Well, friends it’s that time of year. Couples walk hand and hand and find cute little ways of showing their love for each other. Restaurants seem to have fewer singles then a one hit wonder pop-artist. Stores walls seem to change the hue of Pepto Bismol. Yes, it’s the season of love, Valentine’s Day. As children, I am sure we all loved that day. We got chocolate and little cards and all that other good stuff. However it doesn’t take the great Sherlock Holmes and his amazing powers of observation and logical deduction to tell you that something changes once we enter puberty. The focus becomes solely on romance and relationships and those of us who are alone feel just sad at best and at worst, like some one reached into our chest and ripped out or heart.
Now, I know full well Valentines can be more. I have even heard it said that you can celebrate friendship. However that doesn’t take away the sting of that romantic component of the day. Just look at any card selection at a store and look at the staggering numbers of romantic cards versus cards for just friends. It’s a very 1% Holiday. So those 99% may wish for some way to take their mind off it.
What better way then sit back, relax and watch a few movies. This list represents what I feel are the perfect Anti-Valentine’s Day movies. These movies are sure to help you through your Feb.14 blues, so with this handy list, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy. While watching them, you may just say to yourself, “hey, it could be worse.”
Now some of my lucky friends who do have some one may wish to watch the movies on this list too, and in fact, your significant other may even enjoy them as well. If that’s is the case, then perhaps you can suggest a nice compromise with your sweetie. You do a double feature. Let us say she wants to watch The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Sleepless In Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Pretty Woman, Pride and Prejudice, Terms of Endearment, Fireproof, Twilight, Howard The Duck, Manos The Hands of Fate or Plan 9 from Outerspace (Ok, maybe not those last three). You can say, “Yes, honey, I’ll be glad to watch any one of those movies. How about we watch one of these?”
So, without further ado, the list.
WARNING: Some possible spoilers.
- 1. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: ( 2008) Dir. Joss Whedon. Starring Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day, Simon Helberg, and Nathan Fillion. Whedon’s Internet musical became a smash hit with fans all over. In fact I have yet to meet someone who has watched this film and hasn’t ended up liking, if not loving it. In a way it is like the musical Wicked for dudes. It is a superhero story, but it focuses on the supervillain and his motivations for being evil. The Blog is the journey of Billy AKA Dr. Horrible, and his ambitions to become part of the ELE (Evil League of Evil) while juggling his attempts to woo the woman of his dreams; Penny. However the superhero Captain Hammer swoops in and she falls for him. The end result is his downward spiral into evil and which leads to a tragic loss.
2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ( 1984) Dir. Steven Spielberg. Starring Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw. In this installment of the Indiana Jones series, the world’s greatest adventure goes in search of the Sankara Stones. Along the way he uncovers a deadly cult called the Thuggees, who seek to revive the cult of Kali. The leader of this group, Mola Ram, likes to rip out peoples still beating hearts from their chest before lowering them into a ring of fire. If that doesn’t describe how most of us feel on February 14th I don’t know what does, and it is also the source of the image at the top of this post.
3. Star Wars Episode V : The Empire Strikes Back– (1980) Dir. Irvin Kershner. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, David Prowse, James Earl Jones and Frank Oz. This is considered the best of the Star Wars films, and for good reason. It was, at least until Revenge of the Sith, one of the darker chapters of the series, plus on the rare occasion the bad guy wins. Luke gets his hand chopped off, and discovers a shocking secret, Han Solo is captured and frozen in carbonite and sent to Jabba The Hutt, and Yoda is awesome as always. Plus it features two of the most romantic moments in film history.
4. Jaws: (1975) Dir. Steven Spielberg. Starring Roy Schieder, Richard Dreyfuss, and Bruce the Shark. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… JAWS! This movie is just flat out awesome. We all know the iconic theme, the image of the dorsal fin in the water, and the classic line, ‘We’re going to need a bigger boat.”Plus it opens with a very happy young couple, and one half of said duo ends up being the first victim of the shark.
5.Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)-Dir. George Lucas. Starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Frank Oz, and Samuel L. Jackson. Most fans will say this is the best of the prequels, and that is true. This is the one where it all comes down: the Sith rise up, the Jedi fall, and Anakin becomes Darth Vader and kills off most of the people he loves, including his wife. It also has some awesome lightsaber duels (and Samuel L. Jackson). Perhaps all those lonely people with out a snuggle bunny on Valentine’s Day can realize that there are worse things then being alone. Like say having your best friend chop off your arms and legs with a lightsaber and leave you by molten lava to die, or you know, destroying all those you love and missing out on 20 years of your children’s lives because you turned to evil. Perhaps, if you are alone on this Valentine’s Day, you will come to accept that like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, you are called to something higher, or like Mace Windu you are called to awesomeness.
