Recommended Movies For Valentine’s Day

As I’ve made abundantly clear,   I’m not a big fan of this day.  For one thing, I lost my niece Holly in a car accident on February 14th, twelve years ago and to be honest, the day lost all of its appeal after that.    It’s been hard for anyone in my family to think of love and hearts in combination with abject loss and heartache.

And even if the day hadn’t been sullied by tragedy, I’ve never been one of its biggest fans.  Love has always been an ephemeral state for me; never lasting long enough (in spite of the years) to ever ” seal the deal”.  Yes, it’s true…I’m currently working on a duopoly that  I’m beginning to think will develop some staying power….someday.  This is good because in spite of having  horrendous luck in previous relationships,  I am indeed a romantic.   I want desperately to believe that this age-old notion still exists and is out there floating around waiting to pounce on everyone in the market for it like some ugly nebulous alien with tusks and decent arms; a 20th Century Fox film kind of Predator who comes  to Earth to hunt down emotions and make them his own or to make them hostages….or ‘to serve man’  or did Predator make  Arnold and company hostages or did he just kill every living thing?    Can’t remember; haven’t seen the movie in years.

While my Valentine’s Day will be just another Monday,  I want you to have a joyous one. If you’re thinking of doing something low-key, like enjoying a nice quiet dinner at home and a movie, I will recommend romantic movies you can Netflix.  Is that now a verb???    

Come on now,  I can hear the collective groans from guys who hate and loathe and abhor ‘chick flicks”, but come on fellas, you can tolerate a  ro/com (a romantic comedy)  just this once.  It is Valentine’s Day. 

Besides, these are  Hollywood celluloid efforts that havee moved “The Laurie” at one  time or another and if you’ve been reading my blog , for any amount of time, you know I’m a broad’s broad, right? 

What?   Would I lie to you??  I don’t lie.

You trust me, right?

Ignore the photo.   It was taken on a day when my allergies were flaring up.

Now then…

Here are the suggested romantic movies  and they’re listed in no particular order:.

First up:   Creator  

I saw this flick while on a date in San Antonio.   Not too fond of the guy; LOVED the movie.      

Harry Wolper (played by Peter O’Toole) is a Nobel prize laureate in biology,  obsessed by the possibility to clone his beloved late wife, Lucy. Helped by the student Boris Lafkin (Vincent Spano) and an eccentric egg-donor girl, Meli (Mariel Hemingway), Dr. Wolper finally succeeds in the cloning process, but the events leading to this achievement create strong bonds between himself and Meli, and also between Spano and his schoolmate, Barbara (Virginia Madsen). In the end, Harry realizes that he is in love with Meli, and he then decides that Lucy can’t ever “be”. 

It is funny, tender and poignant.   

SCORE:  Get your date drunk first and you just might!

 Doc Hollywood is all about Dr. Benjamin Stone (Michael J. Fox) who’s this hotshot young doctor who longs to leave the drudgery of the emergency room and finally gets his change and more money and less work at a glitzy, high dollar plastic surgeon’s clinic on the West Coast. On his last day, Ben’s relationship with his co-workers is presumed to be anything but a warm one, as none of his colleagues will join him for a drink afterwards, and a celebratory cake in his honor has an iced portion of the phrase “Good Riddance, Asshole” sliced out of it.

Ben’s cross-country drive in his 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster is interrupted when he crashes through a new fence in the rural hamlet of Grady, South Carolina. . Unfortunately for Ben, he crashes through a fence surrounding the yard of the local judge who penalizes him to community service at the local hospital. Though Ben offers to pay the judge for the fence in lieu of the community service, the stern judge increases his community service each time he talks back, eventually to a total of 32 hours.

It’s a take on the classic “fish out of water” theme, but still romantic and funny and  conveys the quirks of small town Americana in a fairly accurate, but loving way.

♦ 

A Little Romance stars a very young Diane lane and a very old Laurence Olivier.  It was her first film and his last one.   Sweet and a real tear jerker unless you’re a cold-hearted son of Britannia with absolutely no soul.

