You’re Doing Valentine’s Day Wrong: Here Are Some Ways To Do It Better

What to watch, look at, listen to, and think about today. XOXO, MTV News.

For some, Valentine's Day is a day devoted to French-kissing loved ones, eating chocolate hearts for dinner, and calling elected officials to demand health care/women's rights/no DPL/no travel ban/no wall/@god help. Others will choose to celebrate this Anna Howard Shaw Day by sending Gwyneth Paltrow's head in a box to an enemy. However you traditionally celebrate love, let MTV News tell you about some better ways to do that. Please enjoy a list of our favorite Valentine's Day movies, celebrity couples, musicals, and songs. Get out there, horndogs!

Rachel Handler: The Descent

In the spirit of Valentine's Day in a post–"grab them by the pussy" America, I recommend one of my favorite films, The Descent. A British film from 2005, The Descent follows six best friends who go on a fun spelunking trip together in hopes of bolstering their relationships. One of the girls is named Juno! They all get trapped inside the cave and hunted for sport by a group of vengeful humanoids. None of them encounter a single human man for the entirety of the movie. It's beautiful.

Ira Madison III: Heathers

This is my favorite movie and favorite pseudo rom-com, because at first you think Winona Ryder and Christian Slater are meant to be together, and then you realize he's a twisted nutjob. The romantic story is about Winona loving herself and her friends and not changing into a murderer for a guy. So, you know, a perfect Valentine's story.

Erica Futterman: Dear Evan Hansen

If you’re looking to get your all of your feels out in the open this Valentine’s Day, might I suggest the cast recording of Dear Evan Hansen? The tale of a teen boy (Ben Platt from Pitch Perfect) grappling with anxieties, friendships, love, and secrets is basically a YA novel set against a lush pop score — and the recording’s recent release beat out Hamilton for the highest-charting cast recording debut since 1961. Composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of La La Land fame, Dear Evan Hansen covers all of your emotional bases. Wishing you could work up the nerve to talk to your crush? Put on “Waving Through a Window” or “If I Could Tell Her.” Blissfully in love? Push play on “Only Us.” Bitter about a breakup? Blast “Good for You.” Looking for a cathartic cry? The first act's finale pair, “Disappear” and “You Will Be Found,” are here for you.

Hunter Boone: Mother Nature's endorsements

Take some time today to remember when Mother Nature endorsed Bernie Sanders (#swoon). Similarly, here's Trump when nature heard about Scott Pruitt.

Teo Bugbee: The Unicorn in Captivity

Forget 50 Shades Darker — there will never be a portrait of masochism better than this 15th-century Flemish tapestry, commissioned at the height of a short-lived and very Lisa Frank–esque unicorn fad in late-medieval Netherlands. Some scholars believe this gigantic weaving metaphorically depicts the captivity of Christ before the crucifixion, but anyone with eyes can see The Unicorn in Captivity is an argument for a conception of the lover as a mythical creature who still stupidly smiles despite being chained, caged, and bloodied. This Valentine's Day, get in touch with the spirit of romance by happily awaiting destruction at the hands of an indifferent beloved.

Meredith Graves: Amélie and Frank O'Hara

My favorite romantic movie is Amélie. This blasted day is an excellent excuse to revisit films that basically amount to fairy tales for lonely weird girls. Amélie is about a fear of good and true things; the moment near the end when she breaks down and starts to cry just from thinking of having a person to stop at the market for her on the way home so she can make a cake is almost too much to bear. Also, read Frank O'Hara's "Steps," which is a love letter to New York as well as an ode to the very matter of love itself. It also happens to mention Valentine's Day.

Inkoo Kang: Michael Sheen and Sarah Silverman

Celebrity couples are the last place anyone should look for #relationshipgoals, but I can't help doodling hearts around Michael Sheen and Sarah Silverman. They come across as pillars of reasonableness in the whirlwinds of bullshit that are Hollywood and the world, and their low-key, three-year romance looks like the definition of effortless compatibility, with a bond forged by liberal politics, a distaste for drama, and fart jokes. (Sheen's recent run of frigid roles has sadly meant that no one's seen his considerable comedic talents in a while.) Most sexily, though, he always seems super proud of his girlfriend's accomplishments. Plus they clean up real nice.

