Ah, Valentine’s Day. For many, it is a day to celebrate and cherish the love between two people. For many others, its make-it-or-break-it time!! Gentlemen, I’m looking squarely at you. Not to fear, Paul of Cinema Recon is here to help! Now, once you’re done collecting yourself in the presence of my celebrity, I would like to assist you in making this Valentine’s Day a guaranteed success. I present to you my Top 5 Movies For Valentine’s Day:
#5) The Mist
Now fellas, stop me when I hit too close to home: You’re on the couch with your best girl, flipping through channels, and your favorite action movie just happens to be on right that very minute! “Let’s watch this!” you say, “It will only be on 17 more times this month on HBO!” Your better half proceeds to cross her arms and roll her eyes, “Another shoot ‘em up??! More explosions?? Why can’t you be more cultured! Jessica’s boyfriend, Todd, took HER to go see A Frenchman Walks Amongst Doves.” Ouch. …stupid Todd.
Well this Valentine’s Day, get ready to impress your loved one by surprising her with Frank Darabont’s touching rendition of Stephen King’s The Mist! First of all, the entire film is in black and white (theatrical version), so she’ll immediately know you have an eye for the classics! That’s right, she’ll be shocked all to hell that you were mature enough to find a film of such exquisite tastes. Move over, The Artist! The Mist is a joyous romp as Father and Son have some bonding time at the local supermarket while learning the virtues of togetherness, religion, and proper pest control. The film culminates with a powerful final scene in which our heroes realize the importance of patience!
How about a little eye candy for the ladies? Yeah that’s right, I’m talking about that dreamboat Brad Pitt! If this Valentine’s Day your girl just wants to curl up with a blanket, a glass of wine, and pretend that her mother was right and she could have done better, treat her to Pitt’s charm in the 1995 romantic comedy Seven!
Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare In Love) stars alongside the aforementioned Achilles himself, as the two lovebirds try to adjust to their new big city life! Pitt’s performance is sinfully good as he tries to balance an aspiring detective career with his loving wife at home. Will Brad catch the bad guys before the roast gets cold!? What happens when he starts bringing his work home with him!? Uh oh! Unexpected house guests and no clean china dishes?!? This film will leave you so full of hilarity, you’ll need a take-out box when its over!
#3) Pan’s Labyrinth
I’m willing to bet you and your Cherry Pie have seen every Disney movie a dozen times, right? So instead of going out for Beauty and the Beast in 3D, get your family fantasy fix at home this Valentine’s Day with Guillermo Del Torro’s Pan’s Labyrinth!
No, this is not a sequel to the 1986 film Labyrinth, starring everyone’s favorite singing Goblin King, David Bowie, but its got twice the fantasy and thrice the memorable characters! Also known as El Laberinto Del Fauno in Spain (See! You’re cultured!), this whimsical tale follows the playful antics of a young girl on a quest to become a princess! Follow the adventures of young Ofelia as she sprints after fairies, dances with fauns, and even dines with a cartoonish old man that has eyeballs on his hands (how hysterical!!). Will little Ofelia become the princess she is destined to be?? I don’t want to spoil anything but…yes. Yes she does, and its a very beautiful and happy ending, completely devoid of the metaphorical.
The candles are lit. The music is playing. She’s wearing that beautiful diamond necklace you surprised her with. How can this Valentine’s Day get any more romantic, you ask? Well…how about a little cinema….in the bedroom! Take her by the hand and follow those rose petals right up the DVD player, then gently slide under the sheets for Darren Aronofsky‘s lustful, adults-only film…Requiem for a Dream. Bow-chicka-wah-wow!
Satisfy both of your hungers while watching an erotic tale of four sexy characters…and their insatiable desire for [chocolate]! First, you’ll meet Sara, played by the sensual Ellen Burstyn, who loves working solo, trying on slinky red dresses and devouring the [chocolate] she so desperately craves! Next, you’ll see the [chocolate]-addicted Harry and Marion take turns giving eachother [chocolate] until there is absolutely none left! But never fear, sexy Tyrone is here! What follows is a [chocolate] threeway, with these young teens taking [chocolate] to heights you never thought possible! I’ll save the rest for you lovers out there…just be sure to have a heart shaped box of [chocolate] and some towels handy for this one!
#1) The Descent
That’s right boys. A chick flick. I know, I know, I can hear you rolling your eyes from here. But hear me out on this. Valentine’s Day is truly about one thing: making your favorite gal happy. This day is about her! You, as well as I, can suck it up for one day out of the entire year and sit through a movie that SHE wants to watch. And there is no better feel good movie that that says “I’m a loving, caring boyfriend” like the feminist-centric 2005 film The Descent.
Ripe with female empowerment, The Descent is one part Sex and the City, one part Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and a dash of any movie ever to star Meryl Streep. We take a long, introspective look into the struggles of friendship and love as six women attempt to reconnect with one another on the perfect vacation getaway (Hey Bro, sit down, I’m not done talking yet!). Sarah represents the loss of what once was. Juno represents the excitement of what could be. And then the rest of the girls represent some other powerful emotions that are unquestionably powerfully powerful. Can they stay together as the weight of the world comes crashing down around them? How will they react when faced with the dark caverns of their own insecurities. Watch as these six women battle their respective demons. Together.
I know what you’re thinking fellas: “How can I possibly sit through ANY OF THAT?!” I never said it would be easy. But, dammit, love isn’t supposed to be easy! So grab a few Red Bulls, sit up straight, and show her your sensitive side this Valentine’s Day. Maybe you’ll even be her “Todd” the next time she brags to her friends.