It’s that time of the year again, where the colour red is everywhere and the sweet smell of buttered popcorn fills the air. That’s right, Valentine’s Day is all about the microwave popcorn and the sweeter-than-life romance films. Just the way it should be.
Romantic movies come under a lot of pressure over Valentine’s Day, with critics saying they are too sappy and cheesy. But romantic movies make people happy and give them hope for love. They are here for our enjoyment, and therefore should not be put down by the world’s naysayers.
Valentine’s Day films can be placed into two categories: the romantic comedy and the classic romance film. Classic romance films like Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 British miniseries, of course), The Notebook and A Walk to Remember allow women to envision their perfect man, giving them hope that they may find true love in the future.The movies are also good guidelines for how a man should treat a woman. If every woman were treated the way Noah (Ryan Gosling) treated Allie (Rachel McAdams) in 2004’s The Notebook, there would be fewer breakups or divorces in the world.
Everyone is a romantic deep down, and we can experience and relate to some of these movies where we see the main character experience their first love and first kiss, like in 1999’s Never Been Kissed.
Romantic movies are the equivalent to comfort food; we know what to expect, and wont be disappointed at the end of it. In romance films, we expect “the look” towards the end of the film, where the characters will stare deeply into each other’s eyes. We then anticipate the long-awaited passionate kiss concluding with a proclamation of their love for one another. If your romantic life isn’t going so well, you most likely cannot enjoy these movies because they reflect on bad memories for you. In that case, you should view a film with more of a realistic view of love. Movies such as The Ugly Truth and He’s Just Not That Into You show a more comical side to romance by focusing on how men and women behave differently in relationships.
They may be cheesy, but that’s all part of the fun . People clearly enjoy watching them, creating a lucrative business for Hollywood. The films are cheap to produce (compared with CGI blockbusters) and draw big box office numbers, meaning that the beloved romantic comedy is here to stay.
If you aren’t interested in this years Valentine’s Day offerings, perhaps revisiting romantic classics will better suit your fancy. You cannot go wrong with Ghost, Titanic, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Pretty Woman. If you want to watch a romantic movie with your partner who simply hates the genre, meet them halfway with a romantic movie that is not labelled as such. Try Wedding Crashers, it may be a comedy but it hits all the emotional targets for a Valentine’s Day film.
Ask anyone what they think about Valentine’s Day movies and the response is overwhelmingly the same: they suck.
If you happen to be in a relationship, you may be blinded by your own romance, and actually enjoy them. If you’re not, Valentine’s Day films are as banal as the holiday itself. Although the films are clichÃ©d, capitalist drivel that studios force-feed to the unsuspecting, V-day films succeed at the box office and are therefore recycled every year.
Studios make profit off of individuals who lust for the perfect romance generated by their films, when the reality is that the chances of ever finding it are pretty slim.
The movie Valentine’s Day, opening Feb. 12, features by far the most star-studded cast I’ve ever seen. It stars Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Ashton Kutcher, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Taylor Swift, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Taylor Lautner, Jessica Biel, and Jamie Foxx – just to name a few. For that reason alone it will probably be a hit at the box-office, despite the fact that the content is destined to be completely predictable and idealistic. The problem is that no matter how many times we’re warned that a movie is crap, millions of people still see it. What is never acknowledged is how these companies are ripping us off with their fake fairytale romance – and we’re guilty of falling for it time and time again. They trick women into believing that the guy we initially can’t stand is actually our soulmate, and that we can all live happily ever after.
Looking back at previous Valentine’s Day movies, last February’s He’s Just Not That Into You grossed close to $94 million, and 2003’s How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days, made over $105 million. Both films got terrible reviews from world-renowned critics &- but nobody listened. Roger Ebert described He’s Just Not That Into You as “a very far from perfect movie, and it ends on an unsatisfactory note,” while Entertainment Weekly claimed that “it turns romantic sanity into something so sanitized that it starts to make delusion look good.” How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days received equally negative reviews with Filmcritic.com calling it “a film which effectively loses its audience inside of 10 minutes.”
Based on previous chick-flick Valentine’s Day-themed movies receiving such awful reviews, it is to be expected that the new film Valentine’s Day will not fare much better. Despite the impressive line-up of celebrities, it would be utterly shocking if this movie managed to convey any type of genuine, heart felt emotion, or incorporate a storyline other than the stereotypical boy-meets-girl fluff. As much as I hate to sound bitter, the truth is that Valentine’s Day, like Christmas, has become an overwhelmingly commercialized, materialistic holiday and the film industry’s objective, of course, is to generate as much revenue as possible &- regardless of the quality of the product.