As this Valentine’s Day is coming to a close why not wind down with a movie or two, or three? Don’t worry, these aren’t the usual Nicholas Sparks picks. Here is a quick list of movies, quirky and poignant, that won’t add to your toothache or your heartache.
“Lars and the Real Girl”: Ryan Gosling is at his best (and his best is pretty darn good) in this touching, quiet movie. This sleeper was overlooked and underrated. Gosling plays a man who is painfully shy and must come to terms with being an adult with the help of his brother and sister-in-law, some kind friends, and a girl who is not entirely “real.” One of the funniest parts is when Gosling quickly chucks a flower away in order for the girl he likes not to assume it was for her.
“Sense and Sensibility”: “Pride and Prejudice” (the BBC version of course) is wonderful as well, but Emma Thompson arguably did a better job with “Sense and Sensibility” than Austen herself. The cinematography is beautiful and sweeping, as is the soundtrack. Kate Winslet and Thompson play Marianne and Elinor, sisters and best friends who are navigating the waters of upper crest society and marriage in a time when women were not able to even dream of becoming anything that they could call their own. Elinor aptly states that it is “a bit bewitching” to think that one’s happiness rests on another person. In this case, it is not hard to imagine and it is wonderful to watch.
“Once”: This movie is a great surprise. “Once” won the Academy Award for Best Song for the beautiful “Falling Slowly.” Falling Slowly, Once Lyrics The song could describe what one feels while watching the movie itself as two underdogs struggling to find their way find each other instead. “Once” shows how we can indeed make a difference in someone else’s life, even if it is just through passing by. Another strong aspect of the film is the music. The lyrics are haunting, describing everything from heartbreak to discovery of self.
“Lost in Translation”: Ships passing in the night seems to be a favorite subject in literature and films alike. Sofia Coppola manages to do this subtly, though. Scarlett Johansson (in her strongest role, possibly) and Bill Murray are two Americans who have trouble adapting while visiting Tokyo. They both feel lonely in a city crowded with people and find some solace in each other. These two have a connection right away even though the odds may not be in their favor.
“Roman Holiday”: There has to be at least one classic pick, right? “Roman Holiday” is full of fun and truths as well. Gregory Peck (sigh) plays a journalist who believes he has landed a big story when Audrey Hepburn (playing a princess) lands on his doorstep. In one day they find that they can relate to one another and learn to really care for each other. The most memorable scene? Watch it and find out (it is at the end).
“WALL-E”: Waaaallleeeeee! What else is there to say? In all seriousness “WALL-E” is one of the smartest, sweetest Pixar films. A little robot is left on earth to clean up all the trash we have created but he has ideas of love. Then one day another robot named EVE or Eeeeeevaaa shows up and WALL-E knows he has found his soul mate. Disney has done it again, and by it I mean mixing innocence with statements on our world.
“Amelie”: “Amelie” is about a young woman who is shy and has trouble communicating with people. When a young man catches her eye she has to figure out an alternative way of getting his attention. This movie is quirky and full of life. It is easy to fall in love with the city of love, Paris, and with Amelie.
“Bridget Jones’s Diary”: “I like you…just as you are.” Those words are something that everyone would like to hear. Colin Firth, a glorious Darcy again, utters them and makes us all wish we could be Bridget Jones, even with all her goofs. Renee Zellweger is excellent as Bridget, making her entirely relatable and recognizable. She goes from singing “All By Myself” to falling in love and learning a lot about herself in the process. One of the funniest parts? Colin Firth and Hugh Grant fighting, in a pretty sad and hilarious manner.
And one last epic love story to top the list (okay, romantic and a bit sentimental but not schmaltzy), that is going to be rereleased soon in 3D…
“Titanic”: The grand romance between Jack and Rose is an unforgettable one. Although a tad cheesy, it is still hard not to get goosebumps while watching and hearing “My Heart Will Go On.” The effects are amazing and the story heart-wrenching. Winslet and DiCaprio have great chemistry and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to fly away with Jack?