Lauren King (Diane Lane) is 13 years old, highly intelligent, and rich. She’s an American Girl living in paris with her mom and stepfather., the sixth in a series.  They live in Paris.   Stepdaddy is the CEO of some vast American conglomerate currently stationed in the City of Lights. 

Young Lauren spends her free time in reading Martin Heidegger and philosophy.   Daniel Michon (Thelonius Bernard)  is also 13 years old, highly intelligent, but poor. He’s a French boy from a poor Parisian subdivision who loves Hollywood films and who uses his talent with mathematics to make theoretical bets on horse races.

When the two meet and fall in love, Lauren’s flirtatious mother(Sally Kellerman) fiercely objects and tries to split the two up. Lauren and Daniel decide to run away to Venice, in order to “kiss under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset while the bells toll”, which they’ve been told will mean that they will be in love forever.   They’re aided in this plan by Julius (Laurence Olivier), a kind elderly gentleman.

Beautiful movie and one of my all time faves.  It can still makes me cry, some 31 years after I first saw it. 

I’m one of those women who has a funny bone and if that’s appeased in the proper way, can a “funny boner” be far behind?   The biggest erogenous zone on the body (male or female)  is the brain.     And for me, nothing can get me going like laughter.  A couple that laughs together, can more than likely endure just about anything together.   THIS, I firmly believe.   

If your significant other is anything like me (and God help you if he/she is) then think “comedy” this Valentine’s Day.  A few suggestions are as follows:

 The Big Bus is HILARIOUS.    You have to trust me on this one, Kids.

This movie is a 1976 comedy spoof from director, James Frawley (no relation to  Fred Mertz) starring Stockard Channing and the brilliant, Joseph Bologna (as Dan Torrence, a very popular b driver with a bad rep) .   It, along with Kentucky Fried Movie, was one of the first spoof movies.   It gave birth to Airplane three years later.

It follows the maiden cross-country trip from New York to Denver, of an enormous nuclear powered called “Cyclops”, equipped with a bowling alley, swimming pool, formal dining room, piano bar (“The Oriental Lounge”), Automatic Washing System (“AWM”), Automatic Tire Changer, and The Flags of All Nations. A bomb planted by a saboteur (hired by the oil sheiks to discredit non oil-powered transport) and mayhem ensues.

The Big Bus was notorious for its mostly bad reviews and disastrous performance at the box office. Nevertheless, it has gained something of a cult following among fans of spoof comedies.  

Here’s a little sampling.   Film noir-ish and very, very funny!!!!

Dig Vic Tayback (TV’s Mel) !!!!

I first saw The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming as a child.  Loved  it then and I still adore it.  It’s rarely ever played anywhere on TV; not even AMC and frankly, that’s a damn shame.  

A Russian submarine draws too close to the New England coast when its captain wants to take a good look at America and runs aground on a sandbar near an island off Cape Cod. Rather than radio for help and risk an embarrassing international incident, the captain sends a nine-man landing party headed by his second-in-command Lieutenant Rozanov ( played perfectly by Alan Arkin, one of my favorite actors of all time).  The come ashore to find a boat to help free the sub from the sand bar.

The men arrive at the house of Walt Whittaker 0 Carl Reimer), a vacationing playwright from New York City. Whittaker is eager to get his wife Elspeth (Eva Marie Saint) and two children, obnoxious six-year-old Pete (Sheldon Collins) and three-year-old Annie (Cindy Putnam), off the island now that summer is over.

Failing to convince the Whittakers that his group are Norwegians (all of the Russians are conspicuously dressed in sinister all black clothing), Rozanov draws a gun and promises no harm if the family provides information about military on the island (none) and police force (small), and gives them keys to their car. 

It just gets better from there.

