Let’s be honest, gentlemen: After the flowers, the chocolate, and the exchange of sweet nothings with old what’s-her-name over a romantic dinner, you’re going to be ready for some reality-based relief, and I have the perfect suggestion: rent a good movie and watch it with your current girlfriend/concubine/wife. I’m not referring to any film in which either Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts appears, because after a full day of pretending that you care, having to watch a thinly talented actress insult your aesthetic sensibilities for two hours might push you past mind-numbing boredom and into affective dementia. Rather, I am referring to a movie that, at least in a sense, involves a male-female relationship, but which also contains action of a suitably uplifting emotional nature. While there are hundreds of such movies, I am going to recommend three, which I have listed in ascending order of sentiment-filled excellence.
1. “A Room with a View”: It’s based on a novel written by a Brit and set in Italy, and so you know it’s going to be yappy and sappy enough to keep your date interested and, at least for a delightful time, silent. Guy warning: None of the chicks in the film is especially hot, and so you will have to imagine the female lead, Helena Bonham Carter, in a bikini.
2. “Clerks II”: It’s set in romantic New Jersey, and so you know that it is going to be both emotionally restrained and uncommonly chivalrous. Guy Warning: The lead actress, Rosario Dawson, is almost certainly much hotter than the woman with whom you’re watching the movie, so be careful not to stare at the beautiful Ms Dawson too intently, or pause the movie and moan whenever she appears, or drool too conspicuously when she smiles.
3. “AVP” (“Alien vs. Predator”): It’s got everything requisite for a cozy Valentine’s Day evening: aliens, predators, mercenaries armed with great weapons who are slaughtered in interesting and exceedingly graphic ways, and, what will most please your lady fair, a kickass female hero – the not-too-hot Sanaa Lathan. Guy warning: Your date might become impatient for the romantic elements in the film to unfold, but if she does, tell her that “AVP,” like your wonderful relationship, moves at its own slow but indubitably lovely pace. Also, I lied about Sanaa Lathan – she really is hot, and so you might prepare yourself to endure some serious scolding on that score, especially if you inadvertently yell “Ya-Hoo!” when she takes off her shirt. Also, I lied again – she doesn’t take off her shirt. Maybe. If you want to know, you’ll just have to watch the movie.
Happy viewing – and Happy Valentine’s Day.