[Editor’s Note: The following article was written by two writers each in their own relationship, not by the two bitter singles [Admin’s Note: Not both of us are bitter.] running the website. Take that for what it’s worth.]
Valentine’s Day will be upon us shortly, so we figured it would it would be a great time to discuss what makes a good Valentine’s Day movie.
Perhaps it’s the classic romantic comedy, or maybe a movie with a lot of emotional depth. Or, maybe something completely different.
Kennisha: For me, I feel like the topic is very subjective. It depends on so many factors, such as the individual watching, if you’re in a group or alone, or whether you’re single or in a relationship. Personally, I think regardless of whether you’re in a relationship, celebrating with friends, or by yourself, a film that’s a bit on the lighter side is great. In this regard, romantic comedies are usually the best option. Laughter is an excellent way to bring people together, as well as being great for enjoying the day as someone single.
William: I will have to agree on lighter romantic films (such as romantic comedies) being the best option as a Valentine’s day film. Laughter can cure sadness, in my opinion, and whether you’re alone on Valentine’s Day or not, the fact is you can still have lots of fun with a “fun” romantic movie. Bridesmaids is a perfect example of a romantic comedy that everyone can enjoy. Just think about watching a movie like The Notebook by yourself. The ending is heartfelt, yet some may say it can be a little unfortunate. A person who is single would feel down when watching a film like The Notebook because at the end of the day, they have no one to relate to.
Kennisha: I completely agree that Bridesmaids is a great example. Although, I think there are pros and cons to watching a super emotional romance as a single person. I think it greatly depends on your view of your current single status. If you’re a person who hates Valentine’s Day and is bitter about being single, then The Notebook is probably the worst choice despite it’s good sentimental elements. If you happen to be a person who is genuinely happy and enjoying the single life, then it can still be watched and enjoyed without the added sadness. For me personally, watching that film at different points in my life completely changed how I viewed it. After a recent break up, for whatever reason I decided watching The Notebook would be a good idea (it wasn’t), and I ended up with more of a “fuck love” attitude towards it. After I had gotten out of that period in my life, my view leaned more towards a hopeful, “I want that someday” outlook, without all the sadness. So I think it can vary from time to time.
William: When watching those romantic movies, I couldn’t relate to those characters when they were feeling down or up whether I was single or in a relationship. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of The Notebook and, besides Titanic, those are pretty much the only super emotional romantic films I’ve viewed that I could recall. I do think that those two films are at their best when watching them with someone close, as opposed to by yourself, just based on the themes the films present. They demonstrate that “love lasts forever” or “love will never fade”. With that being said, a person who is single that is watching those kinds of movies may feel overall happy with the story and the optimistic conclusion but I fail to see him/her feeling any better about themselves and their current state of a relationship-free phase.
Kennisha: I disagree about him/her not feeling better about themselves because that works under the assumption that everyone longs to be in a relationship. So many outlets in our lives project that in order to be truly happy you must be in a relationship. Which certainly isn’t true. I’m sure there are some people who would watch a romance and think “thank goodness I don’t have to deal with that drama.” Some people aren’t cut out for deep, emotional relationships. If a person wants a relationship someday, but in their current position they prefer the single life, I can absolutely see the person feeling better about themselves or their relationship status.
William: I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I believe those heavy emotional films, such as The Notebook, are meant to be seen with your close ones, whether it is your significant other or your best friend, for instance. Although I can see that a person can feel both pleasant or sad after watching the film, most romantic dramas end up with a happy ending. If it was a romantic tragedy, like Romeo and Juliet [Editor’s Note: Romeo and Juliet is not romantic in any way!], then I could picture some audience members second guessing about being in a relationship and being happy with the single life. If it was a romantic drama, I still think that not all, but the majority of single people will feel down. It’s like an opposite effect: Romantic dramas make single people feel gloomy and romantic tragedies create a relief moment. Again, I think of an overall perspective.
Kennisha: I see where you’re coming from. Overall, I think how you experience a romance depends on you as a person, how you gauge your overall happiness, and your outlook on life/relationships. Sad or dramatic romances don’t have to make singles sad. Similarly, not all emotional romances are going to evoke feelings of happiness or love for those in relationships. It’s all situational.
William: Yes, I agree. It all depends on the circumstances of your general feelings towards relationships or being single. But for the original question of “What makes a good Valentine’s Day movie?”, why can’t it be just a film that makes you a happy person? And whether being happy means being in a relationship or not, a perfect Valentine’s Day film to me should cater to those positive feelings of love and happiness.
Kennisha: Excellent point. I completely agree.
[Admin’s Note: I’m glad nobody thought of mentioning Blue Valentine as a good film for Valentine’s.]
Do you think some romances may result in added sadness on Valentine’s Day, or in general? Or perhaps it’s all a matter of personal perspective. Overall, focusing on what makes you happy and feel great is the most important part. Let us know what you’ll be watching for Valentine’s Day.