Valentine’s Day weekend is approaching. If you’re planning on staying in and enjoying a movie with your significant other, consider holding off on the usual mid-2000’s rom-com.
Valentine’s Day movies are usually “chick flicks” and only really cater to women, leaving most men sitting there not enjoying a movie for an hour and a half. So this year, I recommend some films for the fellas.
Now, normally Valentine’s Day movies mean rom-coms like “The Notebook,” “Clueless” or “The Proposal.” It can also mean films like “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.” Either way, rom-coms aren’t exactly most guys’ ideal genre. Not that these movies are bad (except “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” – that one is actually bad), it’s just that they’re disproportionately catered toward female audiences, and Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the ladies. So this Valentine’s Day weekend, while your partner is scrolling through which classic rom-com he or she wants to re-watch, maybe suggest these five movies instead. They’ll be enjoyable not only for all the kings out there, but their partners too.
Starting off this list is one of the best comedies and superhero movies of 2016. In addition to being a raunchy comedy and fun action film, Marvel’s “Deadpool” is also the first superhero film to be a Valentine’s Day movie. No, seriously; not only did it come out on Valentine’s Day, the film is also a love story at its heart. The story is essentially about a man finding his true love and having to overcome every single obstacle life can throw at him while he tries to be with her. For most rom-coms, the obstacle would be something like the guy is afraid to love or there’s another woman. For Deadpool, it’s getting cancer, turning into a super-powered mutant and having to kill a bunch of people to save his girlfriend. But aside from that, it’s practically “The Notebook.”
“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010)
Edgar Wright’s indie-infused action comedy, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is another comic book adaption that brings the action, laughs and most importantly, the love. The film radiates with charm and stylized action, with plenty of great indie jams to accompany its chaotic, video game-inspired fights. But if there’s one thing “Pilgrim” has more than all of that, it’s heart. This is ultimately a love story about a slacker (and a kind of scummy dude) falling in love with a girl who forces him to confront his own shortcomings and ultimately become a better person in his pursuit to be with her. Both characters grow and improve each other in a story that’s both comically over-the-top and incredibly real. Pilgrim shows what love can do to us, and all the crazy things we’ll do for it (even if that includes fighting our partner’s seven super-powered exes).
“The Princess Bride” (1987)
Now, this film is something both you and your partner can enjoy equally. Rob Reiner’s 1987 classic is as much a fantastical romance story about a princess and her true love whisking her away, as it is a genuinely funny journey as these star-crossed lovers face assassins, arranged marriages and rodents of unusual size. This film, along with the next entry, is the only acceptable and true romantic comedy as far as I’m concerned. Every other rom-com is just trying to be as good as these two. If you haven’t seen this classic, do yourself and your partner a favor by enjoying it this Friday.
“When Harry Met Sally…” (1989)
Reiner’s other classic, “When Harry Met Sally…” is the best romantic comedy of all time. Aside from “The Princess Bride,” all other rom-coms are just attempting to do what this film did, and they fall short every time. This film captures and depicts genuine love, the ups, the downs and all the moments in between. It’s also funny as hell in a way that only classics like this can be. There isn’t much that can be said about this film other than it’s an amazing depiction of what two people actually falling in love looks like. That’s something beautiful and something I think every couple should enjoy together.
Topping off this list is yet another classic and one of the most iconic films of all time. Michael Urtiz’s “Casablanca” depicts an older time but still manages to resonate with the same emotions as it did back then. Rick Blaine is an archetypal man of a different era but one that I think guys can still appreciate as a complex character, whose love triangle with Ilsa Lund creates a gripping story that showcases not just love, but the ambiguity, complexity and conflict that comes with loving the right person at the wrong time. There’s a reason this movie is regarded as a classic of not only romance films, but American cinema in general.
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