I’m a hopeless romantic. Growing up, I believed way too many romance myths from television and movies. (I blame an early childhood viewing of the The Thorn Birds.) My grandmother introduced me to a little soap opera called As the World Turns (R.I.P.), and most of my late elementary school/middle school years were devoted to watching Lily & Holden fall in and out of love. The drama! The love triangles! The silky sheets! I learned so much. (I also may have wrongly assumed it was super easy to get yourself an Italian lover, thanks to Paolo Seganti.)
By high school, I had discovered the fiery Sonny & Brenda on General Hospital. The danger! The passion! The silky sheets! How on earth could high school boys ever compare? And if that wasn’t enough, along came Leo with his Romeo & Juliet and Titanic. Followed closely by my finding The Way We Were and Out of Africa, thus beginning a lifetime crush on Robert Redford. (Fact: One of the sexiest scenes in history is Redford telling Katharine Ross to “keep going teacher lady” in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.) What can I say? I had sophisticated taste for a teenager.
As you can see, I have a long love affair with the movies, and romantic films especially. But sometime in my mid/late-twenties I decided to take a break from them. No more J.Lo, or Julia rom-coms. No more P.S. I Love You, or The Lakehouse, or any kind of sweeping, epic love story. I realized I was starting to blur the line between reality and fantasy, and it wasn’t getting me any closer to an actual off-screen romance. I needed a cleanse.
So I grew up a bit, got my head on straight, and I’m happy to report that I eventually found my way back to the romance section. I still have to check myself from time to time (damn you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt!), but I can finally enjoy them for the fantasies that they are and keep them in perspective. They can be creative and somewhat truthful (500 Days of Summer, Sleeping With Other People), or entertaining and ridiculous (anything Hallmark Channel or Nicholas Sparks). Regardless, they are usually the guiltiest of pleasures, and everybody needs a few of those.
No matter what your pleasure is, there are plenty of options this weekend. Need Nicholas Sparks? Go see this silly, Southern business.
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Prefer a ladies night with your besties? These gals have you covered.
If you don’t want anything to do with dating or love, you also have the glorious Deadpool or Zoolander 2. And if you’re staying in, I highly recommend any of the movies mentioned above. Personally, I’m a Sleepless in Seattle girl when it comes to Valentine’s programming.