For years, The Husband and I had a movie for every holiday (The Quiet Man for St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day for the Fourth of July, etc.), which we seem to have let fall by the wayside in the last few years. But our Valentine’s movie was always Roxanne, Steve Martin’s take on Cyrano de Bergerac. It will always have my heart because it’s funny and smart and, ya know, Steve Martin.
At my snarkiest, I think Valentine’s Day is a construct created by florists and card and chocolate companies to boost sales in the midst of winter. But on my mushy days, I like to think of it as a day of hope that people find people to trust with their hearts. Yes, romantic love but also finding the people who gift us not flowers and chocolate covered cherries, but peace and a safe place to rest.
Here are my favorites, in no particular order (might be spoilers if you haven’t seen them):
Girls swear off boys, exchange houses, girls meet boys.
Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach
Boys meet girls, boy with wrong girl, boy takes advice from electronic traffic sign, boy gets right girl.
Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, Sarah Jessica Parker
All of Me
Boy meets girl, mutual hate, girl dies, transmogrifies into boy, boy and girl stop scammer, girl moves into other girl, mutual love.
Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Victoria Tennant
Under the Tuscan Sun
Girl gets dumped, moves to Italy, burned by Italian boy, finds chosen family.
Diane Lane, Sandra Oh
Girl gets dumped long distance, girl pursues idiot boy to France, meets French boy who helps with idiot boy, then girl wants French boy.
Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline, Timothy Hutton
When Harry Met Sally
Girl meets boy/friend, girl gets dumped by other boy, boy/friend becomes more than just friend.
Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher, B Kirby
Girl wants better life, dumps cheating boy, takes better job with scheming girl, teams with boy on secret project, falls for boy, who needs to dump scheming girl, girl gets promotion and boy.
Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin
Girl has affair with ex, girl meets boy, boy dumps girl, girl dumps ex, girl might get boy.
Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin
Girl meets boy briefly, later girl and boy marrying other boy and girl but begin search for long lost girl and boy, girl meets boy again.
John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale
While You Were Sleeping
Girl sees boy, boy in coma, girl mistaken for fiancé, girl meets boys’ brother, girl nearly marries boy, doesn’t.
Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher
Must Love Dogs
Family wants girl to meet boy. Girl meets idiot boy and hurt boy. Dumps idiot boy, takes good fur boy to find hurt boy.
Diane Lane, John Cusack, Dermot Mulroney
The Desk Set
Witty girl meets disheveled boy, rethinks situation with selfish boy.
Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Joan Blondell
Sleepless in Seattle
Baltimore girl has nice boy but wants Seattle boy. Baltimore meets Seattle in NYC on Valentine’s Day.
Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Bill Pullman
PS: The sexiest line ever in the world of filmed entertainment is uttered by Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply. You have to watch the movie to get the full effect of the meaning and because just seeing these words, well, you really need to hear and see the incomparable Rickman to appreciate it.
“Warming my lips.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!