6. Cloverfield (2008)-Dir. Matt Reeves. Starring Michael Stahl-David, TJ Miller, Jessica Lucas, Odette Yustman, Lizzy Caplan, and Mike Vogel. Is there any greater love then that between a man and a woman? Yes, a child and a parent, as is the case with this movie. According to Producer JJ Abrams and the rest of those involved, the monster was actually a baby searching for it’s mamma, it didn’t want to destroy the city! It just got in the way .Plus there is a love story between two main characters, Rob and Beth. Rob of course risks his life and that of his friends to save her. In the end well, it’s not pretty, but is sure is awesome.
7. King Kong. What more can be said then the classic line “twas beauty that killed the beast!” Kong loved Anne Darrow, but those stupid planes didn’t understand. You can watch either the classic 1933 version or the 2005 Peter Jackson remake. Although Andy Serkis’ performance in the Jackson version does add a level of pathos to the roll.
8. Spider-Man 3 (2007)- Dir. Sam Raimi. Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and Topher Grace. OK, so this is the most derided installment of the original Spider-Man series. However, it can make you feel better if you’re feeling bad about being alone on Valentine’s Day. Watching it can help you realize the following things, “ At least I never punched the woman I love in the face, my best friend never got impaled with a glider, Topher Grace never tried to ruin my life, and I never disco danced down the street.”
9. Superman Returns ( 2006)-Dir. Bryan Singer. Starring Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden, Kevin Spacey,Frank Langella, Eva Marie Saint, and Marlon Brandon. Superman returns to earth after a mysterious five year absence. He comes back to find that the woman he loves has moved on, has a kid and has written about how and why the world doesn’t need him. Talk about tough breaks!
10. Edward Scissorhands ( 1990)- Dir. Tim Burton. Starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Alan Arkin, Dianne Weist, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, and Vincent Price.- Everybody loves Johnny Depp. Well, everyone that is except the townspeople at the end of this movie. In the traditions of Frakenstein, Edward is chased out of town by angry villagers because of a huge misunderstanding. He ends up spending the rest of his days alone and isolated.
11. Corpse Bride (2005)- Dir. Tim Burton. Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Tracy Ullman, Paul Whitehouse, Joanna Lumley and Albert Finney. Poor Victor Van Dort can’t seem to remember his wedding vows, so in order to prepare he goes out to the woods to practice and puts the ring on what turns out to be the finger of a corpse. This revives her and well, hilarity ensues. It is, in the words of one of the characters in the film a story of “passion, betrayal, and murder most foul.”Plus you really end up caring more for Emily the corpse then Victoria, the woman Victor is engaged to, and her story does not end in a “traditional” happy ending.
12. Blood Diamond (2006)- Dir. Edward Zwick. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, and Djimon Hounsou. Did your girlfriend break up with you? Ladies, did your man not “like it enough to put a ring on it?” Well this movie can help put that at ease. Do you know how some diamonds come into the country? This movie shows you all this, and more. Sure, it may not heal the broken heart but you can at least sleep with a clean conscience. And that my friends, is not bad.
13. I Am Legend ( 2008)- Dir. Francis Lawrence. Starring Will Smith. Will Smith plays one of the last human survivors on Earth after what should be a miracle cure mutates into a deadly disease and wipes out humanity. For at least a few years afterwards it is just him and his loyal dog Sam, trying to elude vampires, and find a cure for the virus that has mutated humans that have not been killed into the vampires. Then he meets someone…
14. The Dark Knight ( 2008) Dir. Chris Nolan. Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllanhall, and Aaron Ekhart. In this film, the Batman takes on his arch-nemesis the Joker. Jokers reign of terror on Gotham City leaves her district Attorney Harvey Dent scarred and claims the life of Batman’s love, Rachel Dawes. We learn that Rachel was going to marry Harvey and essentially tells Bruce Wayne, “no, we should just be friends.” Batman still foolishly clings to hope that they’d be together. Does that not sound like most heartbroken people on Valentine’s Day.
15. X-Men: First Class (2011) Dir. Matthew Vaughn. Starring James MacAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicolas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, January Jones and Kevin Bacon. This movie has everything, mutants, mayhem, near nuclear war, superheroes, unrequited love, severed friendships, and … a COIN… going through someone’s brain! In this installment of the popular X-Men franchise, the series goes back to the beginning to trace the origins of the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants and their founders. It is also one of the best entries into the series ( some continuity snarls withstanding), and features a hilarious cameo by fan favorite Wolverine.
Photo Credits: 1984 Lucasfilm LTD and Paramount Pictures, 2008 Mutant Enemy Productions, 1984 Lucasfilm LTD and Paramount Pictures, 1980 Lucasfilm LTD and 20th Century Fox, 1975 Universal Pictures, 2005 Lucasfilm LTD and 20th Century Fox, 2008 Bad Robot Productions and 20th Century Fox, 1933 RKO Pictures/Turner Entertainment, 2005 Wingnut Films and Universal Studios, 2007 Marvel Entertainment and Columbia Pictures, 2006 DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures, 1990 20th Century Fox, 2005 Laika Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures, 2006 The Bedford Falls Production and Warner Bros. Pictures, 2007 Village Roadshow Productions and Warner Bros. Pictures, 2008 DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures, 2011 Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox.