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For The Lovers, The Lonely, The Heartbroken & More: The Playlist Guide To Valentine's Day Movies

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist February 13, 2014 at 3:00PM

It's here. Again. Though it feels like it's only a few weeks since we were bombarded with Hallmark ads, reminder e-mails and a Nicholas Sparks movie in theaters, it's been a whole 364 days since the last Valentine's Day, and tomorrow, as ever, will see the world's couples (hopefully) have a special evening, and the world's singles go into something close to crisis mode.
1
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless mind

If You Just Got Dumped
There are probably worse states of mind to be in than being recently broken up with on Valentine's Day, but none spring to mind right now (for what it's worth, if they're the sort of person who'd dump you immediately before V-Day, you're better off without them). So at first, Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman's masterpiece "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" will feel like wish fulfillment: of course you'd sign up to have your no-longer-significant other erased from your memory. Then, it'll be almost too painful to watch, as the dissolution of Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet's relationship plays out before your eyes, with, we imagine, more than a few painful stings of recognition. And then, finally, you'll come to realize, like the characters, that you wouldn't swap those memories for anything, no matter how bruising they might be. It's probably not a good idea to follow Joel and Clementine's lead and give it another go, though.
ALT:
"Blue Is The Warmest Color" isn't going to be the easiest watch for you, but like a great break-up song, you'll find consolation in Adele's woes in the second half of the movie.

Before Midnight

If You're Getting Married
You've made the big commitment, you're planning the big day, but at this point, you should probably be especially sure that you know what you're getting into. So a triple-bill of Richard Linklater's "Before" trilogy is the perfect way to double (or even triple) check. You can snuggle up together and remember the first flush of love as Jesse and Celine have their brief encounter with "Before Sunrise." You can acknowledge that you found your soulmate with "Before Sunset" (with a quick break to dance to Nina Simone together). And, most crucially, with "Before Midnight," you can be reminded that you're going to be in for the long haul, and that'll be a hell of a lot of work. But, for all the blazing hotel room rows, it'll ultimately be worth it.
ALT:
If you're looking for something to aspire to, the hard-drinking sleuths Nick and Norah Charles of "The Thin Man" are certainly the models we'll be aspiring to when our time comes. Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is also unexpectedly moving on the subject of marriage.

She's Having A Baby

If You Have A Baby On The Way
There are countless movies about marriage, but movies about pregnancy are more difficult to recommend: they're in general, either a little traumatic ("Junebug"), a lot traumatic ("Rosemary's Baby") or just terrible ("What To Expect When You're Expecting"). So it's with a heavy heart that we recommend, mainly because of the title, "She's Having A Baby." There's a reason the film, starring Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern as a young couple trying to, and eventually succeeding, in having their first child, isn't spoken of in the same hallowed tones as John Hughes' other movies—it's a bit formless, smug and very yuppie-ish. But there are moments of real feeling, and it's clearly hugely personal for Hughes, so there's enough here to make it worth your while, if you can keep away from baby manuals and morning sickness for long enough.
ALT:
"Knocked Up" is a much better movie, but probably not an ideal guide to pregnancy.

If You Just Had A Baby
Anything. Literally anything. You could be watching the greatest movie ever made, and you'd still fall asleep in front of it. Just make sure the volume's down—you only just got your offspring to sleep...

Betty Blue

If You Want To Make A Baby
Love can be a messy, tragic, stupid thing. You want to provide for your significant other, so you cover up their mistakes or shortcomings. You want to make them happy, so that involves violent behavior on their behalf. You want to turn them on, so you wear whatever you can find that they might like. The madness and insanity of true love are in “Betty Blue,” and for this couple, that madness manifests itself on the mingling of the naked skin, two lost souls who are addicted to each other like a drug. The love stays fresh for any couple at first, pawing, groping and licking each other. Normally that subsides, but not in the case of Beatrice Dalle’s Betty and the very handsome Jean-Hugues Anglade, who remain as head over heels as they were the moment their eyes locked, constantly gazing at each other even as the both of them are engulfed in the flames of passion, hoping to find some sort of sanity amidst the madness of love. “Betty Blue” is a salacious three hours (though it arguably peaks in its opening minutes, which are so soaked in sex that you and your other half may, fingers crossed, re-enact it rather than getting any further into the film), a large chunk of it’s story dedicated to the sweaty bedroom romps between characters, where Dalle and Anglade method-act their way to lust. Post-MPAA, it’s one of the hottest movies ever made, and if you need an excuse to stay in all day touching each other, this is the one.
ALT:
Let’s face it, if the chemistry is strong enough, you could be watching anything. One Playlist team member had one of his more memorable make-out sessions accompanied by Martin Lawrence vehicle “Black Knight,” for what it's worth.

This article is related to: Features, Feature


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