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Art from the Heart

Skip Dinner, Go to a Movie this Valentine's Day

A Princes Bride
Published on February 11, 2010

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Two people silently, frantically try to recall a funny story or something, anything interesting to say—an awkward silence.  This Valentine’s Day, why not avoid the possibility altogether by taking your date out to a movie or staying in for a classic flick?

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Films:

(all films available on DVD unless otherwise noted)

10.  Enchanted

Director:  Kevin Lima
Released:  2007
Rating:  PG

Just as fairy tale character Giselle (Amy Adams) falls in love with the prince of her dreams, the evil queen banishes her to modern-day New York City.  She is lost and confused, but finds a friend—and more—in Philip (Patrick Dempsey) and his young daughter.  This Disney musical uses classic animation combined with real-life footage for a heartfelt romance that resonates with all ages.

9.  A Charlie Brown Valentine

Director:  Bill Melendez
Released:  2002
Rating:  G

It is Valentine’s Day again, and Charlie Brown spends all day thinking about how he can ask the little red-haired girl to a Valentine’s Day party.  Will he finally get the nerve to ask her?  This take on the classic Peanuts story is sweet, hilarious, and appropriate for all ages.

8.  Gone With the Wind

Director:  Victor Fleming
Released:  1939
Rating:  G

This classic film, set during the American Civil War, looks at the war from a woman’s perspective.  It centers on spunky Scarlett O’Hara (Viven Leigh) and the man she grows to love, Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).

7. Moulin Rouge!

Director:  Baz Luhrmann
Released:  2001
Rating:  PG-13

Set in Paris in 1899, bohemian poet Christian (Ewan McGregor) falls into a tragic love affair with the courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman).  However, the Duke, a patron at the club where Satine works, continues to vie for Satine’s undivided attention.  This musical film incorporates beautiful cinematography, superb acting, and fantastical sets and costumes for an unforgettable story of true love.

6.  A Single Man

Director:  Tom Ford
Released:  2009
Rating:  R

A Single Man (Colin Firth and Julianne Moore)A Single Man (Colin Firth and Julianne Moore)

A Los Angeles college professor (Colin Firth) loses his longtime romantic partner in a car accident.  He feels lost and contemplates ending his own life, but is befriended by a student at the college where he teaches.  This film explores the inner psychological process that Firth’s character must go through to cope with the death of his loved one.  This film is currently showing at Film Streams.

5.  The Princess Bride

Director:  Rob Reiner
Released:  1987
Rating:  PG

Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn), bride-to-be of the evil Prince Humperdink (Chris Sarandon), is kidnapped by a band of robbers.  After the Dread Pirate Roberts rescues her from the bandits, she discovers that he is none other than Wesley (Cary Elwes), her one true love.  This hilarious classic includes a little something for everyone—adventure, romance, fantasy, history.

4.  50 First Dates

Director:  Peter Segal
Released:  2004
Rating:  PG-13

Henry (Adam Sandler) is a lady’s man with a fear of commitment—until he meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore).  However, Henry soon discovers that Lucy lost her entire short-term memory in a car accident.  As Henry finds himself falling more in love with Lucy, he must grapple with the question of whether they can ever have a future as a couple.

3.  Crazy Heart

Director:  Scott Cooper
Released:  2010
Rating:  R

Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is a country music singer broken down from a life of too many failed marriages, too much alcohol, and too many years on tour.  But when he meets journalist Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), he finds himself able to open up his heart in his quest for purpose.  This film is now showing at Dundee Theatre and at most mainstream movie theaters.

2.  The Notebook

Director:  Nick Cassavetes
Released:  2004
Rating:  PG-13

Allie Hamilton’s (Rachel McAdams) rich parents do not approve of her less-than-wealthy love interest, Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling), and she is forbidden to be with him.  Eventually, she believes Noah has forgotten about her, and she becomes engaged to a young man of wealth. Before the wedding day, however, Allie has an unexpected discovery.  This historical romance explores the emotional, physical and psychological effects of love in a genuinely moving story.

1.  Valentine’s Day

Director:  Garry Marshall
Released:  2010
Rating:  PG-13

An all-star celebrity cast joins together to create a series of interrelated vignettes set in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day.  The characters include a newly engaged couple, a 10-year-old experiencing his first crush, an older married couple, a phone sex operator and more.  This film opens in theaters on February 12.

chillmerChrista Hillmer

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