With the polar vortex upon us and most of the country blanketed in snow and ice, you’re probably considering the wisdom right now of staying indoors this Valentine’s Day. A bottle of wine, a roaring fire, a romantic movie to set the mood — you can’t go wrong!
That is, unless you make a fatal error when it comes time to choose your film. For beware, young lovers: some of those so-called “romantic” movies will kill your Valentine’s Day buzz faster than a Rick Astley musical greeting card. And lest you want to end your holiday walking home alone, in the cold, and getting frostbite all over your tender parts, you’ll want to make sure your viewing lineup steers clear of…
“A Walk to Remember”
In keeping with the grand tradition of Nicholas Sparks screen adaptations, this film is a delightful love story … that will leave you feeling utterly dissatisfied with your own relationship to the point of abject despair. In this case, you will end your evening tormented by the knowledge that if you were dying of cancer, your significant other would not prove his love by building you a telescope with his bare hands. Whether you even want a telescope is beside the point. The point is, you will never have one, and you’re going to cry about it.
“The Last Song”
Though “The Last Song” was plenty cute when it first came out, seeing Miley Cyrus in the role of a young brunette ingénue opposite her now-ex-fiancé Liam Hemsworth now comes with way too much emotional baggage to be enjoyable. Sigh. If only those two crazy kids could’ve made it work.
As hardcore adorable as this movie might sound — boy meets girl, girl turns out to have an incurable fatal disease, boy learns vital life lessons about the importance of feeling his feelings — your Valentine’s mood will be ruined at the exact moment that Keanu Reeves climbs through a window with a tiny dishwasher strapped to his back. Do yourself a favor and rent “Love and Other Drugs” instead.
Let’s be honest: at this particular pop cultural moment, no two words are a more surefire romantic mood-killer than “Woody Allen.”
“When Harry Met Sally”
This movie fancies itself a charming answer to the eternal question, “Can men and women be friends?” The problem is, the answer is apparently, “Nope! And furthermore, your only hope for happiness will be to spend the rest of your life with a guy who dresses like an embarrassing dad and thinks it’s adorable to neg your taste in wedding cake in front of a bunch of strangers.” Frankly, we’d rather die alone surrounded by thousands of cats.
“Bridget Jones’ Diary”
Ever since the news hit that poor, sweet, darling Darcy is dead in the next installment of the Bridget Jones series, the movie based on the first book has become too depressing to watch.
Don’t get us wrong: “Love Actually” is a delightful movie, and its multifarious plotlines make it a great date night choice for just about any couple. But now that Andrew Lincoln is so super-famous as the star of “The Walking Dead,” the cognitive dissonance of seeing him wearing sweaters and speaking with an English accent is just too much. TOO MUCH.
No, this isn’t a typo. Despite being widely considered the uber romance of contemporary cinema, “The Notebook” was obviously designed by evil scientists to inspire feelings of hopeless inadequacy in audiences everywhere, by depicting a love so unimaginably powerful that it has the capacity to cure Alzheimer’s disease. By the time the credits roll, you will be wildly resentful at the inability of your relationship to combat age-related illnesses, and also upset in general at your significant other’s inability to be Ryan Gosling. Honestly, it’s just unfair.