With Valentine's Day falling on Tuesday this year, a night out on the town may not be the most practical plan for couples determined to celebrate on the official day of love.
Of course, film fans know that you can always find romance with a good DVD, Blu-ray or Netflix stream.
Way back on Feb. 14, 2008, I posted my first entry on my new blog, BAM's Blog: a list of my favorite films appropriate for Valentine's Day home viewing, conveniently categorized so that lovebirds of every feather could find the ideal cinematic treat for Valentine's Day.
Some traditions are worth keeping, so here is a preview of the 2012 edition of the BAM's Blog recommended Valentine's Day DVDs. On Tuesday, look for the full, official fifth annual list, which has been updated since last year to include a few more films that I've recently fallen for, at blog.newsok.com/bamsblog.
The films in this category must be both uproariously funny and awe-inspiringly romantic. For all the rom-coms coming out of Hollywood, it's telling that this part of the list gets updated the least:
• “It Happened One Night” (1934): An out-of-work reporter (Clark Gable) and rebellious heiress (Claudette Colbert) take a bumpy road trip in Frank Capra's Oscar-winner.
“The Philadelphia Story” (1940): Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant get entangled in a love pentagon in this classic screwball comedy, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies.
• “When Harry Met Sally” (1989): Hilarity ensues as Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) move from loathing to friendship to love.
• “Bridget Jones's Diary” (2001): Brit Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) tries to improve her life and find real love in this chick flick.
Happily ever after
Fairy tales and other fantasies appear here; in this category, the path to true love may be perilous, but love eventually wins the day:
• “Breakfast at Tiffany's” (1961): True love develops between professional escort Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) and kept man Paul “Fred” Varjak (George Peppard) in the iconic film from the late, great director Blake Edwards, a Tulsa native.
• “Ladyhawke” (1985): A knight (Rutger Hauer) and his lady fair (Michelle Pfeiffer) must break the curse set on them by an evil bishop (John Wood). Just try to ignore the dated '80s soundtrack from The Alan Parsons Project collaborator Andrew Powell. (I'm just sure music in the 12th century didn't use quite so many synthesizers.)
• “Serendipity” (2001): Suspend your disbelief and enjoy Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara's (Kate Beckinsale) efforts to find one another after their magical first meeting. The film recently was released on Blu-ray, for extra lovely viewing.
“Jane Eyre” (2011): Director Cary Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”) and his talented young cast, including Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell, bring fresh energy to the often-adapted Gothic tale. Every aspect of the narrative is heightened: The mystery crackles with suspense, the romance smolders with sensuality, and the coming-of-age story flares with intensity.