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VALENTINE PICKS

Valentine’s Day approaches quickly!  You’ve got the flowers, you’ve got the candy, you’ve reserved your favorite waterfront table, right?  Yeah, me neither.  ;-)  But one thing you definitely don’t want to be without on this most romantic of holidays is the perfect film to set the mood.  So, we’ve compiled a quick list of DVD’s that are sure to fit the bill and help begin (or end) your evening on the right note.  And remember, love means never having to say, “sorry, we have to watch this on VHS…”

LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING:

1.      TITANIC

The most romantic movie ever?  Well, it didn’t rake in a cool billion worldwide without somebody making a few repeat trips to the theatre.  With stellar performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the leads, this beautiful love story set against the backdrop of the greatest ocean going disaster in history makes hearts swell and eyes water time and time again.

2.       CASABLANCA

Bogey.  Bergman.  Need I say more?  War often makes the best backdrops for the greatest love stories, and no movie captures that essence better than this one.  Here’s looking at this DVD, time and time again.

3.       SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

One of the most beautiful, most funny, and most romantic films of recent years, this seven-time Oscar winner places the Bard in the middle of a love story as great as his own Romeo and Juliet.

4.       PRETTY WOMAN

Sniff…I love it when they finally let her shop.  ;-)  The story is classic, Richard Gere and Julia Roberts are timeless in their chemistry, and the movie is sweet and funny, like a fairy tale come to life.

5.       THE GOODBYE GIRL

One of the best romantic comedies ever, Neil Simon creates two wonderful characters, brought to life by Marsha Mason and Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss, and sets them loose in a terrific story about finding the courage to fall in love just one more time.

6.       LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

The first act of this movie is as funny and romantic as it comes, as Roberto Benigni woos his real life spouse Nicoletta Braschi in almost magical ways.  This film contains probably the most wondrous first date scenario of any movie, too.

7.       DIRTY DANCING

The gents guffawed, but the ladies lined up in droves to watch the handsome Patrick Swayze sweep pretty young Jennifer Grey off of her feet in this coming-of-age story about love, life, and of course, dancing.

8.       JERRY MAGUIRE

Sports fans may only remember “show me the money” from this smart and well-acted Cameron Crowe comedy, but the romantic at heart always treasure “you had me at hello” instead.  Tom Cruise is a down on his luck sports agent forced to learn if his ideals actually still mean anything, and Rene Zellweger is the woman who believes in the man he’s trying to be.

9.       MY FAIR LADY

The rain in Spain may fall mainly on the Spaniards, but there’s nothing but sunshine in this beautifully colorful adaptation of the popular stage musical.  Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison bring Eliza and Higgins to comical life with great performances and a bevy of wonderful songs.

10.    NOTTING HILL

For me, this is like a romantic fantasy for the guys.  A beautiful movie star walks into the bookshop of a humble, simple storekeeper, and the romance soars.  The film stars Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant—can you guess who plays which role?

LOVE STINKS:  

Okay, maybe Valentine’s Day doesn’t exactly bring out the romantic in everyone.  For those who would rather not bothered with paper hearts, moonlit walks and whispering sweet nothings, here’s a second list of titles that might enhance your special way of celebrating the holiday.  Just to be fair.

1.       IN THE COMPANY OF MEN

Absolutely and without question the LAST disc you want to pop in your player in the presence of your wife or girlfriend. 

2.       CRUEL INTENTIONS

NOT your typical teenage sex comedy.  Something deliciously wicked is at play here.

3.       LOLITA

There’s nothing like watching a man’s slow, painful deterioration brought on by his affair with an underage girl.  Stanley Kubrick or Adrian Lyne, take your choice which version you want; they’re equally effective.

4.       THE NAKED KISS

A blushing bride strolls into her finance’s house with wedding gown in tow, only to find him…well, let’s just say you only thought you had problems in your love life.

5.       CALIGULA

You don’t want romance?  You can’t possibly get any further from it than this repulsive, over-the-top, pornographic home movie disguised as a historical epic. 

6.       WILD THINGS

Sleazy characters, underhanded motives, sexual manipulation…everything you want in a film when you don’t want to celebrate the holiday.

7.       KURT & COURTNEY

A charming documentary about a rock star and his opportunistic wife, who may or may not have had him killed to further her climb to the top.

8.       BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN

“Want friend”?  Sorry, Frank.  The monster’s mate hisses at him like an angry cat as he blows up the lab around them in disgust.  More proof that you just can’t “make” the perfect couple.

9.       DEAD RINGERS

Brilliant twin gynecologists fall for the same pill-popping actress, and become strung out, tragic shells of their former selves as a result.  Love, Cronenberg style.

10.    OTHELLO (1952)

A jealous, misguided general strangles his innocent bride in her bed.  Somehow, I don’t think Hallmark has a card for that one.

YOUR PICKS!

Now we want to hear from you!  What's your favorite romantic or anti-romantic film?  Send us an email with your pick and your name, and we'll post it here!

Becky Hanks, Atlanta GA:  Dirty Dancing

Jonas Dobkins, Jacksonville FL:  Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction