Friday, February 10, 2006
Top 10: Twu Wuv
Whether you plan to spend Tuesday on some gay romp with a luvah or getting drunk and crying over your Cocoa Puffs, here are some perfect films for Valentine's Day.
1. Harold and Maude - Hands-down the greatest cinematic romance. Bud Cort's death-obsessed teen meets Ruth Gordon's lively septugenarian at a funeral (they're both aficionados), and they engage in a brief, bittersweet affair. If you haven't seen this yet, you really need to - it's one of the important ones.
2. Punch-Drunk Love - The film that will make you fall in love with Adam Sandler (?!). P.T. Anderson works here with his favorite type of characters - emotionally wounded souls looking for love and acceptance - but departs from his usual operatic heaviness, creating a delicate, swooning love story set brilliantly to Shelley Duvall's rendition of "He Needs Me."
3. Sid and Nancy - Everyone's favorite idiot junkies in love. Brutal, darkly funny, and ultimately heartbreaking, Alex Cox's punk rock romance makes you ache for two extremely off-putting people, and that's the film's miracle.
4. Wild at Heart - The rowdy, violent story of Sailor and Lula is told with David Lynch's trademark surrealist panache. Dark and lush in equal measure, with searing images of fire and overwhelming color, this is one of the sexiest movies ever.
5. Say Anything - Cusack with boombox. Gabriel sing. Yes.
6. True Romance - Because if you're not willing to blast your way out of a coke-deal-turned-firefight with your guy or gal by your side, than you're not really in love.
7. Moulin Rouge - Unabashedly cheesy, over-the-top and in-your-face, yet I'll be damned if I don't love every minute of it. Yes, it's more MTV than Michael Powell, but if you let it in, your inner cornball will thank you.
8. In the Mood For Love - The anti-Moulin Rouge. Every subtle moment in Wong Kar-wai's best film is underplayed to devastating effect. There is more chemistry in a quiet moment between Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung than in your average full-blown sex scene.
9. The Terminator - Alright, don't laugh. At the heart of this movie is the story of a guy who travels through time, risking everything, motivated by love for a woman he's never even met. It's Somewhere in Time, only much, much better. I like Titanic alright, but this is easily James Cameron's most romantic movie.
10. The Purple Rose of Cairo - Although I've vowed never to revise, I must confess that it was a criminal oversight to leave this off my 1985 list. One of Woody Allen's best movies, the story of a Depression-era dreamer (Mia Farrow) romanced by a dashing adventurer (Jeff Daniels) who literally steps off of a movie screen to be with her. Funny and sad, it reminds us why our hearts connect to characters on a flickering screen; we acknowledge cinematic love to be true, and beautiful, and all too fleeting.