For lovebirds who prefer to roost at home rather than venturing out on Valentine's Day, a veritable flock of romantic movies is just a DVD, Blu-ray or streaming video away.
Of course, cinephiles know you can't go wrong with classics such as “Casablanca” or “Breakfast at Tiffany's,” but the past few years have yielded plenty of interesting love stories, too, from the charming British time-traveling tale “About Time” to Joss Whedon's black-and-white adaptation of William Shakespeare's “Much Ado About Nothing.”
My seventh annual list of my favorite films appropriate for Valentine's Day home viewing is conveniently categorized so that lovebirds of every feather can find the ideal cinematic treat. For an extended list, visit BAM's Blog at blog.NewsOK.com/bamsblog.
Men and women alike can appreciate a movie that tickles the funny bone while being romantic:
“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.
“Moonrise Kingdom” (2012): One of Wes Anderson's best films chronicles the romantic angst of preteen eccentrics Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), who decide to run away together.
Happily ever after
“The course of true love never did run smooth,” Shakespeare once wrote. The Bard makes the list of these films, in which love conquers all in the end:
“Breakfast at Tiffany's” (1961): True love develops between professional escort Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) and kept man Paul “Fred” Varjak (George Peppard) in this iconic film from the late, great director Blake Edwards, a Tulsa native.
“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.
“Safety Not Guaranteed” (2012): One of my top 10 films of 2012 follows a cynical aspiring journalist (Aubrey Plaza) assigned to investigate a would-be time traveler (Mark Duplass) who has published a classified ad seeking a companion for his adventure.
“Much Ado About Nothing” (2013): In between making 2012's super-blockbuster “The Avengers” and working on the 2015 sequel “The Age of Ultron,” Joss Whedon made one of my top 10 films of 2013, a black-and-white adaptation of one of my favorite Shakespearean comedies.
Some of them end happily, others teeter on tragic, but love makes the world go 'round in these emotional mixed bags:
“Casablanca” (1942): Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman give up their passionate love affair to save the world from the Nazis. Sigh. A classic.
“Once” (2007): An Irish street musician (Glen Hansard) and talented Eastern European immigrant (Marketa Irglova) make beautiful music together, but she has a husband and he has a girlfriend. Will they become a duet or go their separate ways? Not only did the movie win a best original song Oscar for the gorgeous theme “Falling Slowly,” it also has become an eight-time Tony-winning Broadway musical.