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Screen Gems

By LEVI AGEE SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

This article was published February 15, 2013 at 2:42 a.m.

— We’ve missed the actual date by a day, but if you want some serious Valentine’s Day points you turn the occasion into a weekend. Nothing is as romantic or as couple-centric as catching a great movie. If it’s your first date and you’re just getting seriously acquainted, dinner and a movie are basically dating autopilot. Even if you’ve been married for years, snuggling up on the couch to a good story on Blu-ray can set quite the romantic ambience.

If you plan on getting out to the movies, luckily there are plenty of options, as movie studios are usually smart enough to plan around holidays. For instance, Beautiful Creatures, which is touted as a fantasy romance replacement for the Twilight franchise.

If you want the romance minus the sorcery, Nicholas Sparks’ latest novel to hit the screen, Safe Haven, might be a safer choice. You can expect beautiful people sobbing/kissing in the rain on the beach. If you’re looking for more zom with your rom and your com, Warm Bodies might be the undead love story for you. It’s a high-concept girl-meets-zombie flick that might give fans of The Walking Dead and Romeo and Juliet something to bond over.

Non-traditionalists or those not interested in anything sentimental or romantic whatsoever (though I think Bruce Willis’ McClane is still a catch), the latest Willis versus a high-rise, airport, taxi cab, or most recently nuclear weapons heist, A Good Day to Die Hard, might suit your fancy. If you prefer the Netflix, Redbox or iTunes avenue of movie night, there is a plethora of great romantic movies from over the years, but I can give you a few.

Love Actually is my go-to Christmas flick, but it’s also highly romantic. You might be thinking Blue Valentine is perfect, but stay away from this depressing, albeit well-acted, film if you want to save your relationship. Instead, go with another Ryan Gosling project that might seem cliche or weepy but is still a solid heart-warmer, The Notebook. I’ll give you another off-the-wall suggestion by recommending Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind if you might be having relationship trouble. Depending on how you approach it, the film can be taken many ways, but you’ll definitely learn to appreciate the good times and, hopefully, forget the bad.

Levi Agee is a programmer for the Little Rock Film Festival. E-mail him at: levifilm@gmail.com.

MovieStyle, Pages 35 on 02/15/2013

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