Thursday, February 14, 2008

Alternative V-Day Movies: Be Romantic Without Being a Schmuck

I have to admit, Valentine's Day has never gone over smoothly for me. I have vivid recollections of disapointing gifts, awkward break-ups, and at one point in time, two guys showing up at my house in the space of a half an hour.

Add to that a fear of committment that stems from the fear of getting married, and you have an insecurure individual who resents Valentine's Day and yet still battles a romantic's heart.

That said, I'm the kind of person that scoffs at The Notebook, hated the Titanic for the sheer idiocy of Kate Winslet's character jumping BACK ON THE BOAT, and hated Julia Ormand's character from 'Legends of the Fall' because she was a selfish bitch.

If you're like me, and can still appreciate a sentimental holiday without wanting to sift through the dreck that is over indulgent sappiness (Buffy and Angel make me gag), here's a few movies to consider that will still make you happy about love, without losing some dignity.

1. There's Something About Mary
What it's About: An awkward teenager lands the girl of his dreams for prom night, only to have a disastrous accident involving his balls. Years later, he can't get Mary out of his head, and he embarks on a mission to find her.
Why it's Alternative: Full of gross out gags and weirdo characters, There's Something About Mary is a guy's romance movie. What makes it work is a likable lead , killer villains, and a surprisingly earnest love story that actually makes you tear up a little. Mary herself is a guy's invention of 'The Perfect Girl' but surprisingly, Cameron Diaz pulls her off as layered and human: that's quite a tall order.
Schmuck Rating: C. You can claim you're watching it for the penis jokes, and on one will be the wiser.
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2. Imagine Me & You
What it's About: A bride meets her soulmate on her wedding day. It's not her husband, and it's a chick.
Why it's Alternative: You don't see that many romantic comedies featuring two ladies as the star crossed lovers. And a pre Terminator Lena is refreshingly engaging as the florist who falls for the bride.
Schmuck Rating: B+ - it's got some sappy moments, but you can always chock it to watching two hot chicks.

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3. The Bourne Identity
What it's About: An ex assasin with no memories struggles to uncover his past and evade the conspiracy that is threatening to bring him down.
Why it's Alternative: It's a shoot-em-up action flick, but the love story behind it is better done than most action movies.
Schmuck Rating:
F - You're no schmuck, you just like a good action movie, dammit.
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4. Practical Magic
What it's About: Two witch sisters' past comes back to haunt them, literally, when one's abusive boyfriend rises from the dead.
Why it's Alternative: Not as cheesy as it sounds, and it's a love story about family.
Schmuck Rating: B - it's a chick flick, but Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock are really hot in it.

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5. Juno
What it's About: A teenager discovers she's pregant, and resolves to have the baby and give it to a picture perfect family she finds in the penny saver.
Why it's Alternative: You can't get much more alternative than a teen pregancy storyline.
Schmuck Rating:
B- - it never ventures into sappy, and it's Oscar Nominated. And it was also written by an ex-stripper.
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