Jane Coaston: But I'm a Cheerleader

I recommend the movie But I'm a Cheerleader, because it was the one my sister showed me to let me know that she knew I was gay and that it was OK.

Simon Vozick-Levinson: The Casual Dots, “Clocks”

This is not a Coldplay cover (although, if we're being really real, I probably put that one on at least as many mix CDs circa 2004). It's the highlight on the debut from the underrated team-up of Bikini Kill's Kathi Wilcox, Slant 6's Christina Billotte, and Deep Lust's Steve Dore — an offbeat surf-rock love ballad that's sweet without being cloying. Plus the guitar parts are super catchy.

Marisa Kanter: Lovesick and more

On Netflix's Lovesick, follow the romantic misadventures of Dylan (Johnny Flynn) as he finds every woman he's had sexual relations with to inform them of his recently diagnosed STI ... while hopelessly pining over his best friend. This British rom-com is the perfect combination of humor and heart, with a dash of awkward situations — perfect for Valentine's Day binge-watching.

There's also the Season 4 premiere of The Mindy Project, which is the grand, When Harry Met Sally moment that Mindy Lahiri has waited for her whole life. "While I Was Sleeping" is every rom-com trope rolled into one, and it couldn't be more perfect.

In the penultimate episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's first season, Rebecca has the epiphany of all epiphanies: she might like someone who's not Josh! "Oh My God I Think I Like You" is basically butterflies in your stomach in song form.

And finally, what could be more romantic than cuddling with your valentine and watching a 90-minute movie-musical featuring a failing marriage? Happy, sad, and romantic (until it's not), The Last Five Years is the reality check on Valentine's Day that you probably need.

Taylor Trudon: Teenage love and heartbreak

I've said it once and I'll say it again: no one writes about teenage love and heartbreak like Anna Koppelman. Anna is only 16, but the honesty and vulnerability she exudes when it comes to relationships shows a maturity that is beyond her years. Whether it's waxing poetic about her crush's abs or detailing the dissolution of a high school friendship, Anna's writing contains personal — and relatable — details that not many adults are brave enough to share. Anna is a special kind of fearless.

You can read her column, Crush City, here.

Renan Borelli: You've Got Mail

You can't go wrong with You've Got Mail. Yes, the film got mixed reviews at the time of its release (including this hilarious pan from Nathan Rabin, who called it "atrociously, almost unwatchably saccharine, representing pretty much everything wrong with today's big-budget, high-concept Hollywood filmmaking"). Yes, its AOL chat room–driven plot has aged poorly, a goofy time capsule for a very specific time in the life of the internet. But You've Got Mail is the romantic comedy I find myself coming back to the most.

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan had previously starred together in Joe Versus the Volcano and Sleepless in Seattle, the latter of which, while beloved, is a film about insane people. (Ryan hears Hanks on the radio and invites him to meet her on the top of the Empire State Building? And then, before she gets a response, she GOES to Seattle to ambush him, unprompted? She barely knows the guy! These are the actions of a lunatic.)

What makes You've Got Mail work is each character's imperfections. Hanks's Joe Fox (F-O-X) is sometimes a bit of a mansplain-y dick and Ryan's Kathleen Kelly is openly cruel at times, but their mismatched edges feel like the dynamic of a real relationship. The ensemble cast is also believably obnoxious, including Greg Kinnear as a self-important writer for the New York Observer and ’90s Parker Posey at her most neurotic. (Posey's elevator Tic Tac meltdown still gives me PTSD about past relationships.)

Maybe You've Got Mail is also about insane people. There's no good reason for Joe not to tell Kathleen that he's her secret internet pen pal; he's basically catfishing her. In the film's last scene, when Joe reveals his ruse (on a date in which Kathleen fully intends to finally meet her digital love interest), Ryan says, "I wanted it to be you." Any rational person probably would've been pissed. But these aren't rational people. They're in love.


VMAs 2017