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Movies for Valentines Day
Valentine's Day is a great day to catch up on a romantic movie.
21. Two Weeks Notice
Director Marc Lawrence Starring Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Alicia Witt, Dana Ivey, Robert Klein. Plot Lucy Kelton Sandra Bullock is the Chief Legal Counsel for one of New Yorks leading commercial real estate firms, the Wade Corporation. George Wade Hugh Grant, is the eccentric and remarkably self centered head of the firm who seems entirely incapable of making a decision without Lucys advice. When things start to get too much for Lucy, she gives him two weeks notice, and George reluctantly accepts, under one condition Lucy has to hire her own replacement. After extensive research, Lucy picks June Carter Alicia Witt, a Harvard Law graduate determined to make a career for herself. Lucy soon begins to suspect, however, that June plans to hasten her rise up the corporate ladder by winning Georges hand, leaving Lucy to wonder if she should warn George about his beautiful but calculating new attorney and whether she should tell George that she has finally realized shes in love with him.
22. Groundhog Day
Everyone loves Groundhog Day, right? Ive always found it curious that many people dont regard it primarily as a romance. I guess its understandable given how funny it is and its fantastical premise, but much of this story is about Bill Murrays character learning how to truly love someone other than himself. He develops such a profound longing over time for Andie MacDowells character because hes given unlimited time to fully appreciate what makes her unique, which transforms his baser lusts into genuine love. Ultimately, he works toward making her life better in the one day hes allotted with a selflessness that comes from a lack of expectations of reward.
23. It Happened One Night
Valentines Day is a great opportunity to revisit some film classics from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and they dont come any more classic than It Happened One Night. In many ways the quintessential American romantic comedy to predate the implementation of the Production Code in 1934, it tells the story of a young socialite runaway Claudette Colbert who tags along with a streetwise reporter Clark Gable. It goes pretty much exactly as youd expect they both learn from each others very different skill set, and opposites absolutely attract. Its famous for its hitchhiking scene, where the wily Colbert successfully flags down a car simply by showing a little leg, completely emasculating Gable. His reaction is priceless.
24. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Andersons 2012 film is described as an eccentric pubescent love story, but its really not quite as eccentric as it would have you believe. Through just about any form of measurement, its probably Andersons most simple and sincere film, a genuinely heartfelt story about a couple of weird kids and their confusing adolescent romance. The directors films are so often about exceptional children growing into adults who fail to achieve their promise, but here they never have that chance. Its an optimistic story that entertains the possibility that maybe love really is all we need. Call it sappy, but the innocence is refreshing. Also, Billy Murray is there perhaps his presence is the biggest deciding factor to getting on this list?
25. Drinking Buddies
If you feel compelled to go full indie and cant stand love stories with tidy, happy endings, Drinking Buddies should be your pick. Its an unconventional romance in that most of the characters never commit to the relationships or infidelities we expect them to. Instead, its about temptation, the lies we tell ourselves in a relationship and the boundaries between friendship and romantic feelings. A scion of but not full fledged entry into the mumblecore genre, its largely improvised dialog lends an air of reality to the conversations, but those expecting typical genre conventions may find themselves perplexed when you dont get anything resembling the wedding bells ending of the typical romantic comedy.
A comedy drama starring Keri Russell as a pie baking waitress probably doesnt sound like something your boyfriend would seek out, but Waitress is much more than meets the eye. A fun, quirky movie thats as emotionally affecting as it is entertaining, it plays like a more feminine Coen Brothers flick. Russell is wonderful as Jenna, a Southerner waitress who finds empowerment and freedom from her overbearing, emotionally abusive husband first in an affair and then in a new source of love. This film, unlike some of the others, is not so much about romantic love as it is about finding love for self. It was an impressive achievement for writer/director Adrienne Shelly, who was tragically murdered three months before its debut.
27. Scott Pilgrim vs the World
I love Edgar Wrights whole Cornetto trilogy of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The Worlds End, but for my money this is easily his most impressive film to date. For all the appreciation that has grown for it since its poor box office showing, Scott Pilgrim still hasnt truly gotten its due. Most of what makes it great in addition to the stellar writing is Wrights incredibly creative visual aesthetic, seamlessly blending influences from comics, video games and pop art into a whole that just works, against all odds. The romance aspect is a bit more young adult and inconsequential, but youre unlikely to notice in a film so vibrant and full of life.
28. His Girl Friday
If youve ever wondered what the big deal is about women and Cary Grant, then youve probably never seen His Girl Friday. One of the absolute classic screwball comedies of Hollywoods Golden Age, it was a definitive role for Grant as a hard boiled newspaper editor. Its actually fairly progressive, or at least tries to be, as beautiful star Rosalind Russell plays her reporter role vivaciously and plans to leave the scheming Grant behind her before getting caught up in the news story of the decade. The pair have a comic chemistry that has rarely been seen in the near 75 years since, and the movie moves so fast that you hardly have time to breathe. Every joke ever made about fast talking 1940s newspapermen had its source in this movie.
29. Monsoon Wedding
It would be a crime to leave foreign romances off this list entirely. The Indian Monsoon Wedding is a little hard to describe, but suffice to say it plays out a little bit like Father of the Bride meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding, except, you know
30. The Brothers Bloom
If The Brothers Bloom came out in 2014, wed probably be looking at Wes Anderson like success for the film, but way back in 2008, a lot fewer people were familiar with director Rian Johnson. Sure, there were devoted fans of his neo noir Brick, but it wasnt until the runaway success of 2012s Looper that he was put on the map as an ascendant Hollywood director. This earlier tale of con men brothers was a great star vehicle for Adrian Brody and Mark Ruffalo in particular, whose performance then hinted at the comic potential he would later display as Bruce Banner in The Avengers. Rachel Weisz is especially good as the bizarre love interest who gets brought along on a continent spanning adventure. The complicated plot is a little wonky, but the romance is sweetly endearing and Johnson gives it a fun, globe trotting panache.
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