Film Jam’s Valentine’s Day Film Guide

by Michelle McGlynn

After spending a whole day gorging ourselves on the delectable delights known as pancakes, there is really only one logical thing to do: spend a day loving…love. Whether you are blissfully happy in a relationship, you feel the need to rage against the day or you’re just pretty Swiss about the whole thing, I believe there are two things we can all agree on: special offers on wine and chocolates are always a good thing and we can all enjoy the films that this lovely love day brings.

A Good Day To Die Hard

Undoubtedly the most popular film this Valentine’s Day will be the latest installment of the Die Hard franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard. Apparently I’m the only one who saw everything they loved about Die Hard go up in flames like a helicopter that just had a car thrown at it in Live Free or Die Hard. The buzz and excitement around the films release on Valentine’s Day has only grown in recent weeks so it would be advisable to book ahead if you intend to gaze adoringly into Bruce Willis’s eyes for the evening.

The fifth film in the Die Hard series is set in Russia. John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Russia to help out his son Jack (Jai Courtney) who has been arrested. In doing so, John finds himself and his son embroiled in  terrorist plot. The two engage in various violent confrontations which result in explosions and destruction as they fight to defeat the terrorists.

This Is 40

Also opening this Valentine’s Day is the “sort-of sequel to Knocked Up”, This Is 40. For those of you who perhaps did not heed my suggestion to book ahead for Die Hard or those of you who came to the same realisation as I did after the fourth film, This Is 40 will provide you with a laughter filled evening. While the film has received mixed reviews from critics, there are few who will deny that the film is genuinely funny. With writer and director Judd Apatow at the helm, it is hard to imagine otherwise. In addition to this Apatow has also gathered an impressive cast including Lena Dunham, Chris O’Dowd, John Lithgow, Melissa McCarthy  and Jason Segal reprises his role as Jason.

The “sort-of sequel” follows Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) from Knocked Up. Five years on from when we first met them, Pete and Debbie are still struggling to get their lives together. As they try to cope with careers, financial troubles, their parents and their children, they must now attempt to come to terms with turning forty as well.

Light House Cinema

The wonderful people at the Light House Cinema in Smithfield never let us down when it comes to special occasions and events and Valentine’s Day 2013 is to be no different. They have chosen two classic films for special one off screenings. We have been informed that tickets are selling fast so these films are definitely ones to book for in advance. One of Dublin’s most beloved cinemas, you can make an evening of it by grabbing a drink in their bar before or after the film. The only difficult part is going to be choosing between these two gems!

Roman Holiday

You couldn’t ask for much more on Valentine’s Day than this timeless romance. It was the film that introduced Audrey Hepburn to mainstream American audiences. Hepburn’s performance also saw her receive her first Academy Award. Turning sixty this year, this romantic comedy continues to put others to shame. The wide-eyed innocence and charm of Hepburn’s Princess Ann will melt your heart as quickly as it does Gregory Peck’s rather cranky Joe Bradley. An absolute delight to watch, Roman Holiday is sure to make your Valentine’s evening.

Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) is tired of the sheltered and restricted life that comes with being royalty. While on a goodwill tour of Europe, she makes a break for it while in Rome and is determined to explore the Eternal City. Unfortunately, she has been given something to help her to sleep and she succumbs to the medicine, falling asleep on a bench. Passer-by Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) comes to her aid and offers her a place to stay, not realising who the girl is. Bradley is an ex-patriot journalist and upon realising that the girl is not Annya but a runaway princess makes a deal with his editor to sell an exclusive interview. Bradley spends the day with her, showing Ann all the sights of Rome as she could never have seen them as a princess. But somewhere along the way, Bradley falls for Ann throwing his plans into disarray.

Muriel’s Wedding

No doubt you’re already quoting this classic in your head. A rather gaudy and often over the top film, Muriel’s Wedding also has heart, humour and laughter. Sing your heart out to Dancing Queen along with Muriel and Rhonda and enjoy a story about finding happiness within yourself this Valentine’s Day.

Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette) is a woman who cannot quite seem to find her place in the world. She has no job, she is shunned by the women she wishes to be friends with and lives at home with a father who puts her down constantly. No wonder her self-esteem is almost non-existant. When Muriel meets an old acquaintance from school Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths) she is inspired to take control of her life. The two make the move to Sydney and Muriel finally feels as though happiness and her dream of getting married might just be in her grasp at last.

Cineworld

Cineworld are also getting in the romantic mood this week. They have chosen to celebrate Valentine’s Day with one film that had romance, drama, comedy and songs. What more could you want? This one will screen four times throughout the day so you have no excuse to miss it.

Moulin Rouge!

Baz Luhrmann has a reputation for creating fantastic spectacle and Moulin Rouge is perhaps the best example of this to date. A tale of doomed romance, it is told through love songs both old and new. Similar to Luhrmann’s previous film Romeo+Juliet, he combines a period romance with modern songs and dialogue. This postmodern musical is a tour de force of theatrics and style. A combination of broad comedy and melodrama, it makes for compelling viewing if you are willing to go with it. This film is a must for diehard romantics with a penchant for musicals. Spectacular, Spectacular indeed.

Young writer Christian (Ewan McGregor) moves to Montmartre, Paris to become a part of the bohemian revolution. After making some new friends, Christian is enlisted to help write an extravagant musical to be staged in the Moulin Rouge called Spectacular Spectacular. Christian quickly falls for the show’s star, courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman). This is a problem as Satine has been promised to the wealthy and jealous Duke (Richard Roxburgh). The Duke is also the financier behind Spectacular, Spectacular. As Satine and Christian try to negotiate their love affair without being discovered, the show must go on.

With lots of cinematic delights to choose from, we here at Film Jam wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day.

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