Enjoy a cinematic box of sweets for Valentine's Day
BY GENE TRIPLETT
Why spend half of your Valentine’s evening waiting for a table and then standing in a boxoffice line when you can pitch a couple of TV trays in the living room and have your dinner-and-a-movie date in the comfort and privacy of your own love shack? Simply grab some takeout, fire up some candles, draw the shades and pop open your favorite beverage.
See? You’re free to play slap and tickle all you want, talk back to the screen, whatever. And there’s that handy “pause” button if you’re suddenly inspired to indulge in some other activity.
So here, in no particular order, are a few suggestions for your Valentine’s viewing, designed to enhance your romance:
“You’ve Got Mail” (1998), Nora Ephron’s computer-age version of “The Shop Around the Corner,” stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as e-mail pen pals who become infatuated with one another through their correspondence, not realizing they already know and dislike each other as competing book shop owners. A real charmer, and the new Blu-ray edition includes a bonus — the original 1940 classic starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan.
Oklahoma’s own Blake Edwards created one of the greatest midlife crisis movies of them all with “10” (1979), showcasing the comedic talents of Dudley Moore and at the same time elevating him to leading-man status in the role of a successful songwriter who jeopardizes his long-standing relationship with a beautiful singing star (Julie Andrews, aka Mrs. Edwards) when he becomes obsessed with a sexy young blond newlywed (Bo Derek) who blithely encourages his advances.
The “bells and the banjos ring” between Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen in “Love With the Proper Stranger” (1963), but only after a really rocky start. The two meet at a wild New York City party, tumble into a drunken one-night stand, then face the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy in the cold light of day. Great supporting cast includes Edie Adams, Herschel Bernardi and Tom Bosley. Directed by Robert Mulligan (“To Kill a Mockingbird”), this one is pretty mature, sharp and bold for its day.
In “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison” (1957), tough Marine lifer Robert Mitchum and wise but delicate nun Deborah Kerr find themselves in a potential Adam-and-Eve situation on a Pacific island taken over by Japanese troops during World War II. They have to hide and survive together in a small, primitive world teeming with deadly enemies. One of the great bittersweet war love stories,
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), another Blake Edwards-directed comedy-drama, based on a Truman Capote story with a wonderful score by Henry Mancini that includes the classic “Moon River,” stars Audrey Hepburn as a Manhattan party girl and George Peppard as a sardonic young writer who meet, fall in love and find a chance to save each other from their self-demeaning lifestyles. Hepburn and Peppard boil up the perfect chemistry, with a supporting cast that includes Buddy Ebsen (TV’s Jed Clampett) in a heart-melting turn as Hepburn’s deserted country-bumpkin husband.
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