Appletell staff picks: Romantic movies for Valentine’s Day

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Love, ActuallyOh, you may think we’re all about hacking up fruit and destroying green pigs here in our offices at Appletell Towers, but we have our tender sides. Sometimes we like to put away our iPads and MacBooks and spend an evening with our significant others and a nice romantic movie. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we thought we’d recommend some of our favorites available as iTunes rentals or purchases.

Josh: The Proposal

I enjoy The Proposal because although your guy friends may tell you it’s a chick flick, it can be argued that it’s not (you know, to protect your manhood). Regardless, though, it is definitely romantic and it is definitely funny. The Proposal is a story of a book editor pretending to marry her assistant in order to avoid losing her job and being deported to Canada. As such, she must spend a weekend in Sitka, Alaska with her assistant in order to find out more about him and pass a test to prove their marriage is legitimate. I won’t ruin the end of the movie for you, but just know that it is full of great comedy.

Buy or rent The Proposal.

Erica: The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is the best romantic movie because it has action, comedy, and intrigue in addition to the romance. In this movie, you have valiant men who fight for love and honor against vile men who use others to get what they want. You have a fair and beautiful maiden who uses her quick wits and sharp tongue to win her prince in shining armor. At the end of the movie you will know that love is worth finding and keeping.

Buy or rent The Princess Bride.

Jake: The Wedding Singer

I can admit it, I’m a hopeless romantic. As such, Valentine’s Day is right up my alley. Romantic comedies are actually one of my favorite genres. I don’t go for the full on sappy love flicks, but add some awkward situations and a happy ending and I’m there. Only problem is, there are too many good romantic comedies to pick from to really name one as my favorite. So, I’m not going to say that The Wedding Singer is the best of the best, but it’s up there. In all honesty, you’ve probably already seen it, but this one’s good enough to watch several times. It’s about Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler), a wedding singer who’s stood up at his own wedding. He makes a new friend, Julia, (Drew Barrymore) who’s about to get married. Only problem is, this marriage truly isn’t meant to be. It’s a great movie with an awesome scene with Billy Idol and an equally awesome song. Actually, if you’re a guitarist, you might just want to learn “I Want to Grow Old With You” by Robbie Hart. You’ll definitely win some points on Valentine’s Day for that one.

Buy or rent The Wedding Singer.

Bill: Love, Actually

My wife has described The Notebook as “the most girly movie ever made.” It’s got everything: love denied, a world war, and terminal illnesses. Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel MacAdams) are star-crossed; he’s poor, she’s rich and her mother conspires to keep the two lovers apart. She succeeds until years later when the two reignite their passion. Framed by a heartbreaking story that has my wife bawling every single times she watches it.

Not that I’m any better, of course, because I actually love Love, Actually, a film a lot of my good friends despise, actually. I can understand why, the intersecting stories of a dozen English couples tends to focus a lot on indiscretions and adulteries, but the movie’s good points overwhelm the bad, particularly in two stories: one where Liam Neeson, recently widowed, helps his stepson win the heart of his girlfriend, and in turn go from being strangers to father and son.

The second story is the far more farcical tale of an author (Colin Firth) and his Portuguese housekeeper (Lúcia Moniz). The two fall in love despite the fact that neither expresses it nor speaks the other’s language. It’s an entirely ridiculous setup, and yet every time Firth shows up in the restaurant, speaking broken Portuguese in front of what appears to be an entire village, I choke up.

Buy or rent Love, Actually.

Kirk: Return to Me

If I’m going to watch a romantic movie with my wife, it’s likely to be something such as The Corpse Bride. But I understand the risks of recommending puppet movies about pasty guys marrying dead women—even if that pasty guy is Johnny Depp—so I’ll go with the more conventional Return to Me. The rather ridiculous premise here is that Bob Rueland (David Duchovny) loses his wife to an auto accident, and her heart is transplanted into the ailing Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver). Bob and Grace eventually meet and fall and love, but without awareness of this rather macabre connection.

The movie works far better than it should because of the lack of pretension or sappiness such movies usually contain, and because the two leads (and pretty much everyone who surrounds them, including the brilliant Carroll O’Connor and Robert Loggia) are so likable. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s written and directed by Bonnie Hunt (she also stars), who is easily one of the most underrated comic writers/actresses of the last two decades.

Buy or rent Return to Me.

If you have some suggestions of your own, by all means, share them below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Also see Romantic movies (that aren’t romances) for Valentine’s Day

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