Films to watch this Valentine's Day, no matter your relationship status
Today is lots of things; Thursday, the start of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and Valentines Day.
To celebrate the latter – no matter your relationship status – we have pulled together the best Valentine’s Day movies, and the best anti-Valentines Day movies for you to watch with, or without, whomever you choose.
First, the pros; for all you lovers out there…
Set during the early days of World War 2, in unoccupied Africa, Rick (Humphrey Bogart) reunites with his long lost love Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), but the path of true love does not always run smooth.
There are many incredible moments in Casablanca, but none more romantic than the moment that Rick convinces the love of his life to leave him because she would regret it; "Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life." There is a reason this has become an iconic line.
Lars and the Real Girl
Lars (Ryan Gosling) is a withdrawn man, who lives in the converted garage behind the house that he and his brother inherited from their late father. Despite many attempts to encourage Lars to interact with those around him, it is only when he strikes up a relationship with an anatomically correct sex doll named Bianca that he starts to come out of his shell.
OK, so Lars and the Real Girl is not the most conventional of love stories, but who can deny that there is love in every glance that Lars sends Bianca’s way? The film could easily have turned smutty or downright embarrassing, but instead Gosling’s wonderful performance drives home the idea that this socially awkward man is simply looking to make a connection with someone – or something – else.
Shaun of the Dead
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is desperately trying to gain some focus in his life and career. When the zombie apocalypse strikes, this is just another thing that Shaun has to deal with, while trying to save his friends, mum and girlfriend from becoming one of the walking dead.
Another unconventional love story here, but underneath all the zombies, the jokes and the adoration of the local pub, Shaun is a man who loves his girlfriend. After all, he traverses London to make sure she is all right, even though they have just had a massive row and the dead are walking the earth. Aww.
An elderly man tells a fellow nursing home patient a long and complex story, in order to keep her entertained. The story is of Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams), a young couple who fall in love and, even though social differences contrive to keep them apart, their love remains strong.
Yes, another Ryan Gosling movie on the list, but The Notebook has such a reputation as a romantic tearjerker that it would be wrong not to include it. This is the film that truly launched Ryan Gosling as a star, and he and Rachel McAdams fell in love on set. It’s a real life love story!
Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) become friends and lovers while farming sheep in a remote area. As time passes, the pair grow emotionally attached to one another, spending the rest of their lives hiding their love.
Brokeback Mountain took cues from Romeo and Juliet by making Ennis and Jack star crossed lovers and the film was highly praised for its heartbreaking story and strong performances from the two leads. Brokeback Mountain has been parodied many times, but if the last scene does not move you, you are probably dead inside.
Keep reading for our top anti-Valentine's Day movies...