Don’t know what to do on the day of love? CONSTANTINOS PSILLIDES suggests films to watch
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and here at the Cyprus Mail we just love made-up holidays that exist only to push consumerism to the absolute extreme and put an actual price tag on love! In this loving spirit, here are some movies for you to Netflix and chill to on your special day!
Richard Curtis is a legend in the rom-com scene and Notting Hill might just be his crowning achievement. He is responsible both for Hugh Grant’s career and for coming up with the blueprint for the modern rom com. Meet cute, opposite characters and the now obligatory wacky minor character, usually the best friend.
Notting Hill stars Hugh Grant as an everyday man who runs a bookstore in the eponymous area and whose life gets completely upturned when a world-famous actress (Julia Roberts) enters his store to avoid reporters. And while I know that this is a story on romantic movies, Rhys Ifans as Grant’s roommate Spike is peak cinema.
Hate him, love him or be extremely annoyed because he is in everything, Ryan Reynolds is ridiculously charismatic. We have to give him that. Especially when it comes to comedies. And in The Proposal he is paired with Sandra Bullock at the peak of her career, years before The Blind Side. Sidenote: do Google the Blindside story, it DID NOT age well.
Bullock is a high-powered book editor who torments her assistant, played by Reynolds as the living embodiment of the word “affable”. As per rom-com law, everything goes topsy-turvy when she is informed that her work visa was denied and that she will be deported back to her native Canada. Thinking on her feet, she informs her boss that she just got engaged to her assistant. Hilarity ensues, also Betty White is in it. Always a plus.
“I wish I knew how to quit you” has to be the most heartbreaking line in cinema history. Brokeback Mountain tells the story of two cowboys who fall in love and have an on-off relationship for years. Struggling to overcome social stigma and their own beliefs, Brokeback Mountain is one of those love stories that will go down in history. The cowboys are played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, in perhaps the best performance of his career.
To All The Boys I Loved Before
We all had secret crushes in high school. We all daydreamed about how it would be letting them know how we truly felt. Maybe, we even fantasised about going out on dates and telling friends that we were going steady. But it didn’t happen because we never seized the opportunity to let them know how we felt.
Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) is a shy high-school girl going through that exact phase. She decided to vent her frustration by writing letters to five boys she liked, telling them exactly how she felt about them. She then proceeded to seal and hide those letters as they weren’t meant for anyone else’s eyes but hers. When her sister finds the hidden letters she decides to mail them, to Lara’s absolute horror as she now has to deal with all the boys knowing exactly how she feels for them.
A quite enjoyable teen romance film, perfect for the Gen-Z people out there!
La La Land
Before she became Giorgos Lanthimos’ muse, Emma Stone starred in a musical romance that was also a love letter to Hollywood, called La La Land. Stone plays aspiring actress Mia Dolan who has been trying to make it work in showbiz but came up short so far. Opposite her, is the annoyingly charming Ryan Gosling (what is it with Canadians anyway?) who plays a passionate jazz pianist called Seb. Much like Mia, Seb is not where he dreamt he would be in life. The two of them bond over their stories and decide to help each other achieve their dreams. What happens next? Well, you have to find out for yourself. Let’s just say it includes catchy songs, a lot of ‘awwwwww’ and your heart being stomped on by a stampeding horde of elephants.
Since we are aboard the Ryan Gosling train, if you are looking for the ultimate romantic movie that puts all others to shame, look no further than The Notebook. Gosling plays a poor lumber mill worker who falls in love with a wealthy heiress played by Rachel McAdams. Of course, her parents don’t agree with this but this is a Nick Cassavetes movie of Nicholas Sparks book: love WILL conquer all. Just have some tissues handy when you get to the rain scene.
I know this is not a romantic movie but hear me out. What happens after “happily ever after”? What happens to those couples who fall in love in rom coms when their relationship hits a snag? That’s the starting point of The Lovebirds, which tells the story of Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae), a couple that decides to split after four years. They then proceed to teach us that sometimes what couples need is not a special vacation, spicing up their sex life or common interests. What they need is to be suspects in cold-blooded murder!