Random sidebar: I just thought of a fun parlor game: Pick three of your favorite movies that aren’t associated with a holiday, then invent a holiday that incorporates aspects of all three. Fun for the whole family! Or at least, some friends who are over for drinks..
Anyway, the film section of Leo Magazine (in my hometown of Louisville) asked me for some of my favorite films for Valentine’s Day (they supplied the various categories below). I was happy to oblige, partly of course as a selfless public service, and partly because I’ll use any opportunity to push my favorite films on people. The full article with others’ recs, too, is here. The envelopes, please (with Netflix links):
Funniest Sex Scene? Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, the ‘Sex Education’ skit. It’s exactly the way Americans imagine a literal British sex ed class would be run.
Most Romantic Moment? Tie: The conclusions of Chaplin’s “City Lights” and, of course, ‘Casablanca.’ In the former Chaplin reveals his true self to the woman he’s loved but has never seen him, and in the latter Bogart sacrifices his love for Bergman for the sake of her happiness and the free world. They’re very different, but very romantic.
Best Kiss? Tie again:
(1) Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, ‘Notorious.’ [The photo above.] For two and a half minutes they kiss, pull slightly apart, then kiss again. Repeat, please. Trivia: Hitchcock devised this to get around the prohibition against kisses lasting more than three seconds. Repeat, please.
(2) Buster Keaton’s ‘The General‘. Keaton’s beloved fuels the train’s fire with just twigs, as they’re escaping the enemy. He strangles her for half a second, then kisses her. It’s a beautiful and hysterical summation of love.
Best Non-Hook-Up? “There’s Something About Mary.” Poor Ben Stiller suffers and suffers.
Best Break-Up? The end of ‘Superbad,’ one of my all-time favorites. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera head off with their new squeezes, looking back over their shoulders at one another and the end of their adolescent friendship that dare not speak its name.
Favorite Overall Romantic Comedy or Love Story? “Shop Around the Corner,” with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. They work together and detest one another, but they fall in love as each other’s anonymous pen pal. Funny, sophisticated, and fantastic.
Here’s to a Valentine’s Day that’s sweet or spicy, however you like it.
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