some, but trust me, if you stick with it, you’re in for a great treat both from a story standpoint as well as a visual one. Journalist Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) moves into a new apartment with his wife, who often isn’t home. Through sheer boredom, he strikes up a friendship with the beautiful Su Li-Zhen (Maggie Cheung Man-yuk). What follows is a slow burn of almost wordless passion that genuinely has to be seen to be understood. I’ll put it like this, imagine lighting a match and watching the way the flame slowly and beautifully devours the stick, it’s not forceful, but the flame and the match are in unison from the moment the spark is lit until there’s nothing left. That’s In The Mood For Love.
Netflix and Chill this Valentine’s Day
A cynic might say Valentine’s Day is just a commercial holiday where you buy over-priced gifts for your significant other that only end up in the trash the next day. But it’s more than that. Valentine’s Day is a personal day for you and your special someone to reconfirm why you think they’re so special in the first place. It’s the one day of the year where you can fall in love all over again. So I hope these movies help rustle up those special feelings between partners, so they can undoubtedly confirm just how special they truly are to one another. Happy Valentine’s Day (try not to eat too much chocolate).