Happy February! It’s hard to believe that we are already into the second week of the second month of 2021! Time flies when we are having fun, and watching some movies in 2021 – even if it can’t be in a theater yet – could be one of the best things yet!
At the beginning of February, we approach the day where we celebrate love and romance – Valentine’s Day! For many, this is another holiday that could look very different from previous years with COVID restrictions. Even with these things going on and whether or not you have someone special in your life, there are still unlimited possibilities for the day and celebration.
A Choice in the Matter
For those who have someone special, a partner, or a spouse – there are an array of possibilities for the things you can do together. This year, you could stay in and cook a meal together instead of going out. You can still get dressed up, have your choice of wine or champagne(etc.), and enjoy your time together. It shouldn’t matter the location as long as you are with the one that you love. 🙂
You might find that you like it more than actually going out! The two of you could also watch a movie in the evening, or go on a fun hike and pack a picnic to enjoy. You could work on a home project together, or even just take a moment together to slow down and breathe.
With the necessities that COVID has brought into this year, staying home to social distance may be many couples’ reality. Because of this, I thought that it would be fun to look at some of my personal favorite, timeless and romantic, love stories. Some are a little unusual, but good all the same.
While leaving most for you to find out, here is a brief overview of each movie. Each of these are in my list of top contenders for Valentine’s Day movies. Or even whenever I feel like watching a love story. 🙂 Let’s jump in!
This movie was released in 2012 and is inspired by true events. The movie follows a recently married couple, Leo and Paige, through a tumultuous period of their lives. Through an accident, Paige loses her memory of the last several years. This includes everything about her husband and the life that she has built. Paige begins again from where her memory picks up. She has to figure out why she was where she was in life and happiness.
Leo knows that he can’t just let her slip away from him. He also knows that he has to give her the space to grow and come to terms with her life. Leo knows that she will come to the same conclusions and needs that she did before.
He recreates several dates from the beginning of their relationship to try to show her that she made these choices for a reason. Eventually, he realizes that he has to have faith that she will find herself and their love again.
This is the story of how Paige re-experiences her journey, finding herself all over again – along with the love of her life.
This movie is written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. It was filmed in 2004 and is loosely taken from Diane Wynne Jones’ novel of the same title. The movie is a Japanese animated, fantastical story with magic, curses, witches, and wizards. It’s about finding the strength and courage for self-love, compassion, love, and the fact that life is worth living no matter the struggles in one’s life.
The plot follows Sophie, a Hatters daughter, on her journey to self-love and confidence through some quite unconventional means. Sophie is rescued from magics by the wizard named Howl while on her way to visit her sister. On her way home, a witch jealously places a curse on her. The curse turns her into a 90-year old woman, and she is unable to tell others about it.
Sophie leaves home seeking a way to break the curse. This leads her to Howls Moving Castle, some friends, and a demon named Calcifer who controls the castle. Calcifer makes a deal to help break Sophie’s curse if she was to break the link tying Calcifer to Howl’s service. To create an excuse to stay, Sophie quickly proclaims herself the cleaning lady of the castle upon Howl’s return. Then the real adventure begins.
In this very complex story, Sophie, Howl, Calcifer, Markl, Turnip Head, and more characters, embark on this journey to learn how devotion, compassion, loyalty, and most of all, love and how they make life better.
This movie was made in 2002 and was based on a literary work by Nicholas Sparks of the same title. In the movie, Mandy Moore plays the teenage Jaime, the Baptist minister’s daughter. Shane West plays Landon, a rebellious student. Landon gets caught after the new kid in school gets seriously hurt through their initiation into their group. He is forced to choose from expulsion or community service and various projects throughout the school.
This is where Landon and Jamie start interacting with each other more, although they have known each other most of their lives. Jamie and Landon become closer and Jamie offers to help him with one of the projects. In exchange though, Jamie makes Landon promise to not fall in love with her. As he gets to know Jamie more and more, he slowly can’t help but fall for her.
There is more to their lives and the relationship that becomes a reality for them. This is despite the status-quo at school and the people that didn’t understand the choices Landon makes.
Landon learns what it is to truly love someone. Jamie creates a life that she loves with the person she needs.
This movie was released in 2018 and is a historical-romantic drama set in 1946 in the aftermath of WWII. The newly engaged Juliet Ashton is a first-time published author and is looking for inspiration when she receives a letter from a man by the name of Dawsey Adams who lives on Guernsey Island, which was occupied by the Germans through the war.
As they continue their correspondence, Juliet decides that she must go there to find the truth of the lives on Guernsey Island. Little did she expect what Dawsey would become to her as well as the other Islanders. Juliet knew that their story had to be told, but receiving their blessing is more complicated and emotional than she realized.
As she unravels their experiences living through WWII and the German occupation, there are laughter and tears, fear, sadness, grief, and love between friends, family, and comrades in arms.
This movie has several editions – one in 1995 and another in 2005 – both based on Jane Austen’s novel of the same name. I grew up watching the 2005 movie, so that is what I always picture when talking about Pride and Prejudice.
Pride and Prejudice is set in the late 18th century, and follow’s the Bennet family through their lives as Mr. Bennet is eager to secure his 5 daughters futures through good matches in marriage. As suitors present themselves through the community interactions, we focus on Mr. Bennet’s second eldest, Elizabeth and we follow the storyline through her experiences.
Elizabeth Bennet is a stubborn and smart woman and she can see behind the gears of society in a way. As her elder sister is introduced to a possible suitor – Mr. Bingly -the friend that he has attended with – Mr. Darcy – and Elizabeth almost instantly dislike each other. From then on, Elizabeth has a very negative outlook towards Mr. Darcy, and he does not hold the Bennet family in high esteem.
Through the rest of the movie, Elizabeth and Darcy wade through their own feelings and emotions as the story progresses and although some hurtful misunderstandings happen, they find that first impressions aren’t something that you should believe to be the core of a person.
The Best of the Best
No matter how you and your significant other choose to celebrate – or don’t celebrate – Valentine’s Day, taking time to spend with your person is important. I find that in my own relationship, taking the small moments provides the best opportunities to just be and enjoy time together.
Watching even part of a movie – or multiple movies – together (whether its one of the romantic movies from above, or a completely different genre), and cooking a favorite for dinner are some of my favorite past times. Hopefully, these movies have sparked your interest! Happy Valentine’s Day!