As everyone with a calendar knows, February 14th is Valentines Day. It’s also a day of new film releases. So if you want to celebrate cinematically, you’ll have several choices. You can play it safe with Safe Haven, the latest Nicholas Sparks love story without spark. Or you can go the counterprogramming way with A Good Day to Die Hard, which will set some hearts aflutter, my explosion-loving wife’s to name but one.
Just as love is a many splendored thing, so too are love films. No matter what your heart’s desire, there’s a movie out there for you, and I’m not just talking about Ghost or Casablanca. Here are some home video recommendations for everyone.
For the Hopeless Romantic
For him, (500) Days of Summer (2009). For her, Amelie (2001). Watch both back to back to see the similarities between Tom Hansen and Amélie Poulain. And then be thankful they’re not in the same movie because the universe would implode.
For the Scorned Ex-lover
1987’s Fatal Attraction is the go-to flick in this category, so I’ll instead go with the oft-ignored, much-maligned Indecent Proposal (1993). Whether it’s Glenn Close obsessing over Michael Douglas or Woody Harrelson over Demi Moore, the director is the same -- Adrian Lyne.
For the Recently Married
Barefoot in the Park (1967). Question: What man wouldn’t want to be late for work due to his new bride’s libido as personified in the Barbarella-era Jane Fonda wearing nothing but Robert Redford’s dress shirt? Answer: A gay man.
For the Recently Divorced
Do you really want to watch a heartfelt film after going through a heartbreaking divorce? Sign up with Match.com instead (It’s okay to look).
For the We-fight-like-savages-so-we-must-really-love-each-other Couple.
Any rom com starring Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock, Doris Day, etc. Your choice. My choice – 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, if only for the shot of Angelina Jolie wearing nothing but boots and Brad Pitt’s dress shirt. Jane would be proud.
For the Other Woman
The Other Woman (2009) starring Natalie Portman. Full disclosure: I haven’t seen this film and have no idea what it’s about, but the title fits.
For the First Love
You're in Love, Charlie Brown (1967). The fourth installment in the blockbuster Peanuts franchise offers a poignant portrayal of a boy’s first love and every misadventure that entails. Also, the shot of the Little Red-Haired Girl wearing nothing but Charlie’s zig zag shirt would make Jane and Angie proud.
Steven D'Arcangelo is a transplanted Bostonian living in LA with his lovely transplanted wife Carrie. When not reviewing films, he writes screenplays. When not writing screenplays, he does graphic design and illustration. When not doing graphic design and illustration, he denies being a workaholic. When not denying he's a... Well, you get the idea.