While cinema listings for the UK this weekend include some outstanding prospects to aid romance by tugging at your heart strings (Nowhere Boy, The Road, Avatar, Precious) and some that you may choose to avoid, if you decide to stay in and cuddle on the sofa HeyUGuys has some suggestions that will lift the spirit and be the perfect accompaniment with your wine and chocolates.
These films are rated by their sheer unabashed romance and their continuing attraction. They promote such a sense of goodwill and are so well made and acted that they might tempt you to actually cancel your restaurant reservations, head to M&S for their ‘Dine In for Two’ deal and give your cinema tickets to your mum.
In reverse order then, here are my recommendations for the top 5 St. Valentine Date movies:
Christopher Reeve in his heyday was a beautiful man in dark slacks or blue tights. Seeing him unwittingly seduce Lois Lane, played wonderfully by the inimitable Margot Kidder, will take you back to the time when as a child you sat gawping at the silver screen at the possibilities this film created for your imagination, your desire to fly, it puts the recent remake to shame.
This movie is simply the most enjoyable of the Superman franchise and if you have not seen it for a while (or at all) then you are in for a treat. The action sequences are excellent, the audience are mesmerised with the heady mix of heroism and sass and like all great films you are left wondering where all the time has gone.
4. What’s Up Doc (1972)
This is shamelessly screwball film and an absolute gem. I can forgive Barbra Streisand anything for this film alone and I defy anyone not to empathise and enjoy the performances by both Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, an actor as beautiful as any in Hollywood and one whose comic timing and ability to look ridiculous is unsurpassed only by Redford in the number one film in this list.
This is comedy and chemistry genius and I continue to look forward to seeing it each time as though for the first time.
Three words should pretty much endorse this film as a contender for a great Valentine date film: Monroe, Bacall and Grable. Following each of them on their journey towards a love they never expected is charmingly life affirming, amusing and as classy as it is funny.
The women stunning, the men suitably smug, the story as buoyant as the ample petticoats donned beneath the exquisite fashion of the times. If there were any part in me that wished to be transported back to a particular point back in time for a holiday then this would be it. I would happily play a bookish fourth waiting for my pump gas jockey to sweep me off my feet.
2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
So much has already been said and sang about this film and its stars. Audrey Hepburn is outstanding as Holly Golightly and the young George Peppard is as gorgeous and stoical as he could be as Fred/Paul. I think that these characters have carved up their right for existence since their introduction to the silver screen and a bit of them lives in each of us.
There is a great deal of nuance here that can be missed on a first or fifteenth viewing, but if only because the life and time it captures is winking at the brim of cool or just for the sheer beauty of it, this is an outstanding choice for Valentines.
What happens when you cast two of the most beautiful humans together in a film as a married couple, draw out their comic skills with brilliant dialogue, a sturdy plot, throw in a genius supporting cast and add late 1960’s sensibilities and fashion?
Jane Fonda is almost hysterical as the excitable Corie and Robert Redford is the po-faced, somewhat behind the times Paul who struggle to begin their marriage against the backdrop of counter-culture Manhattan.
Indeterminable same sex couples, acrobatic pensioners and giant cats with can openers ensue. If you have not seen this, gift a viewing to yourself as soon as possible and if you have, you know you really should see it again. It is sexy, romantic, funny and constantly engaging and absolutely my number one choice.
All these films set very high standards in talent, script and production values, but for me it is the strength of the main characters that make all these films memorable and exciting. There are of course many others that could have been in this short list.
What would make your top 5, or even your number one Valentine Date movie?