Movies to watch this Valentine’s Day weekend

Photo courtesy of Eva Rinaldi, Wikipedia

In these trying times of double-layered masks and social distancing, Valentine’s Day is destined to look a little different than in previous years. The options for romantic dates may be slim this year, but that doesn’t mean that your socially distant Valentine’s Day should be boring.

One tried and true tradition remains: curling up on a couch with fistfuls of popcorn and watching some sappy romance. Thanks to your favorite streaming services, there’s a huge selection to choose from. Here are some classic films to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day in whatever way you see fit.

Starting off with a movie picked with comedy lovers and staunch Valentine’s Day haters in mind, “The Other Woman” is a perfect film for anyone who isn’t here for the usual saccharine fare. After discovering that they’re all being manipulated and lied to by the same man, three women set out to get some sweet revenge. If you want a film with a stellar cast (including Nicki Minaj), writing that balances humor with drama, and gorgeous locations, “The Other Woman” is a perfect choice. It can be watched from YouTube, Google Play, Vudu or Amazon Prime.

If it’s a classic you’re after, “The Princess Bride” never fails. This 1987 film stands the test of time even now and has more than earned its reputation as one of the greats. This story-in-a-story has princesses, pirates, giants and even a few rodents of unusual size. Most importantly, it has a love story that both adheres to the classic fantasy romance and subverts it from time to time. “The Princess Bride” can be watched on Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube or iTunes.

“Howl’s Moving Castle” is another choice that you simply can’t go wrong with. If you don’t fall in love with the gorgeous animation crafted by Studio Ghibli, you’ll no doubt fall for the quite literally magical love story that “Howl’s Moving Castle” tells. Dashing yet morally questionable wizards, brave and resilient women and cursed princes abound, all set against the dramatic background of a country at war. What isn’t there to love? “Howl’s Moving Castle” can be watched on YouTube for $11.99.

If you’re nostalgic for your high school English days, Baz Luhrmann’s reimagining of “Romeo + Juliet” is for you. We all know how this timeless tale begins and ends, but Luhrmann makes Shakespeare’s most infamous work a little fresher by changing the setting. Romeo is in a silk Hawaiian shirt, Mercutio in heels and a sequined brassiere and swordfights traded in for gunfights. It’s the same love story we’ve collectively reread a thousand times over, just with a little less dust and a lot more glitter. This high-octane piece can be found on YouTube, Google Play, Vudu or Amazon Prime.

This final recommendation is a little more eclectic but perfect for anyone willing to add something unique to their Valentine’s Day binge-watching list. At its simplest, “The Shape of Water” is about a lonely woman who finds companionship—and danger—when she accidentally discovers the amphibious man being held captive in the government facility she works for. If you adore the human/android pairing of Marvel’s Wanda and Vision or find yourself regularly rewatching “Beauty and the Beast,” it might be worth spending some time with “The Shape of Water” this Valentine’s Day. It can be streamed from Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube or Google Play.    

No matter what you’re after, your streaming service of choice has you covered this Valentine’s Day. So stay safe, cuddle up with someone you love (or just a really big box of chocolates) and binge away.

 

kconcert@ramapo.edu