Love In Lockdown: 10 Films To Watch this Valentine’s Day
This year most of us will spend Valentine’s Day stuck at home and to save everyone the usual argument over what to watch, we have come up with an eclectic mix of film suggestions, from Anna Mohr-Pietsch, Producer at MetFilm Production. Enjoy!
Valentine’s Day can be a mixed bag. For some, an excuse to act out their wildest romantic fantasies in the name of love; for others, an excuse to rail against crass sentimentality. For another group (of which I am a proud member), it’s an excuse to curate – for your friends, your lover(s), your family, or most satisfyingly just for yourself – a movie marathon that speaks to love in all its forms.
First Love: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (2017)
With all the makings of a modern classic, Call Me By Your Name conjures so evocatively the unbearably painful joy of first love. And the peach is a Valentines poem all of its own.
d. Luca Guadagnino, w. James Ivory
Platonic Love: STAND BY ME (1986)
Wonderfully nostalgic, endlessly quotable (“I lost the comb”), and the definitive ode to friendship, loyalty and the heart-breaking beauty of River Phoenix.
d. Rob Reiner, w. Raynold Gideon/Bruce A. Evans
Doomed Love: PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (2019)
A breathtakingly poetic study of explosive, unforgettable, star-crossed love; and a searingly honest exploration of the many crosses women have had to bear for the patriarchy, and the strength they find from and with each other.
d/w. Céline Sciamma
Parental Love: MRS DOUBTFIRE (1993)
Who doesn’t sometimes wish their dad was Robin Williams, in a full skirt and heels, taking Pierce Brosnan down a peg or two and charming us all in the meantime? A joy and a delight, for all ages, and a reminder of all our parents do for us, both seen and unseen.
d. Chris Columbus, w. Randi Mayen Singer/Leslie Dixon
In Sickness and in Health: THE BIG SICK (2017)
Let’s hear it for a truly modern rom-com that shows us how love can grow even in the messiest of circumstances. A delightful script and first-rate acting – Kumail Nanjiani can do no wrong in my book – make this a genuinely Valentine-friendly choice.
d. Michael Showalter, w. Emily V. Gordon/Kumail Nanjiani
Obsessive Love: REBECCA (1940)
If the name Mrs Danvers doesn’t immediately make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, while simultaneously making you weep nostalgically for all she’s lost, then you haven’t watched (the original) Rebecca enough times! The sexual tension, the layers of suspense, that house. Unforgettable.
d. Alfred Hitchcock, w. Robert E. Sherwood/Joan Harrison
Love and the In-Laws: GET OUT (2017)
No one ever said meeting the in-laws was going to be easy, but there’s nothing like watching Get Out to set the palms sweating before the big event. But it’s not just a cautionary tale for Valentines – it’s also a brilliantly layered, provocative and timely study of racism in all its forms.
d/w. Jordan Peele
The End of Love: MARRIAGE STORY (2019)
Not all love stories end in happily ever after, but somehow Marriage Story manages to bring out the romance in divorce. It’s elegiac, beautifully composed and honest. It’s also tortuous – but in a good way.
d/w. Noah Baumbach
Till Death Us Do Part: TRULY MADLY DEEPLY (1990)
It’s got Alan Rickman serenading Juliet Stevenson on the cello. What more do you need? Michael Maloney hopping madly along the South Bank, that’s what. Anthony Minghella’s first film was quite possibly his best – and definitely his most romantic. Dead people can be really sexy too.
d/w. Anthony Minghella
Perfect Love: WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989)
After all the highs and lows, tears and fears, I thought I’d end with quite simply the perfect romantic comedy. The perfect script, the perfect setting, the perfect cast, the perfect score. It’s a masterclass in comedy and, more importantly, in romance. For the perfect Valentines, nothing else will do.
d. Rob Reiner, w. Nora Ephron
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