Valentine's Day movie primer

Pick the right flick for the right kind of date.

It’s February once again, and that means that Cupid has creeped his head into all of our lives. And with each annual St. Valentine’s Day, Hollywood jams the local movie theaters with a bevy of films for young and impressionable couples to spend their money and time on. The right movie can make all the difference, whether it's the first date or the 10th date. So here is a helpful buyer’s guide to the recent releases available at the multiplex to insure that you see the right flick. And, more importantly, that you have a great Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine's Day! Get tips on finding Mr. Right, or check out an original video that has SU students competing for Valentines.

About Last Night

(The take-your-crush-and-laugh-all-the-way-to-bed movie)

This conventional sex comedy is a remake of a 1986 film of the same name and could easily be a forgettable affair. Its one saving grace is that it stars the blockbuster comedian Kevin Hart. Coming off his unprecedented success with January’s Ride Along (co-starring Ice Cube), Hart’s charisma, charm and comedic timing make About Last Night a memorable and fun experience. Everything Hart seems to touch these days is just another step in his one man crusade to become a Hollywood megastar. This is a perfect film to ask your crush to. With a non-stop barrage of humor concerning sex and relationships, About Last Night will loosen you and your date up while simultaneously addressing the sexual elephant in the room without making it awkward.

Endless Love

(The relive-your-high school-fantasy movie)

In the vein of teenage wet dream melodramas such as the Twilight saga and the Nicholas Sparks films, Endless Love depicts the forbidden jail bate romance of a blue collar twenty-something David (Alex Pettyfer) falling in love with the rich and privileged teenager Jade (Gabriella Wilde). Naturally, Jade’s father forbids her from getting involved with the mysterious and brooding David. But complex characters and storylines are not the reasons why you see this movie. You see it for the unbridled, tongue-down-your-throat passion. It’s melodramatic. It’s corny. But it’ll be hot and heavy. So go see this one if you miss the days of young love in high school. And, hey, see this one if you're currently in a youthful romance. It’ll provide ample inspiration.

The Lego Movie

(The go-out-with-a-group-of-friends movie)

Who knew a movie with all toys that wasn’t Toy Story could destroy the box office and win critics’ hearts? The Lego Movie is a feel good, colorful film constructed out of Lego pieces and characters. It is pop culture humor at its best. But not the best when it comes to romance. So if you want to screw all the Valentine’s Day love, take your group of single friends to The Lego Movie. You’ll definitely feel better afterward. I guarantee it. (Yes, that was a Men’s Warehouse reference).


(The he-or-she-wants-to-break-up-with-you movie)

Like About Last Night, this is another remake from the ‘80s. But unlike the sex romp/relationship comedy, RoboCop sticks out like a bent Valentine’s Day card. This big-budget, special effects laden and star powered (Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson) action flick fits right at home during the heated doldrums of the summer movie season, not in this season of love. If you are dragged to this movie, odds are that your significant other is more interested in robots and criminals getting the holy crap beat out of them than love or affection. So word to the wise, if you see this on a date and you’re in a relationship, don’t expect any long-term bliss. Romance is the last thing on their mind.

That Awkward Moment

(The you-are-just-a-friend movie)

This seems like a no brainer. You have three fresh and hot actors (Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan) taking a break from serious, critically acclaimed fare and letting loose in a relationship comedy. But don’t be fooled by the couple humor and an appearance by Zac Efron’s butt (see below). This is a comedy about bros for bros. What could have been a sweet film about the intricate layers of modern courtship and the dating scene was lost to so many R-rated dick jokes and “I love you man” humor. If you go to this one on a casual date, ask what he or she feels about you, because you might just be "one of the guys" after this movie is done with you.

The Monuments Men

(The anti-Valentine-day movie)

Even with director/writer/actor George Clooney’s dashing good looks oozing off the giant screen, this is not a film that should be ingested if romance is on the brain. Examining the true story of a platoon of aged art specialists ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to save and take back all of the European artwork stolen by Hitler and the Nazi Army, The Monuments Men is an enticing story. However, it's moralistic and feel-good to a fault, and Clooney and company’s (including the likes of Bill Murray, John Goodman and Matt Damon) quest to save treasured artwork and European culture is a snooze for the romantically-inclined season. Save the history lesson for another week of the year. The film is inspiring, but it isn’t going to create a spark with movie-goers.

Winter’s Tale

(The you-want-to-show-you-are-ready-to-commit movie)

This movie screams Valentine’s Day. Based on Mark Helprin’s acclaimed novel, The Winter’s Tale, set at the turn of the 20th century, has all the gooey components of heartfelt love. A good looking lead couple of Peter and Beverly (played by Colin Farrell at his hunky best and Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay) is divided by class, an illness that is slowly killing Beverly, and a vindictive mob boss (played by Russell Crowe) wanting to kill Peter even quicker. Add a heavy dose of time travel as Peter is inexplicably teleported to the present day; this is a tale of “forbidden love” that would make Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet’s romance look quaint and wholesome. If you are a hopeless romantic and want to show that certain someone that you are in it for the long term (even if it means time traveling and riding a white horse), buy a ticket and some popcorn to this over-the-top love fable.

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