This week’s videos are not for those of you who are looking forward to Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to let your sweeties know how much you love them. I, like many others, will be spending the evening in a semi-embittered state.
I will be all alone sipping on a nice glass of Chianti and perhaps thinking of ways to make innocent young lovers suffer because my date went out of town. Most likely though, I will be watching movies that tell stories about people who are really in love and have great hair. I will however throw in one or two with excruciatingly sad endings just to make myself feel better.
Follow my formula and the nightmare of a holiday that reinforces feelings of rejection and loneliness will not hurt so badly.
Begin with “Say Anything” and you won’t regret it. The story of Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court is so incredibly cute that I’m happy just thinking about it. John Cusack plays Lloyd, a recent high school graduate who spends his time practicing the art of kickboxing – “the sport of the future” – and pining after Diane.
Diane, played by Ione Sky, is the valedictorian of their graduating class and an all-around overachiever. Her dad is a slightly sinister retirement-home owner played by none other than “Mr. Marty Crane,” or John Mahoney for those in-the-know.
Mr. Court asks Lloyd what his future plans are and he says with perfect sincerity, “I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that. I just want to spend as much time as possible with your daughter.”
If Lloyd isn’t the perfect guy then I have been looking for the wrong one.
Follow up the perfection of Lloyd with the doomed relationship that is the focus of “Out of Sight.” Steven Soderbergh’s post-noir thriller is a subtly styled vision of the doomed love affair between a bank robber and an FBI agent.
Jennifer Lopez, before she became J-Lo, plays Karen Sisco, a woman who accidentally comes upon a prison break in which she meets Jack Foley played by George Clooney. Jack is a career bank robber on his way out of the big house to score with one last job.
The chemistry between Jack and Karen is incredible. Clooney has the skill to play opposite Lopez and not allow her to overpower him. He has the ability to make her look vulnerable and feminine, two qualities that J-Lo does not normally posses. She usually makes her male costars look like little boys who don’t know what to do around a real woman. George is a stud. Even though he plays the same type of character all the time, in this movie it just happens to work out.
Another good choice is the classic “Housesitter,” starring Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin. This is not a particularly romantic movie but it is pretty darn cute and that means a lot.
Goldie plays a con artist who, after having a one nighter with Steve, goes out in search of the little house he built for his former girlfriend. She happily moves into the house and proceeds to tell everyone in this idyllic small town that she is his wife.
After Steve finds out what is going on he employs Goldie to make his ex-sweetie jealous in exchange for the house. This madcap adventure is guaranteed to make even the most cynical person happy. If it doesn’t, “you’re way too cynical, man.”
Round out an evening of love with “Titanic” and get swept away with the doomed ship. Just kidding, if you want to rent it go right ahead, but you would be wise not to tell anyone. The James Cameron opus, simply put, just plain sucks ass.