Today: February 21, 2024

Valentine’s Day

Roses, heart shaped chocolates and stuffed teddies galore: yep, cupid is puckering his bow and arrow and is ready shoot – it must be St Valentine’s Day coming soon! Whether you’re locking yourself in with a group of friends or smugly celebrating with a date, watching a movie is the perfect way to spend the evening. Valentine’s and movies are intrinsically linked; dinner and a movie has been a failsafe date choice since Picturehouses opened their doors.

Roses, heart shaped chocolates and stuffed teddies galore: yep, cupid is puckering his bow and arrow and is ready shoot – it must be St Valentine’s Day coming soon! Whether you’re locking yourself in with a group of friends or smugly celebrating with a date, watching a movie is the perfect way to spend the evening. Valentine’s and movies are intrinsically linked; dinner and a movie has been a failsafe date choice since Picturehouses opened their doors. FilmJuiceDating Editor Heidi Vella, breaks it down!

Film industry head honchos know this and churn out Rom Coms and horror movies galore (the scariness of which is the perfect opportunity to move a bit closer…) just in time for Valentines. Even singles enjoy the likes of Valentine’s horrors; there’s something satisfying about watching smug couples being decapitated limb by limb when you’re single on V Day. This year, however, they seem to have shown some restraint as there’s nothing particularly Valentine’s focused on offer except the odd Hammer horror and a romance. Instead there’s an array of meaty films perfect for the 14th of February, however you decide to spend it.

For the long-term couple

This isn’t your first, second or third Valentines; in fact, you’ve lost count – so you’re happy to see any movie as long as it’s a) good b) not going to cause an argument, oh, and c) you’re watching it together. In cinemas: Young Adult (15) or Casablanca (U) If you can’t remember which Valentine’s you’re on perhaps some all out romance is just what you need. Luckily, Casablanca is released back in cinemas on the 10th of Feb just in time for the occasion. Bogart, Bergman and love set against a World War II backdrop. It doesn’t get better than this. Young Adult is not a typical Valentine’s movie choice as it’s fairly anti-romantic, but it is worth seeing nonetheless with critics giving it an average of four stars. Charlene Theron is a mean, alcoholic, divorcee heading back to her home town to reclaim her ex-boyfriend for herself, despite his wife and child that is. At home: Drive (18). Last year’s cult runaway success, Drive, is now out on DVD in time for Valentines. Loosely based on car chase film The Driver, man-of-the-moment Ryan Gosling stars as ‘unnamed driver’ who is a stunt driver by day and getaway driver by night. He meets housewife Carey Mulligan after saving her son from hoodlums, but soon finds himself in some very hot water.

For ‘horror film junkie couples: You like the adrenaline produced when watching a scary movie and you especially like being scared into your loved ones arms. Or, you like watching something animalistic at this overly lovey-dovey time of year. In cinemas: The Woman In Black (12A). That’s right, Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe has dropped his wand for Hammer horror The Woman in Black and it’s in cinemas from the 10th of Feb. It’s also the only real horror out in time for Valentines. Based on Susan Hill’s 1983 novel of the same name and written by Jane Goldman (Kick Ass, The Debt, X Men: First Class),young solicitor and father Arthur Kipp is sent to handle the affairs of a deceased woman but finds all is not what it seems… At home: My Bloody Valentine (15) or Insidious (15). If you’re snuggling up on the sofa in true Valentine’s tradition rent My Bloody Valentine or Insidious on DVD or Blu-Ray. With My Bloody Valentine go for the 1981 Canadian original; it’s a pure slasher set around a mining town in Novia Scotia where they hold a dance 20 years after a tragic incident that killed a large amount of workers. You just know it’s not going to go well. Insidious is from the makers of the Saw franchise, James Wan and Leigh Whannell, and Paranormal Activity writer/director, Oren Peli, a young family (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) move into an old house and begin to fear out-of-this-world forces at work when their son suddenly falls into a deep coma.

