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The Best Of: Valentine's Day Movies
There are a number of Saints called Valentine who are honored on February 14. The day became associated with romantic love in the Middle Ages in England. This may have followed on from the Pagan fertility festivals that were held all over Europe as the winter came to an end. Traditionally, lovers exchanged hand written notes. Commercial cards became available in the mid nineteenth century.
The most common Valentine's Day symbols are the heart, particularly in reds and pinks, and pictures or models of Cupid. Cupid is usually portrayed as a small winged figure with a bow and arrow. In mythology, he uses his arrow to strike the hearts of people. People who have fallen in love are sometimes said to be 'struck by Cupid's arrow. Other symbols of Valentine's Day are couples in loving embraces and the gifts of flowers, chocolate, red roses and lingerie that couples often give each other. (Source)
And now, on to the movies...
Love, Eventually Movies
Sometimes forces in the universe work to keep lovers apart. Movies that epitomize that theory.
Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and produced by Christian Colson. It was co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan. It is an adaptation of the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup. Set and filmed in India, the film tells the story of Jamal Malik, a young man from the Juhu slums of Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and exceeds people's expectations, thereby arousing the suspicions of cheating; Jamal recounts in flashback how he knows the answer to each question, each one linked to a key event in his life. (Source)
Serendipity is a 2001 American romantic comedy film, starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.
On a bustling shopping day in the winter of 1990, Jonathon Trager meets Sara Thomas. Two strangers amid the masses in NYC, their paths collide in the mad holiday rush as they fall victim to a mutual attraction. Despite the fact that each is involved in another relationship, Jonathon and Sara spend the evening wandering Manhattan. But when the night reaches it's inevitable end, the two are forced into determining some kind of next step. When the smitten Jonathon suggests an exchange of phone numbers, Sara balks and proposes an idea that will allow fate to take control of their future. If they are meant to be together, she tells him, they will find their way back into one another's life. (Source)
Unexpectedly in Love Movies
Wait, what? We're in love?
Letters to Juliet
Letters to Juliet is a 2010 American romantic drama film starring Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael García Bernal, and Franco Nero. This was the final film of director Gary Winick. The film was released theatrically in North America and other countries on May 14, 2010. The idea for the film was inspired by the 2006 non-fiction book, Letters to Juliet, by Lise Friedman and Ceil Friedman, which chronicles the phenomenon of letter writing to Shakespeare's most famous romantic heroine. (Source)
Leap Year is a 2010 American romantic comedy film directed by Anand Tucker, and starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. The film is about a woman who heads to Ireland to ask her boyfriend to accept her wedding proposal on leap day, when tradition supposedly holds that men cannot refuse a woman's proposal for marriage. Her plans are interrupted by a series of increasingly unlikely events and are further complicated when she hires a handsome innkeeper to take her to her boyfriend in Dublin. (Source)
10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American teen romantic comedy-drama film. It is directed by Gil Junger and stars Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The romantic comedy screenplay was written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith.
The film, a modernization of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, is titled after a poem written by the film's female lead (played by Stiles) to describe her bittersweet romance with the male lead (played by Ledger). The film was released March 31, 1999, and it was a breakout success for stars Stiles, Ledger and Gordon-Levitt. (Source)
Dysfunctionally in Love Movies
This is some majorly confusing love we're in.
Great Expectations is a 1998 contemporary film adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel of the same name, co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starring Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert De Niro, Anne Bancroft and Chris Cooper. It is known for having moved the setting of the original novel from 1812-1827 London to 1990s New York. The book was first published in 1861. (Source)
9 1/2 Weeks
9½ Weeks is an 1986 erotic romantic drama film directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. It is based on the memoir of the same name by Elizabeth McNeill, about a New York City art gallery employee who has a brief yet intense affair with a mysterious Wall Street broker. The film was completed in 1984 but not released until February 1986.
The title of the film refers to the duration of a relationship between Wall Street arbitrageur John Gray (Mickey Rourke) and divorced SoHo art gallery employee Elizabeth McGraw (Kim Basinger). John initiates and controls the various experimental sexual practices of this volatile relationship to push Elizabeth's boundaries. In doing so, Elizabeth experiences a gradual downward spiral toward emotional breakdown. (Source)
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 American epic romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx; the screenplay was written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry. The film stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, and Randy Quaid, and depicts the complex romantic and sexual relationship between two men in the American West from 1963 to 1983. (Source)
Jilted by Love Movies
Sometimes love needs a good swift kick in the head.
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo is a 2002 adventure film directed by Kevin Reynolds. The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Alexandre Dumas, père and stars Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, and Richard Harris. It follows the general plot of the novel (the main storyline of imprisonment and revenge is preserved); but many aspects, including the relationships between major characters and the ending, have been changed, simplified, or removed; and action scenes have been added. (Source)
Valentine is a 2001 slasher film by author Tom Savage starring Marley Shelton as Kate Davies. Kate's in a troubled relationship with journalist Adam Carr (David Boreanaz), a problem drinker, but she receives support from her best friends, the same four girls she's known since grade school: Paige Prescott (Denise Richards), Dorothy Wheeler (Jessica Capshaw), Lily Voight (Jessica Cauffel), and Shelly Fisher (Katherine Heigl).
When Shelly is murdered and the other girls begin receiving gruesome Valentine's Day cards signed "JM," they begin to speculate that the killer could be an awkward schoolmate named Jeremy Melton, whom they once teased mercilessly at a school dance, leading to his beating and humiliation. As the body count is racked up and Dorothy's lavish Valentine's Day party approaches, Kate begins to suspect that the true identity of Jeremy, who likely underwent plastic surgery to alter his appearance, could hit very close to home. (Source)