What’s a Valentine’s Day movie list for lovers without “Pretty Woman,” “Ghost,” “Say Anything” and “Dirty Dancing”?
Good. Now we can move on to some other romantic movies worth considering this Valentine’s Day:
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in a scene from “You’ve Got Mail.”
“She’s the One” (1999): A girl gets into love-scorned Ed Burns’ cab and makes him drive her to New Orleans for a wedding. They return married and begin life as his brother divorces Jennifer Aniston to get with Cameron Diaz, who as movie luck would have it, was the one who scorned Burns.
“Dr. Zhivago” (1965): It’s the run-of-the mill story about a boy who meets a girl, marries his fiancee, hooks up with the girl again, goes back to his wife, but can’t stay away from the girl. Throw in World War I, the Russian Revolution, balalaikas galore, enough snow to blanket Jupiter, full-blown class warfare, and a paternity whodunit, and you have a movie for the ages. Its three hours-plus length may seem as an age upon itself, but Julie Christie, Omar Sharif and Geraldine Chaplin will make you see love in a different light.
“Love Actually” (2003): Eight people wrestle with all different aspects of life and love. Some fall in love, others fall out of it. The beauty here is that every movie watcher, no matter their current relationship status at the time, can identify with someone in the film. Think “The Breakfast Club” for adult relationships.
“Cinema Paradiso” (1990): A star-crossed love story between Salvatore (nicknamed Toto as a boy) and Elena, the first love he never forgets. But wait, there’s more. It is also the story of a fatherless boy growing up in an Italian village who is taken under the wing of the town’s movie projectionist. His mentor provides the kindness and patience of a father and instills in him a love of the movies. The boy doesn’t get the girl, but he never lets go of his passion for cinema, which becomes his other great love. Grab your hankies for the final scene in the film’s original version (there’s also a director’s cut available).
The Meg Ryan Movie Marathon: Fellas, there’s no sense in fighting it. Just man up and rent all three. This way, you’re covered. Start the marathon with “You’ve Got Mail” followed by “Sleepless in Seattle” and end strong with “When Harry Met Sally.”
“The Princess Bride” (1987): The farm boy and the princess find true love, but he ships off to sea and becomes the Dread Pirate Roberts, only to return in time to rescue Buttercup from Prince Humperdink. An all-ages classic.
“West Side Story” (1961): The classic story of a bad boy who turns good because of a girl from the other side of the tracks, but can’t quite completely separate himself from his bad-boy past and bad-boy friends.
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004): Beautiful, haunting music serves as a backdrop to this Long Island love story in which a wacky chick ( Kate Winslet) and a somber dude ( Jim Carrey) fall for each other, fight like crazy, have their memories of each other erased and then meet in Montauk to do it all over again. This non-linear story may confuse at first. Luckily, it’s good enough to watch again and again.
“The Notebook” (2004):
Others worth considering, when everyone else beat you to Blockbuster and Netflix for the movies above:
“The Cutting Edge”
“The American President”
“Sabrina” (the original)
“What Dreams May Come”
“While You Were Sleeping”
“There’s Something About Mary”
“2 Days in Paris”