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A few points of interest regarding this film, if I may.  According to director,  Norman Jewison, the film, released in 1966 at the height of the Cold War, had considerable impact in both Washington and Moscow.  It was one of the few films of its era to portray the Russians in a positive light.   Senator Ernest Gruening (D-Alaska) mentioned the film in a speech in Congress, and a copy of the film was screened in the Kremlin.

So, there you go.   Movies are great.    Romantic movies are great and guys, you really need to understand this about us chicks. You see,  much of our romantic behavior and beliefs are hard-wired innately.  This is bolstered by behavioral research into the effects of two crucial chemicals, norepinephrine and dopamine.  When humans fall in love, researchers say our brains create dramatic surges of energy that fuel such feelings as passion, obsessiveness, joy and jealousy, but somehow this just seems more prevalent in woman…namely, because I’m one.   Movies stimulate this in our brains and if you’re lady-love is mentally stimulated in this way then, well…uh, you get my drift.    That said, you’d do well to sit down and sacrifice a meager 90-minutes out of your life watching a movie for her and with her.  A  movie in which romance and love makes everyone happier  than shoot outs, car crashes and slow-mo shots of greased up, pendulous ta-tas. 

At least on Valentine’s Day♥♥♥

Think about it and uh, while you’re at it…

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My Valentine’s Day Covenant With You

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………………………...“Covenant”  by Juliette Aristides

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It is Valentine’s Day; the 50th one I’ve endured as a hominid on this planet.   I have no one special in my life this year and in many ways, since I’m a work in progress and I do think that someday–even as my hair continues to turn gray; my eyesight goes and my butt and boobs sag south, pointing penduously toward Tierra del Fuego, I  will find the love…that love…  the one that Browning wrote about;  that Keats thought about and the Archies sang about.     

And when I find him; I will show him this tome, which I wrote more than two years ago, and he will love it and undeoubtedly give it an 86 for the beat, Dick Clark. 

Here ’tis.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Contract law as it pertains to coupledom..

It’s about the contracts we unwittingly make everyday with other human beings. Especially the contracts we enter regarding relationships; those one-on-one things that signify all that’s right in love, which would be Love.

And all that’s wrong which would be the tedium of relationships that so often makes us feel stuck.  Maybe even trapped.

Sadly, that’s an unavoidable reality of love and relationships.  The way love  shifts and morphs into something so different than it began.  In the beginning, you have two sentient, rational thinking adults entranced by that giddy, wonderful, endorphin producing feelings of the first few weeks,  months…years (if you’re really lucky) of a relationship with its shiny new car luster.

Then comes reality….maybe a few kids.   Loss, money issues..  More reality.  Another kid.   Dad’s blocked aorta.    Jimmy Jr.’s car wreck.   More reality.   Jenny’s braces.   Jim Sr.’s layoff.  Helen’s hysterectomy.   Jim turns 48, starts dressing younger, then hires a 24 year-old-secretary, with big boobs that like they should have Spalding imprinted on their sides.   

More reality.  

It may not look the same no feel the same from couple to couple but it’s one commonality is that reality changes every couple it touches, one way or the other.  But all isn’t lost.  If a couple can work together and  try to be flexible enough to change with it, survival rates are higher.

But basically, love and relationships start out the same. 

In the beginning, we’re all a twitter.   Oooooh, shared carnality, which has its own language, spoken in sensual whispers by two people who feel it to the core.

Sex is frequent and ubiquitous. In the front yard, car, the kitchen; the dining room table; by the dumpster behind the Stop-N-Shop.  It’ll be exciting because we are excited. Love has sprung a leak.

It is substantial.

We back that up by always looking our best. You shave closer and I guess, so do I. You groom your hair more carefully; I actually apply make-up with the precise artistry of Emmet Kelly.

We still hold our stomachs in while we’re around each other.

And then, we turn “that corner”; the one that in time, every relationship approaches.

There’s morning breath. Dreaded morning breath with its nasty, “slice and bake” density. The kind that a dragon produces  and uses to incinerate everything in its path.   Morning breath is its own force field and form of birth control, you know.

