Valentine's Day is today, which means you need something to do with your significant other. Sure, most will try to get a romantic candlelight dinner, but chances are some of you forgot to set a reservation until this morning and are in desperate need of a Plan B. Or maybe you wanted to do it small today with a box of chocolates, flowers, and a movie. Nevertheless, Adam's Final Cut is here to provide you with a special list of movies to consider whatever your situation may be.
The Big Sick
The Big Sick was easily one of my favorite movies of last year. This Oscar-nominated film tells the true story of how comedian Kumail Nanjiani met his wife (and co-writer on this film) Emily (played by Ruby Sparks's Zoe Kazan), and what happens when she contracts a mysterious illness that puts her into a life-threatening coma. How awkward would it be if this is how you met their parents (played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano)? Deftly balancing drama and comedy, this hilarious yet honest rom-com celebrates love in hardships and available right now to stream on Amazon Prime!
Amélie is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen, and not just visually! Young Amélie Poulain of Montmartre (Audrey Tatou, The Da Vinci Code) is shy and precocious and a hopeless romantic. Upon discovering an old cigar box of trinkets in her wall, she sets out to improve people's lives with secret and elaborate good deeds. As she does so, she realizes her loneliness and falls hopelessly in love with a familiar stranger named Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz, Munich). It's a stylish fairy tale of a film about the simple beauty of life's small things, and about going out and taking a chance on love. Which, if you have a valentine for movie night to watch this, you've already done that and you can celebrate that as you watch the drama of Amélie! But for the rest of us, well, popcorn's the partner that'll never let you down...right?
What If? (aka The F Word)
Another film starring Zoe Kazan, What If? is a cute and recent indie romantic comedy about falling in love with your best friend. It playfully teases the tropes of the romantic comedy while wholeheartedly embracing the genre. And as a plus, you get to see Daniel Radcliffe (that's Harry Potter!) play the awkward leading man alongside Adam Driver (yep, that's Kylo Ren of Star Wars fame!), who delivers one of the best lines about post-coital nachos in cinematic history.
I can already see some of you side-eyeing me on this one. Listen, I'm a Village apologist ("You mean, a Village Idiot!" one guy said), and sure, it's not for everyone. But The Village is not about the monsters or the controversial twist. The heart of the film is the beautiful love story between the humble Lucius (Joaquin Phoenix, Signs) and the blind Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard, The Help). And for Valentine's Day, we need a beautiful love story, dang it! And as we watch the sweeping melodrama, boosted by James Newton Howard's phenomenal score, we will see that: love is brave; love is blind; and love never fails.
I've actually not seen this one. But when this true love story about celebrated Christian author and apologist C.S. Lewis (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and American poet Joy Davidman (Debra Winger, Terms of Endearment) was shown at my high school's Film Society, nearly everyone cried. So that's saying something, I think. See, I can suggest a movie for myself, too!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
It may be a bit strange to throw the sixth movie of a franchise into a list like this, but I don't care. While Half-Blood Prince continues the dramatic saga of Harry Potter (as mentioned earlier, Daniel Radcliffe) and the incoming Wizarding War against Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel), much of the movie is spent on the earnest angst of teenage romance and the foibles thereof. This is my personal favorite of the Potter films, perhaps because of its occasional John Hughes sensibilities but entirely because of the emotional drama. While maybe not the best choice for the uninitiated, if you and your lover are Potterheads, check this one out again on this most romantic day, because even in the darkest of times, love is the constant that provides the light.
La La Land
Was there any doubt this would be here? La La Land is the love story of struggling artists Mia (Emma Stone, Crazy, Stupid, Love) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling, The Notebook). While this is also one of the most beautiful movie musicals (also: check The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), the film is more than that. It is the encouragement for dreamers to do something about those dreams (see: Amélie) and it is the lesson for lovers to be supportive of one another through the thick and thin. Sure, the ending is bittersweet, but that's not the important part. What's important are the stellar filmmaking on display and those lessons...and the promise for single pringles that someone in the crowd could be the one we--I mean, they--need to know.
Love was hard during World War II, and we see that in the love story of Robbie Turner (James McAvoy, Split) and Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice), but turned up to eleven. The story begins typically as Robbie and Cecilia tease each other and feign disapproval of the other until they finally reveal their love for one another. However, an explicit note and a serious false indictment on behalf of Cecilia's sister Briony (Saiorse Ronan, Lady Bird) threatens to separate them forever. It's actually quite heartbreaking, but there is the hope that love lasts forever and the reminder that you should not screw it up in any way and to value the time you have with them. Just remember to buy copious amounts of tissues beforehand. Or use your partner's sleeve. Again, copiously.
It may seem a bit strange to include the disturbing and violent biblical allegory about environmentalism on this list, and you're right. But there's something every couple must do in order to succeed, and that's Define The Relationship. And honey, if mother! is one thing, it's the textbook definition on why you need to do it early on (never mind Javier Bardem's character represents). It's a perfect way to talk about how to care for Mother Earth better, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Darren Aronofsky's allegory, and DTR by agreeing on set boundaries and expectations for one another in your relationship. Otherwise, people are gonna come in, sit on the counter you've been meaning to set, tear the place apart, and burn the place down. On the bright side, you'll have a new phrase for your sweetie: "There you are: the inspiration!"
When Harry Met Sally...
Finally, let's end this list with an oldie but a goodie: When Harry Met Sally.... The film is hilarious, touching, and endearing, a movie about falling in love with your best friend, even if it takes time. There's so much to love about this movie. From Billy Crystal's (Monsters Inc.) declaration to Meg Ryan (Sleepless in Seattle) that "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible," to one of the Carrie Fisher's (Star Wars) funniest performances, and the classic "I'll have what she's having" scene, When Harry Met Sally... is one of the most perfect movies you could watch with your significant other today.
That's my list. What say you? What movies do you love to watch with your significant other? Are you actually gonna watch mother!? Whatever you have to say about me or the movies, comment below!