For the first daters

The pressures on, it’s Valentine’s Night and you are on your first date with a gorgeous guy/gal. You don’t know each other’s likes or dislikes yet, so something light hearted, action packed or fun is just the ticket. In the cinemas: Man on a Ledge (12A) or The Woman in Black (12A). As aforementioned, horrors are always good for first dates for obvious reasons. But if watching Daniel Radcliffe getting the bejesus scared out of him isn’t your thing, Man on a Ledge seems like a first date failsafe at the cinema. It centres around ex-cop and now wanted fugitive Sam Worthington standing on the edge of a building being talked down by Police Department negotiator Elizabeth Banks, as the film progresses it becomes clear Worthington has other things than suicide on his mind. Failing this, if you can still catch The Artist and haven’t seen it already it would make a perfect first date movie and will be undoubtedly as good or even better than the above. At home: Crazy Stupid Love (12A). If you’re staying in, decent romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love is a suitable option. Firstly Steve Carrel has mastered this role to a tee and secondly, there’s plenty of eye candy for both, and lastly, it will make you want to hug your date. Suddenly single after 15 years Cal (Carel) is the epitome of un-cool and is struggling to fit into the world of dating. That is until the ultra smooth Ryan Gosling steps in and shows him what’s what.

For kinky couples

You’re both a bit alternative and like to avoid dull and predictable paint-by-numbers Hollywood offerings, and instead go for something a bit edgy, sexy and eyebrow raising. In the cinemas: A Dangerous Method. Directed by David Cornengberg and starring the other man of the moment Michael Fassbender, plus Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightly, A Dangerous Method is about psycologists Carl Jung (Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud(Mortensen) and their intense relationship with an unbalanced young lady who likes spanking (Knightly) and is their patient. Oo-er! At home: A Serbian Film (18) or The Skin I Live In (15). Staying in? Then opt for Almodovar’s typically unconventional subject matter handled extremely well in The Skin I Live In. It’s about a highly respected plastic surgeon who, after his wife burned to death in a car crash, sets about making a new, more resilient skin, but for this he needs a no scruples whatsoever and an inevitably unwilling patient. Or, opt for A Serbian Film. Warning: it may actually put you off porn as it’s about a porn star who unknowingly becomes embroiled in making a porn film of unbelievable pain and cruelty.

Single girls night out/in

You’re single and failed to secure a date for Valentine’s or simply wanted to avoid it at all costs, so you’re spending the night in/out with your ladies, with a movie and plenty of popcorn and chocolate. In the cinemas: The Vow or Shame (18). If you fancy a bit of romance on your girly night – even if you are spending it with a bunch of ladies – The Vow could be for you. Inspired by a true story, Paige (Rachel McAdams) struggles to recognise her husband after losing her memory in a car accident, determined to make her remember he puts all his efforts into rekindling their romance. Or, there’s Shame, good for many reasons: it stars Michael Fassbender, he’s naked a lot (in fact, his member can actually be seen at one point) and it’s a Steve McQueen film that has received good reviews from critics. In it Fassbender lives a shallow existence going from women to women until he is forced to revaluate himself when his emotionally damaged sister arrives. At home: Bridesmaid (15) or The Inbetweeners Movie (15). It has to be Bridesmaids, one of the best female comedies made to date. Watch Annie (Kirsten Wiig) fall apart as her best friend prepares to get hitched. There’s diarrhoea en-mass, bad language and real women. On the other scale, who doesn’t like watching foul-mouthed, horny adolescent boys make fools of themselves in a trashy Spanish seaside resort? No one, yep – we thought so!

Lads night in/out

Again, there was no sniff of a date so you’re happily spending it with the lads with beer, nachos and pizza. In the cinemas: Best Laid Plans (15) or The Descendants (15) British, gritty, featuring small time crooks and best of all it stars Stephen Graham, this indie Brit flick hasn’t had the best of reviews but there’s no denying it’s blokey. Loosely based on John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, it’s about two best friends – one with learning difficulties and another who is a small time crook (Graham). In order to settle a debt with a local gangster Graham must decide if he will pimp his friend out to become a brutal and illegal cage fighter to settle his debts. Or, see why George Clooney was nominated at the Oscars for a best actor role with The Descendants – touted as his best performance yet – it’s about a husband who lives in Hawaii with his family and finds out his wife has been having an affair after she has a boating accident and ends up in a coma. At Home: The Inbetweeners (15) or Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy (15) No need to explain again why The Inbetweeners is a good choice, it even beat The Hangover II at the box office – enough said. If you fancy a more serious and dangerously dapper movie find out why Gary Oldman is, finally, nominated for a best actor award at the Oscars for his performance in Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy. Brimming with British talent, style and conspiracy, it’s a simply must-see film. In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley (Oldman) is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6’s echelons.

If you’re still looking for someone to spend Valentine’s Day with start searching now at – it’s free to sign up but hurry, there’s only days left!

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