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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Spectrum recommends: Best movies for Valentine’s Day

Whether you want a musical, Pixar or Heath Ledger in his prime, there’s something for everyone

The best part of Valentine’s Day isn’t the romantic candlelit dinners, or the boxes of chocolates, or the fresh roses: It’s the rom-coms. The meet-cutes, contrived arguments, and last-minute attempts to win back a partner have all become staples of cinema in their own right. 

So this Valentine’s Day, grab a couple of friends, a bag of microwave popcorn and a bottle of wine, and binge a couple of the best rom-coms ever made, courtesy of The Spectrum

“10 Things I Hate About You”

This movie makes me wish (almost) every Shakespeare play got a wild late 1990s teen film adaptation. It’s a true time capsule of 1999 schmaltz that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy. Even if you aren’t the biggest rom-com lover, this movie is full of talent, including a young Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon Levitt, along with great performances from Julia Stiles and Larisa Oleynik. It’s a movie that knows exactly what it is and does it so well. If your man isn’t running through comically large bleachers singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” with the school marching band to show his love like Ledger does in the film, I think you should talk to him about that. Also, the soundtrack is an A+.

  • Darcy Winter

“Pride and Prejudice”

This romance is not any less swoon-worthy just because the characters are speaking in 19th-century English! With characters that you will laugh at and with, including the ever talented Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFayden, this movie is a cup of comforting British tea after a long day. It’s often “I love you” on Valentine’s Day, but with this film, it’s “you have bewitched me, body and soul.”

  • Mylien Lai

“Love, Rosie”

OK, this movie actually does friends to lovers well. (And I hate this trope, so that’s saying something). Both love interests are entertaining — Lily Collins and Suki Waterhhouse are in it, so of course it’s good. Our male lead (Sam Clafflin) is a cutie, so we love that. It’s such a cute little rom-com to put on when you need something fast-paced and silly goofy. This film shows not only true love but also true friendship. It hurts to watch their friendship pains more than romantic ones.

  • Sarah Owusu

“Past Lives”

This love story explores the emotional complexities of reconnecting with a past loved one after decades of being apart. With soul-crushing performances by Greta Lee and Teo Yoo, this film will leave you questioning aspects of your past and present relationships. If you believe in fate and past lives, this romance is for you. Don’t forget to bring tissues — you’ll need them.

  • Jason Tsoi

“Cars”

Hear me out. Everyone knows the biggest love story in this iconic animated masterpiece is between Lightning McQueen and Sally. McQueen’s arrogant, hotshot attitude serves as the perfect foil to Sally’s down-to-earth demeanor — but the real love story is between McQueen and Mater. McQueen eventually realizes how much he has taken Mater for granted despite his unconditional support and availability, and it only deepens their connection as the two become inseparable. If that wasn’t enough, McQueen is voiced by the captivating Owen Wilson, who is a known raging romantic himself. 

If you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day movie, look no further than one of the film industry’s greatest examples of a healthy, hearty bromance.

  • Henry Daley 

“La La Land”

This Spec Rec is dedicated to all the Pisces out there. “La La Land” is for the hopeless romantics, the music lovers, the kids who brought their ukuleles to school in 2016, and most importantly, the fools who dream. Through the music and the vivid color palette, you are swept off your feet into a world where the only thing you know is love. Then, you are gut-punched in the last 10 minutes of the film for no good reason. Never mind, don’t watch this movie, watch “Cars” instead.

  • Rachel Galet

“The Wrong Missy”

Though this is more heavy on the ‘Com’ than the ‘Rom,’ “The Wrong Missy” is one of the funniest possible movies for a Valentine’s date for those less serious couples. Tim Morris (David Spade) goes on a date with Mellisa, also known as “Missy,” who is strange, loud and borderline terrifying. Later, after meeting his dream girl, also named Mellisa, Tim invites her to a corporate retreat in Hawaii via text, only for “the wrong Missy” to show up on the plane. Hilarity, and eventually romance, ensues. Lauren Lapkus’ performance will have you sobbing with laughter.

  • Dominick Matarese

“Before Sunrise”

If you want to feel wistful on Valentine’s Day — or any other day of the year — this quietly beautiful and moving Richard Linklater film is for you. “Before Sunrise” follows two strangers, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, who meet on a train to Vienna and spontaneously decide to spend the rest of the day together. Throughout the day and evening, they connect over poetry, religion and their pasts. But due to travel circumstances, this one day is the only time they have together. 

While a movie about two strangers having one long conversation throughout different idyllic Viennese locations may sound boring, viewers will be captivated by the characters’ chemistry and the outcome of what happens when you meet someone seemingly perfect who you can never be with.

  • Quinn Kennedy

The features desk can be reached at features@ubspectrum.com   

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