Top Six… Movies That Sound Ideal For Valentine’s Day But Definitely Are Not

Ahhhh… Valentine’s Day. Whether you think it is a total crock of bullcrap or the most wonderful day of the year, it’s here again. And what better way to celebrate it than by looking at a collection of films that sound like perfect Valentine’s evening viewing with that special someone, yet are about as romantic as a piece of mould growing in your fridge. Ross McG is your non-Love Guru…

5. Enduring Love (2004)

Sounds like: A tale of an amorous relationship spanning more than 50 years. Like The Notebook maybe, only good. It has Daniel Craig in it. And Rhys Ifans. And Bill Nighy. And Andrew Lincoln. And it’s set in London. Could it be a kind of cousin of Love, Actually? It has the same word in its title, after all.

Harsh reality: Nothing of the sort. Director Roger Michell’s adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel may be brilliant – and a bit unfairly overlooked – but it is not one to get all cuddly over with the movie-watcher in your life. It kicks off with a balloon ride. Balloon rides in themselves can be romantic, but not when someone falls to their death from one. And instead of Rhys Ifans standing in his underpants on the doorstep a la Notting Hill, he gets really creepy. Creepy and stabby. Yikes.

Valentine’s verdict: You might have to endure a night on the sofa alone if you ask your boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever to watch this.

4. Requiem For A Dream (2000)

Sounds like: A musical set in a fantasy land where a humble peasant meets the Prince Charming of her dreams, played by Jordan Catalano/Jared Leto. Think Enchanted, but with Jordan Catalano instead of Cyclops from X-Men.

Harsh reality: Heroin addiction. Arm amputation. Lesbian anal dildo sex. If you’re a man and you put this in the DVD player for your girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, don’t expect her to let you see, touch or hear her ever again. The last ten minutes alone are a challenge, almost as hard to watch as the ending of The Village.

Valentine’s verdict: Love is all around… the inside of the toilet bowl. Because that’s what you’ll be throwing up in. If you make it that far. Brilliant film though.

3. The Rules of Attraction (2002)

Sounds like: A light-hearted rom-com in which someone hot (I dunno, these days it would be Bradley Cooper or somebody) has his own set of commandments for dating, but then in a twist – RECORD SCRATCH! – he finds the right girl (Kate Hudson? Katherine Heigl? Someone even more bland?) and all his rules go out the window.

Harsh reality: James van der Beek’s ‘O’ face. Every time I watch The Rules Of Attraction – it’s one of my favourites – it always leaves me with a certain sadness. Sadness that it didn’t make Dawson Creek a huge star. Because he is brilliant in it. But then I think he’s brilliant in Varsity Blues. And more recently in Franklin and Bash (look it up). Seriously, he’s got an Oscar-winning role in him in about ten years. But even if you like The Beek, watching him take a dump in The Rules Of Attraction won’t get you and the one you love in the mood for kissy stuff. This is a film that has a character getting raped, filmed and vomited on in the first ten minutes. Not exactly a movie to break the champagne out to then.

Valentine’s verdict: Roses are red / James van der Beek was in Varsity Blues / This movie ain’t sweet / And now I’m in the doghouse for making my partner watch it on Valentine’s Day. Shit.

2. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Sounds like: A cute road movie where a hooker with a heart of gold meets a down-on-his-luck writer played by Nicolas Cage in Las Vegas and they decide to get outta town and drive across America and find themselves. Having been to Las Vegas myself, the thought of leaving it fills me with happiness.

Harsh reality: A movie where a hooker with a heart of gold meets a down-on-his-luck writer played by Nicolas Cage in Las Vegas and then watches him drink himself to death. If any film fails to say, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day, honey’, it’s this one. Honeymoon In Vegas, however, now that’s different.

Valentine’s verdict: Bright lights city, gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire. Yep, and that’s what your girlfriend will do to your Bon Jovi collection too if you try to make her watch this on February 14.

1. Match Point (2005)

Sounds like: A good old-fashioned tennis-based romp in which boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins Wimbledon then wins girl back. Like, uh, Wimbledon. Paul Bettany, what a player.

Harsh reality: A woefully misdirected, miscast and mistaken Woody Allen dirge in which tennis-playing boy meets girl, then meets another girl, then shoots second girl before second girl’s ghost appears to him. And then Jimmy Nesbitt has a dream. Seriously, I’m not making this up. I wish I was making this next sentence up: this got nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

Valentine’s verdict: Game, set and complete, utter tosh. A bit like Valentine’s Day, then.



2 Responses to “Top Six… Movies That Sound Ideal For Valentine’s Day But Definitely Are Not”

  1. Brilliant list! I hope some people watched these films on Valentine’s Day not knowing what to expect, would have created such awkward moments.

  2. Excellent descriptions for Requiem for a Dream and Rules of Attraction.

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