As Valentine’s Day is here again, the CDC continues to advise Americans to avoid travel, since hospitalization rates are still too steep for measures to be relaxed. If your partner or lover is currently living or working in another state and you probably won’t be able to spend Valentine’s Day together, then enjoying a Zoom dinner date (plus a movie marathon after) is one way to fan the flames of love. To keep things spicy, you may enjoy the following trios of films, perfect for couples who like to immerse themselves in romance and celebrate love throughout the ages.
Setting The Scene
Before getting to the films, make sure you set a romantic scene, agreeing with your partner beforehand to make this year’s date perfect. You and your partner can agree to order food from your favorite restaurant and have it delivered, and you can also agree on décor. Candlelight, flowers, and a romantic playlist played by one of you can help you feel connected during your dinner. You can also set up your virtual date in a romantic place like the garden, setting up a “Cinema Paradiso” like outdoor movie theater and creating ambiance by stringing the trees with fairy lights. Make sure your camera is set up on a tripod, and if you will be moving through the garden to show your partner what you have designed, use a stabilizer to keep your footage in place.
A Nostalgic Marathon: “Pillow Talk,” “Magnificent Obsession,” “An Affair to Remember“
These three films have just about everything that makes a film iconic – humor, a great script, and unforgettable actors. Rock Hudson stars in “Magnificent Obsession” and “Pillow Talk.” In the latter, he plays a charming but deceitful playboy who seduces his uptight neighbor by pretending to be someone he’s not. In “Magnificent Obsession,” meanwhile, he plays an ex-playboy who pretends to be a poor medical student while secretly working on restoring the eyesight of a woman whose husband he inadvertently killed in a freak accident. If it sounds melodramatic, it definitely is. Finally, there is “An Affair to Remember” – the dramatic story of yet another playboy (played by Cary Grant), who is inspired to change the course of his life after meeting a woman who inspires him to be a better man.
Something Gothic: “Edward Scissorhands,” “Let the Right One In,” “Gaslight“
If you and your loved one are into Edgar Allan Poe, Tim Burton, and Nick Cave, then your movie marathon can definitely be centered around the darker (yet still romantic) side of love. These movies can be peppered by vampires, werewolves or zombies, yet still strike a romantic chord. The ultimate loveable Goth character has got to be Johnny Depp’s “Edward Scissorhands,” doomed to hurt the one he loves because he has blades in place of fingers.
“Let the Right One In” is a little darker – a vampire tale that appeals to lovers of young adult fiction. Finally, there is “Gaslight” – a classic George Cukor film featuring Ingrid Bergman in the lead. The actress plays the niece of a world-famous opera singer who has been murdered for her prized jewelry collection. Paula falls madly in love with a man who gradually isolates her from the outside world, adding a twisted and dark element to what she once identified as love.
Rom Com Time: “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Something About Mary,” “About Time“
If you and your partner enjoy nothing more than a laugh together, then rom coms are definitely the way to go. One of the funniest and most heartfelt is “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” in which a character played by Julia Roberts struggles to come to terms with the fact her best friend (and secret love) is marrying another woman. “Something about Mary” is also side-splittingly funny; it features Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz at their very best. Finally, “About Time” is an utterly creative romp about time travel and the ability that many lovers wish they had – the ability to stop time and do things all over again.
If you will be separated from your lover this Valentine’s Day, a dinner date and movie marathon might be the perfect way to feel more connected than ever. Choose a type of theme that appeals, and select around three movies. Don’t forget to set the scene with candlelight, food, and even a present sent to your lover’s door when they least expect it.