If you're going out to the movies with your special someone for Valentine's Day, then definitely put SAFE HAVEN on your list. It opens just in time for the holiday and is not just believably romantic, but also funny and suspenseful to boot!
However, if you're going to be home and want something to slip into the DVD player, here are ten suggestions (in no particular order):
-SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (1993) Directed by Nora Ephron, who co-wrote the script. This is one of the first of the "new wave" (if you will) of romantic comedies (starting with WHEN HARRY MET SALLY) that ushered in a modern resurgence of the genre. Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, it's a very unusual romantic story in the sense that as the movie goes on, you begin to wonder if our hero and heroine are ever actually going to meet.
- YOU'VE GOT MAIL (1998) brings director Ephron and stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan together again in a remake of the old James Stewart movie A SHOP AROUND THE CORNER.
-WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING (1995) is the movie that foretold Sandra Bullock's coming status as America's Sweetheart.
-ONLY YOU (1994) with Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei has fun with the romantic notion that somewhere out there is the one person destined just for you.
-THE LAKE HOUSE (2006) Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock live in the same house, but at different times. Still, even though there is a two year distance between them, they are somehow able to pass messages to each other and, of course, fall in love.
-JUST LIKE HEAVEN (2005) Mark Ruffalo is a lonely landscape architect who falls in fall with Reese Witherspoon who just happens to be a ghost haunting his new place. Now you're asking yourself, how's that going to work? Take it from me, they figure it out.
-HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS (2003) Matthew McConaughey makes a bet that he can win any girl in 10 days, while Kate Hudson is trying to write a magazine article on how to lose a guy in 10 days. So while he does everything he can to win her, she does everything she can to get him to say 'so long.' Silly, but fun.
-SUNRISE (1927) Here's a silent film by F.W. Murnau that would seem an odd choice for a romantic evening since the basic plot is that a farmer has fallen for a wild "city" woman and decides to drown his wife to be with his new love. But then, as he and his wife go out and the evening goes on, he begins to see the things in her that made him fall in love with her in the first place.
-SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980) This a movie with a real cult following where again, not even the distance of time can stand in the way of true love. Only in the case of Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, we're talking about quite a few more years than the two years that separates the LAKE HOUSE couple. My wife and I saw this movie at a drive-in the night before the first day of the new school year. We were the only car in the entire place so I guess you could say we had our own private screening.
-CASABLANCA (1942) The classic romance that still stands as one of the most romantic films ever made. Here's looking at you, kid!
While we're at it, here's a bonus film at no extra cost: the Oscar nominated SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. It's a quirky, funny and poignant film and romance is one of its quirks!
Now, let us hear your suggestions!
By Jonathan Mumm, firstname.lastname@example.org