By Georgina Page, Third Year, English
Although I firmly believe any film genre can be appreciated at any time, there is a certain joy in matching your viewing to the theme of the moment. With Valentine’s Day approaching, chocolate hearts scattered liberally in shops, and the abundance of pink and red everywhere, I wish to suggest some of my favourite films for your Valentine’s day viewing.
About Time (2013)
I must begin with one of my all-time favourite films. As viewers, we are sucked into the delightful world of Tim Lake. Domhnall Gleeson conveys the somewhat awkward Tim in his journey in pursuit of love after he discovers he possesses the gift of time travel. He encounters charmingly odd characters along the way and eventually meets Mary, played by Rachel McAdams.
The aesthetic of this film is gorgeous, from the large Cornish house of my dreams, to the stormy wedding scene, to the montage of London underground goodbyes; it is a film that leaves you feeling warm.
The real magic of the film lies in the love that is shared between father and son. Bill Nighy plays the charismatic yet humble dad, and the connection between Tim and his father is healing to witness, they are without restrictions; they are expressive and vulnerable, which is the highlight of the film.
Notting Hill (1999)
Julia Roberts is delicate and elegant in her portrayal of Hollywood actress Anna Stock, and Hugh Grant embodies the quintessential polite English bookshop owner, William Thacker, with ease.
The film displays how beautiful simple love can be, it is the world that is complicated, and the love between Anna and William is honest. The streets of Notting Hill become a safe haven for love, a dream-like space for Anna and William to continue to reunite.
The film oozes charm. We fall in love with the characters as their shy hearts express how utterly in awe they are of each other. The film is very human, William is so in love that he considers not being with Anna, as he feels if something were to tear them apart again, he would not survive.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is an enchanting yet painful watch. The film explores what it is to be human and feel intense love and loss.
The film is set in the near future, where humans can erase any specific memory or person they want from their minds. The story follows two opposing personalities, Joel and Clementine, Jim Carrey embodies Joel with a calm stature, very different from the Jim Carrey we are used to seeing. Kate Winslet plays the impulsive Clementine, the blueprint of all manic pixie dream girls. Their relationship ends, and instead of trying to rebuild or heal the hurt inside them, they decide to erase each other completely.
The film explores the mind, we are disorientated, like Joel himself, as the plot is non-linear, and we are fed fragments of the relationship. The writing is stunning, as we experience the hurt both characters feel and their need to relieve the pain of having lost in love.
Ultimately the film explores the nature of human relationships and how hard it can be to understand the world and the fellow humans living in it.
The Lake House (2006)
Time is warped as two characters accidentally discover they share the same Lake House at different moments in time. Sandra Bullock plays Kate Forster, opposite Keanu Reeves as Alex Wyler; they are perfect dance partners in this tale of two lost souls falling in love.
After you suspend your notions of reality, you can enjoy how Alex and Kate communicate through letters travelling through time in the small post box. We witness their tender romance unfolding slowly, the pace complimenting the characters as they both exude slightly melancholic loner energy.
Alex waits four years for Kate to finally be together, and they arrange to meet on Valentine’s day. The film presents how people who love each other fight for their love despite time, fear, and death trying to keep them apart.
13 going on 30 (2004)
Oh, to be a magazine editor in New York, with a wardrobe of deliciously coloured clothes, planning parties and dancing to Michael Jackson's ‘Thriller’.
This is a comfort film of mine, one to watch when needing a boost, as this film makes you feel full and energised. It’s all about love, friendship and embracing your individual creativity.
Jennifer Garner embodies the icon that is Jenna Rink effortlessly. I have adored her character since initially watching at ten years old. In adolescence, Jenna is desperate to be someone else and impress others, but as she wakes up in her 30-year-old body, we witness her falling in love with herself. Jenna’s joy for life is infectious as she brings innocence to the cruel world of New York fashion.
The outfits are everything, the 80’s soundtrack is uplifting, and Mark Ruffalo’s witty, honest and slightly moody portrayal of Mat’, perfectly balances Jennifer Garner’s Jenna.
Whether you are hosting a Galantines evening with your girlies, or a cosy night in with your partner, or having a solo binge of love films, Valentine’s day should be enjoyed by watching great stories about life and love. <3
Featured Image: The Notebook (2004), Courtesy of Melissa Moseley/New Line Cinema on IMDB
What are you planning on watching this Valentine's Day?