Flowers and a nice dinner are the usual combination for a successful Valentine’s Day. But there’s also something to be said for staying in and watching a romantic movie (a little champagne while you watch doesn’t hurt). Here are five films that fit the bill.
“Say Anything…” – John Cusack plays Lloyd, a high-school senior who sets his sights on dating Diane (Ione Skye), the class valedictorian and all-around all-star student – and improbably succeeds. But it’s not all smooth sailing in Cameron Crowe’s film. Everyone remembers the boombox-over-the-head scene, but don’t forget the saddest line: “I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.”
“Casablanca” – A romantic movie doesn’t have to have a traditionally happy ending. Humphrey Bogart plays Rick Blaine, an American in Morocco in 1941. A former freedom fighter, now he runs a popular nightclub. In walks Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), his former love. Things get complicated from there, as Nazis start a presence in the city and Rick learns why Ilsa walked out on him years before. You’ve probably heard this line before, but it’s worth seeing in context: “Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But soon, and for the rest of your life.”
“When Harry Met Sally…” – Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are appropriately adorable as best friends who avoid a romantic relationship for as long as they can. The scene in the restaurant is what people talked about (the woman who says, “I’ll have what she’s having” after Ryan’s performance is director Rob Reiner’s mother). But the sweetest bits are the couples between scenes talking about how they met.
“The Princess Bride” – A sick boy’s grandfather tells him a story, and what a story it is. A princess named Buttercup must marry Prince Humperdinck; only Westley (or is he the Dread Pirate Roberts?) can save her. Hilarious and sweet, with one of the best last lines, ever.
“The Philadelphia Story” – Wonder why Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart are still so famous? Spend a couple of hours watching this and you’ll know. Hepburn plays Tracy Lord, a rich woman about to marry for the second time. Her former husband (Grant) isn’t ready to let her go, so he weasels his way into the pre-wedding festivities with a tabloid reporter (Stewart) and a photographer (Ruth Hussey). Complications arise, in a big way. It’s a brilliant movie, as contemporary now as it was 77 years ago when it came out.