There will be evenings when we’re too tired to even count to six, much less have sex. I’ll make spaghetti that will taste the way feet smell and you’ll eat it, then end up making stinkies in the bathroom that smell like Chef Boyardee died in there three weeks ago.

We’ll try to pretend not to notice, but our collective gagging will prove otherwise.

Oh yes, things change.   They always change.  Suddenly, the glamor of us wears off and we’ll become very real in our eyes.

Very real and very flawed.

Suddenly, we’ll start noticing things that our “love goggles” once obscured .

You’ll one day focus on this long hair thing that I have Rapunzelling off my chin.

I’ll obsess over a skin tag on your neck that to me, looks a lot like Fred Thompson, (R) Tennessee.

Cursed familiarity and it’s damned ability to breed contempt—-BUT ONLY IF—we let it.

That’s why I’m presenting you with a covenant, Sire.  Our relatively new relationship is rapidly approaching a mile stone.  And this…this covenant,  is my way of conveying to you and reassuring you that I fully intend to be a willing participant in roughly 47-percent of that which we share in this relationship.

Sure, I’m authoring it and yes, it’s one-sided, but you can always use this against me as a point of jihad at one of our more rancorous Kendrick family reunions–or as we call them:  Mogadishu with potato salad.

MY COVENANT:

  I will always consider your feelings. I will put you first where applicable. For example: I’ll ask you what you want for lunch or dinner…except on those occasions when you’re buying.  Breakfast?  Fend for yourself.

  I vow to be covert with regard to all the secret things that I will surreptitiously do behind your back.

•  I will try to get along with you at all costs. I will celebrate our differences and revel in what we have in common and will make every effort to increase said commonality, in spite of your nose hair.

 I will  do my part to quell the toilet seat up/down argument. With that said, I will make this concession: I will learn to pee standing up, IF you’ll learn to pee sitting down.

•  I will NEVER ask you your thoughts about love and especially, about our relationship. Why should I? You certainly don’t know any more than I do.

  I will rarely ever color in the lines you’ve drawn for me.

  I will forgive you for being imperfect and more importantly, I will forgive myself for being equally flawed.

•  No matter what happens, we’ll have one thing in common: We’ll both always love you.

•  When Copernicus calls to insist that you are NOT in fact, the center of the universe, I will defend you by not agreeing with him—for at least an hour after he hangs up.

•  I will never, ever be of the ridiculous mindset that you “complete me”, the one that cursed Jerry Maguire regurgitated on to our nation’s emotional landscape.  Instead, I will always believe that you contribute to me.

•  We will be disappointed in each other; that’s unavoidable, but with your help, it will only be sporadic and never permanent.

•  I will try my best to be your friend first and foremost. I won’t always be successful at this and make no mistake–I will make mistakes. I will probably fudge the truth on several occasions. I’ll annoy you, infuriate you with my stubbornness and there will be times when you’ll completely understand why some people premeditate murder. It is likely that I’ll whine from time to time; get in a nagging needle or two regarding your work schedule. I’ll make your crazy when I lapse into “a mood” every once in a while. I will perfectly exemplify my imperfection. But I promise that I will work with you in order to work together. You have my word that I will try. We will have many common objectives. Reaching them won’t be easy, but then again, we do better when the odds are against us.

  Speaking of odd, you already know my family, right?

•  Lastly;  I am a grown up; responsible and self-sufficient. I do not expect you to rescue me or come to my aid every time I struggle. I am a smart, mature woman….but a woman nevertheless. I NEED to know I matter.

•  BUT…. if your ego demands that you prove this every once in a while, by instilling in you a need to slay a metaphorical dragon or two, far be it from me to obviate your gender’s natural order which is of course, hardwired in that rather fetching little fuse box I call your head.

 All I ask is that you please refrain from the inherent urge to kill the next time I kiss you with dragon breath.


Signed on this day, February 14, 2010

I remain,
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