Movie Marathon: Films For All Valentine’s Day Occasions

Thinking about watching “Love Actually” because it’s Valentine’s Day? Don’t. Here to save you from Hugh Grant’s estrogen-churning narration and a blond Severus Snape, FM brings you prime celluloid flicks for every Valentine’s Day occasion. For one softhearted cinephile (or two):

To apologize for forgetting to make Valentine’s Day plans…

Try “Inferno,” a 3-D film from 1953 in which a scheming wife conspires with her lover to leave her husband to die in the desert. Once your valentine sees that kind of bat-shit insanity, you’ll seem more helpless than negligent.

To add some sexual oomph to your post-Valentine’s date activities…

The key here is subtlety. Consider “Gilda,” the 1946 noir classic starring Rita Hayworth as the drippy, doe-eyed femme fatale. Her coquettish performance of the song “Put the Blame on Mame” will have your valentine pining over pillow talk for a good striptease. Other good alternatives: “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999), “Breaking the Waves” (1996), and porn.

To seduce that ‘friend valentine’ you’ve actually been harboring romantic feelings for…

Express yourself with less, that is, without words. Check out “City Lights” (1931), where Charlie Chaplin’s splayfooted, potty love-struck, and Dickensesque Little Tramp falls in love with a poor blind girl, but is too ashamed to reveal his loser self to her. If you don’t get kissed in the closing scene, your valentine lacks all emotion and is unfit for your affection.

To forget about the fact that you just got dumped a week before Valentine’s Day…

You’ll jump for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) or “Casablanca” (1942) because the subject matter so seemingly foots the bill. In the end, however, they’ll just leave you wallowing in the bitter memories of your broken relationship. Instead, go for “High Fidelity” (2000). There’s no telling how many miserable romantics John Cusack has charmed out of breakup depression from behind the film’s precarious fourth wall. For a different take, try “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” (1986).

To make you believe in true love…“Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004)—Hayao Miyazaki’s adroitly and sensitively imagined, animated love story puts every Disney sap-fest to shame. An inversion of “Beauty and the Beast,” the film tells the story of a young woman who is turned into an old witch and falls in love with a miscreant wizard who stomps the land in a massive gear-girdling contraption of a castle. Sounds weird? Yes, but that’s what makes it so convincing. See also: “Wayne’s World” (1992) and “Wayne’s World 2” (1993).

To watch by yourself because you have no valentine…“Labyrinth” (1986)—See David Bowie as Jareth, Goblin King of the Labyrinth. Trust us on this one.

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